Subject: Medical and psychiatrical standpoints on why Narconon shall be denied permission to manage the rehabilititation of drugaddicts.
Appendix to the appeal from the community board of Wellfare.
The Narcononprogram does not differentiate between the different types of addiction problems. The same method is used on all addicts without being able to produce any scientifical evidence that all addiction problems can be fully and acceptably treated with one and the same method.
When trying the request of permission to start this treatment, the burden of proof , whether the Narconon program is fulfilling the demands and requirements or not , to should be upon the applicant.This should especially be the case ,in matters of risks, sequrity and efficacy to the individual.
Narconon has not been able to show that the program are either secure or efficient. To the contrary , their are a signifiquant body of scientific evidence showing the Narconon program to be dangerous as well as unefficiant.
The applicants documentation fails to show how the Narconon program prevents the risks of late abstinence phenomenom such as seizures, deliriums, and / or hallucinations. These conditions are potentially lifethreatening.
The Narconon program requires that clients shall sweat in five hour long saunabaths each day , seven days a week. Narconon states that this extreme sweating are required to free the body of drugs and chemicals stored in the fat tissue.
This statement is in total lack of scientific evidence. ( see investigation from Prof. Folke Sjökvist, expert advisor to the National Board of Health and Wellfare. 1996-11-26)
The Narconon program includes overdosing of vitamines and minerals. The use of the stated doses , are according to medical expert opinion, potentially dangerous. Liverdamages and acut liverfailure are mentioned as such risks.
The doses are above the recommended maximum doses by the National foodadministration.
Drugaddiction and psychiatric illness
Simultaneous drugaddiction and psychiatric illness are common. Depending on he drug in question, different serious psychiatric symtoms can be camouflaged and produced respectively , other symtoms will be shown and augmentated during he abstinence phase.
Psychiatric competence is therefore vital when treating people with drug &endash; and alcohol addiction. The documents in application fails to show how this competence shall be upheld to the benefit of the clients. Psychiatric competence are completely lacking in the named staff personel.
It is stated in the application that the targeted group of treatment are drugaddicts without any serious psychiatric illness. Nothing emerges however in the application , how the selection of the targeted group can be secured.
Physical exertions in combination with saunabathing
The Narconon program includes physical exertions "to stimulate bloodcirculation" followed by the 5 hour long saunabaths at high temperatures. Combined , these activities exposes the clients to serious physical and mental healthrisks. The procedures exposes the individual to risks of dehydration and heatdamages.
The sauna program can lead to hyperthermia and disturbances in the electrolytic balance (eg heat stroke and disturbed bodily saltbalance) that can lead to serious disturbances in the hearts electrical activity system with the risk of fatal sudden cardiac arrest.
Misleading information on competence
Statements in application about cognitive therapy cannot be proved by CV:s on staffmembers in application. Cognitive Therapy can only be performed by those with adequate education and training in this therapy method.
The fact that Narconon staff and management are in total lack of any adequat education in caregiving , especially regarding the work with drugaddicts , is a security risk regarding the physical and menatl health of the clients.
The strict personal limitations and rules put upon the clients in the Narconon program , restricting he clients possibilities contacting a physician , familymembers, socialworkers and other to the client important people , are another hazard to the clients physical and mental health.
The clients rights and possibility to read all that are documentated about them, must be secured. The routines within Narconon on the "ethic files" of heir clients , needs claryfication. The clients right and possibility to take part of those files must be guarantied and secured as must the possibility to the client, at any time , contact supervising authorities. The legal security of the client may otherwise be illegally compromized and restricted.
No part of the Narconon program during the stay at the facility or during the followup , contains followup of pathological bloodtests or other medical problems. This is not according to law as stated in the regulations from the National Board of Health and Wellfare (SOSF 2003:20) nor is it in accordance to praxis in the treatment of drugaddiction.
It is our firm and unanimous judgement that :
- The Narcononprogram in its parts and as a whole puts unacceptable risks upon the physical and mental health of their clients .
- The content of the program with saunabaths, physical excertions ,overdosing of vitamins and minerals , are to be viewed as potentially hazardous healthrisks and not as a certified effective treatment to augmentate drogelimination.
- All named staff lacks proper and adequate education and competence as stated in national regulations and laws in conjunction with the work they are supposed to do.
- Specialized psychiatric competence are required to secure the selection process of the target group of drugaddicts and to minimize the risks of violence at the facility.
- Referals to outside organiztions such as the PITA Group I/C . National Board of Addiction Examiners together with personal "certificates" on staff from any of these organizations , are irrelevant. The relations between Narconon and these organizations are at best obscure.The organizations in question are not a part of any federal or governmental supported activity. Certifying treatmentcentres or caregiving facilities , are illegal in this country accordding to the National Board of Health and Wellfare.
Hoegland Hospital Bo- Kenneth Knutsson
Jonkoping Ryhov Ulf Brettstam
Hoegland Hospital Hans Gränefelt