A Physicians Perspective
Megan Shields, M.D.
"I have been associated with the Narconon program for nearly 20 years.
As a medical doctor practicing in a family clinic serving a broad cross-section of public, I have seen the increase in persons arriving at my clinic who have damaged themselves and the lives of those around them as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse. No different than any other doctor, I have observed with sorrow the increasing numbers of people who descend at a frightening rate from what they certainly thought was “experimentation” or “recreation” into compulsion to use, and addiction to drugs.
I have never liked the concept of using drugs and medications to solve the problems created by drugs and medication. There is a place for medication, but it is defined and limited. Therefore, from the very beginning of my practice it was a serious concern for me to know where I could refer patients for help either for themselves or for a family member or friend.
As a doctor it was evident to me that the long-term physical, mental and emotional consequences of drug use had something to do with the residual effects of the drugs themselves. This was clearly the case as well with environmental and industrial toxins and such poisons as lead in wall paint eaten by children, firemen inhaling smoke fumes containing toxins, etc.
Customary medical procedures held no solution to this problem of drug and toxic residuals. Various “treatments” have been proffered, ranging from the psychiatric viewpoint of getting the person to believe that the problem he was experiencing from toxins was all in his mind, to the administration of drugs to suppress the symptoms exhibited. These “treatments” only served to compound the problem. But with the release of the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program which utilized the researches of L. Ron Hubbard, I discovered that we had a solution at hand.
The depression, hopelessness and fear which so often accompany such problems were evident in many of my patients. Upon completion of the Narconon program, to which I had referred them, these persons were changed both physically and mentally. The common theme expressed by those who completed it is that they were no longer encumbered by chemicals which were shutting off their lives. They expressed increased mental clarity and new hope for the future. Their lives upon completion of the program were happier, healthier, and more productive. Beyond the detoxification program, the benefits of the Narconon practical life skills courses were an important part of their stable recovery. I was pleased to see even the most “hard-core,” seemingly hopeless cases recuperate and salvage their lives.
There is not often good news in our struggle with the consequences of alcohol and other drug abuse in our society. I am happy to say that the Narconon program is good news. I encourage you to review it carefully and consider utilizing it. Many years ago I did and I have been able to help save many lives as a result."
Respectfully, Megan Shields, M.D.
Dr. Shields graduated from the Medical College of Virginia and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. She is a frequent presenter at conferences on Substance Abuse and Public Health as well as being the author of many scientific papers on the role of detoxification.
As a consultant to the Narconon® program I had the opportunity to review the program, discuss it with the staff and talk with some of the patients. I have done this congruent with my professional interest in medical and social model approaches to addictive behavior. My professional background covers research and treatment aspects of alcohol and drug dependence. More than one hundred publications in scientific journals as author or co-author document my contributions. I also have had administrative research responsibilities and responsibility for treatment programs at the institutional and statewide levels. Incidentally, I have done research and have interest in the cultural aspects of the use of alcohol and psychoactive substances by the Indians in the American Southwest and the Tarahumara, a North American aboriginal group. I am therefore in a position to provide an informed assessment of Narconon.
The Narconon program has several features which in my opinion justify the implementation of the program. An important aspect is the systematic application of techniques to improve communication and interpersonal skills in persons dependent on alcohol and/or drugs. The techniques include training in personal values, integrity and in general cover ethical principles. This aspect of the program is implemented using methodology developed by L. Ron Hubbard. This area is, in my opinion, critical in the treatment of persons afflicted with addictive disorders. Although experts often note that addictive disorders should not be viewed from a moralistic perspective, a view which is often misunderstood, there is no question that one of the central problems in addictive behavior is the restructuring of the normative system of patients affected by the disorder.
Addicts characteristically subordinate values such as work, family relationships, and community responsibilities to the ingestion and unwise use of alcohol and/or drugs. Social neglect and criminal behavior are frequent companions of drug abuse and alcoholism. Efforts to develop a functional normative system, as is done by Narconon, should result in favorable outcomes. Narconon has demonstrated that this redefinition of the normative system of addicts is possible to implement with empathy, compassion, and respect for the addict. The drug-free procedure used by Narconon during alcohol and drug withdrawal is in my opinion sound. All patients who participate in the Narconon program are screened by a physician prior to acceptance in the program. Those individuals with physical signs of withdrawal symptoms of such severity that they require medical detoxification or medical conditions in need of care are not accepted until medical treatment is completed elsewhere. The Narconon program therefore manages the aspects of withdrawal that respond effectively to supportive and dietary care. It is well established that only a small proportion of patients on withdrawal from alcohol and/or drugs require intervention with therapeutic drugs or in a medical setting. If this were not the case, alcoholics would quickly exhaust medical resources available and social detox programs wouldn’t exist. Narconon’s utilization of nutritional aids such as vitamins and appropriate diet is sound.
Although some may feel that alcohol and drug addiction is primarily a medical problem, close examination does not support this view. Persons are introduced to alcohol and drugs by peers in social situations, and maintenance of the addiction is supported by deviant social networks. Furthermore, most medical settings do not have the resources of experience to address the many psychosocial aspects of alcohol and drug abuse. Alternate, health-oriented social intervention approaches such as Narconon’s, therefore, deserve to be implemented to widen the availability or resources to address drug problems.
No specific therapeutic drug has been demonstrated to make behavioral approaches unnecessary. Furthermore, the medical systems are so taxed with strictly medical problems that it would be unwise to leave the management of alcohol and drug abuse to the sole responsibility of the medical system. Other alternatives such as Twelve Step programs, therapeutic communities, cognitive therapy and behavioral conditioning have a place in the management of substance abuse disorders. Narconon in turn constitutes a valuable resource that adds one more useful option available to the addicts and their families. Last but not least, I do not see anything in the Narconon program that may place the participants to this treatment at risk of health problems.
