I. Contamination with Synthetic Chemicals
Human exposure to toxic chemicals has dramatically increased in the last century. Millions of compounds have been formulated and some 50,000 are now in commercial use. The environmental persistence of many of these compounds is cause for concern, In addition, many of these synthetic compounds accumulate in biological organisms (“bioaccumulation”), storing in bone, fat, or another compartment of the body.
Hundreds of these compounds are found in U.S. citizens, with many present in each of us (1). In addition to commercial compounds, many drugs — both pharmaceutical and so-called recreational — can remain in the body for an extended time. Drugs such as LSD (2, 3), PCP (4), cocaine (5), marijuana (6) and diazepam (7) are found in fat. These drugs can be retained for extended periods, especially under conditions of chronic use (5,8-11).
Adverse health effects have been shown for some of these compounds. Health effects from most compounds have not, however, been studied in detail. Further, the health effects from combinations of chemicals are unknown. It is clearly preferable to have low levels of foreign compounds rather than high.
Megan Shields, M.D. Shelley Research Center for Dependency Disorders and Chronic Pain, West Covina, California
Recent studies demonstrate that cocaine metabolites may accumulate in the body and that several days to weeks may be required for their elimination. Treatment outcome may be enhanced by methods which accelerate the safe and rapid elimination of drug metabolites. This preliminary study was conducted to determine if a detoxification program utilizing sauna baths as one component may precipitate the presence of cocaine metabolites in urine and sweat. Subjects were Caucasian with ages ranging from 36 to 40 years, and all met DSM-llI-R criteria for cocaine dependence and ingested cocaine by the smoking route.
Megan Shields, M.D. Shelley Beckmann, Ph.D. and R. Michael Wisner presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association
It is increasingly evident that the accumulation of drug residues and their lipophilic metabolites in the body plays a role in drug addiction. Such residues are associated with persistent symptoms and their mobilization from body stores into blood correlates with drug craving. A detoxification method developed by L. Ron Hubbard was specifically targeted at reducing levels of fat-stored chemical resides in the body and thereby alleviating the long-term effects of such compounds. We were interested in determining whether drugs were eliminated during this program and, if so, what types of symptomatic changes occurred as a consequence.
In 1999, an evaluation was done of the Narconon program at two Narconon facilities in the United States. These facilities were located in Los Angeles, California, and Chilocco, Oklahoma. This ongoing evaluation was aimed at both monitoring some of the factors involved in delivery of the Narconon program and at assessing the long term results of this comprehensive socio-educational approach.
The purpose of this evaluation was three-fold:
- The first goal of this evaluation was to monitor ongoing delivery to the clients at both Narconon facilities. Daily and weekly reports provided information on each client on the program. This ongoing evaluation afforded a detailed picture of what it takes to deliver rehabilitation service to hard core drug addicts.
- The second goal of this study was to evaluate the success of the Narconon program in retaining clients through the full treatment regimen.
- The third goal of this study was to assess the long term efficacy of the Narconon program. Efficacy measures included ability to stay off of drugs, criminal behavior and educational or career progress.
The Narconon Program vs. Traditional Treatment
The Narconon program addresses all aspects of addiction, with the result being that 76% of those graduating the Narconon program are drug-free two years later. This is in contrast to the 16%-20% of more traditional programs.