Drug Detection Report, July 8, 2004 v14 i13 p102(1)
LAUSD officials warn against Narconon anti-drug program. (In the Schools)
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Publishers, Inc.
School officials in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have been warned not to use the Hollywood-based Narconon anti-drug program until California officials complete an investigation of the program. Some reports link the program to the Church of Scientology.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell reports that he had learned about the anti-drug program through a series of newspaper articles. The state investigation is to determine whether the program uses scientifically sound information, and does not offer religious influences.
Experts have contested some Narconon theories, such as that saunas can sweat drugs out of the body, and that drugs accumulated in body fat can cause drug cravings and flashbacks for years. Narconon representatives have defended the accuracy of the program's claims, and said that while Scientologists support the program and are used as administrators and lecturers, the program is legally and financially separate from the Church of Scientology.
Maria Reza, LAUSD assistant superintendent for student health and human services, sent a memorandum last month to all schools in the district about the Narconon drug prevention assemblies. In the memorandum, Reza reported that it had come to the attention of administrators that some schools "may be allowing Narconon presenters on their campuses."
District's Endorsement Withheld
Narconon presents a free, school-wide assembly about the dangers of drug, but the information "is not based on science, and there have been serious questions raised about the accuracy of this information," Reza wrote. The Narconon program has not been approved by the Los Angeles district as part of its comprehensive drug prevention program.
The district has established guidelines that identify drug prevention curriculums that are "science-based and research-validated." "Research has shown that one-time assemblies are not effective." The district only provides and recommends assemblies that are correlated to the drug prevention curriculums in its schools, the memorandum concludes.
The Narconon program is reported to have been used in a number of California schools, including those in Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Francisco Unified School District officials have questioned the validity of the program and called for parts of it to be revised or else not be used in the district.
Contact: Maria Reza, LAUSD, (213) 241-3840.