I have presented some general comments on the merits of the program. If requested, I will be happy to give more detailed opinions concerning any specific aspect of the Narconon approach."
Sincerely, Alfonzo Paredes, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry UCLA School of Medicine
Dr. Paredes, board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, graduated the University of Mexico School of Medicine in 1951, interned at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and did residencies in Psychiatry at the University of Kansas, University of Maryland, and University of Oklahoma. He is a member of dozens of different professional organizations and regularly reviews peer publications in addition to having contributed more than 100 articles or studies of his own.
Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Substance Abuse, I would like to take
this opportunity to thank you and your organization for the work you have done
in fighting substance abuse. Because of the hard-working Narconon program and
other similar organizations, the current ideal of a drug-free society may one
day become a reality.
write this letter based upon four years as a prosecutor in drugs for the Federal
Department of Justice, and thirteen years on the Provincial Bench of this province.
results that you obtain are impressive.... It has been very positive and instructive
to have met some of Narconon's earlier clients, people who are free from their
addiction and have been able to come back to normal work and family life."
"I have been involved with crime and related activities as a police officer and now Commanding Officer, Vice and Narcotics Squad, Chelsea for about twenty-six years."
I can definitely state that there is a drug problem in existence and this means a lot of related crime which is a direct result of an addict paying for his habit.
The Narconon Program takes addicts off drugs without using any substitute drugs. This means a lot since you have a program that gets rid of drug addicts in the communities, brings families closer together, and handles the crime problem on the streets.
"I support the Narconon Program and urge you to do so as well."
Lt. Francis J. Belanger - Vice Squad Commander
"As a medical doctor who has examined many Narconon clients over the years, I have had a unique opportunity to observe the workability of this program.
Several of these former clients have continued to see me as their personal physician, so I have been able to regularly monitor their conditions over the years since the completion of their treatments.
I can state without reservation that the Narconon program offers the best chance of full recovery for those who have abused drugs or alcohol. The totally drug-free approach and use of sauna and nutritional supplements to detoxify the person from tissue accumulation of drugs and toxins make the program unique in its field."
"I urge that continuing support be given to this most worthwhile rehabilitation service."
Paul Jaconello, M.D.
"Your program has once again helped my company salvage a very valuable employee with a drug or alcohol problem. Rarely does this happen in our company, but when it does, we are glad you're there.
This person was a technician who knew his job well but was starting to destroy his work relationship due to an alcohol and then drug-related problem. Therefore, before quality suffered, we sent him to Narconon. His problem dissolved and his quality and presence of self is there again.
Narconon (on Mr. Hubbard's technology) has consistently been there for over 20 years now. It helped close to 60,000 people get completely free of drugs and countless thousands to never touch them. I appreciate that as I am an old fashioned American. I value man. Unlike many newcomers who seem to be in the field for the buck or status and who are ineffective to this purpose, Narconon really does the job and has saved many companies. I know of key people some of whom were even executives who temporarily needed a little help with drugs or alcohol.
Your value is incredible. I hope you discover more ways you can come in and help their people before it affects the bottom line. The money is always well spent."
“In the course of my work I have had the opportunity to observe firsthand the results of the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, and have found them to be nothing less than miraculous. The common theme expressed by people who have completed the program is that they are no longer encumbered by chemicals which were shutting off their lives. They express increased mental clarity and new hope for the future. Their lives upon completion of the program are happier, healthier and more productive.”
-Megan Shields, M.D.
“I have acted as Medical consultant to the Narconon program for 15 years. For the past decade I have studied the results obtained through the use of a detoxification method developed by Hubbard, utilizing vitamins, sauna baths and exercise, which is a part of the Narconon program.”
“While this detox method is strenuous, it is easily and safely accomplished, after a medical checkup, when done under standard supervision by trained personnel. “Narconon clients, with histories of moderate to extremely heavy substance abuse, show a marked improvement in alertness, clarity of thought and general health by undergoing this treatment. Most also report a substantial reduction in their craving for drugs or alcohol.”
“Published scientific studies of the technique have shown it to be successful in reducing the concentration in body tissues of a variety of toxins and contaminants, and I highly recommend its continuing use as an effective tool in the treatment of addictions.”
-Kathleen Kerr, M.D.
“It is my pleasure to provide you with my professional opinion of the Narconon drug rehabilitation program. For many years I have dedicated myself with the difficult task of rehabilitating substance abusers. I have studied a variety of systems of rehabilitation and I have concluded that we have in our possession a totally workable program through Narconon.”
utilizes a total drug-free approach in ridding a person of chemical dependency.
“The Spanish study also showed that before entering the Narconon program 62.2% committed robberies and 73% sold drugs. After the Narconon program, robberies and drug dealing decreased to 0%. In other words, 100% had no criminal activity after the program.”
“The Spanish study was conducted by a sociological group called Tecnicos Asociados de Investigacion y Marketing (TAIM). They have conducted other studies for the Ministry of Health, the Social Services Department of the Town Hall of Madrid, and the National Institute of Social Services of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security..."
“As a doctor of the medical profession I would highly recommend the Narconon program to you for those addicted to drugs. I have seen over and over drug addicts go to the Narconon program and leave drug free."
- Dr. Juan I. Redondo
“Narconon has a program that works. I know. I did it. It saved my life”
-Actress Kirstie Alley
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