Narconon Drug Rehab Sauna Detox Published Paper

The Psychotherapeutic and Health Potentials of the Narconon Drug-Free Social Education Rehabilitation Model


Mr. Clark Carr, President of Narconon International delivered a presentation at hope2000 International Conference on HIV and Substance Abuse on “The Psychotherapeutic and Health Potentials of the Narconon Drug-Free Social Education Rehabilitation Model, Including a Protocol of Reduction of Persistent Residual Drug Toxins”. This is a published paper and is presented here as published in the hope2000 publication, Compendium of Transcripts (

9th November 2000 - Session No.4

Topic 1: The Psychotherapeutic and Health Potentials of the Narconon Drug-Free Social Education Rehabilitation Model, Including a Protocol of Reduction of Persistent Residual Drug Toxins

Speaker Mr. Clark R. N. Carr

Organisation: Narconon International, Inc., California, USA.

Bio-data: Mr. Clark Carr is the President of the International Narconon network of more than 75 rehabilitation and prevention centers in 28 countries. He has spoken on behalf of the drug-free social education rehabilitation model on dozens of radio and television stations worldwide and has been published in the national and international press. He has addressed international conferences all over the world, as well as before Health and/or Drug Abuse Committees of numerous legislative bodies.


The Narconon drug rehabilitation network is a secular, drug-free program utilizing a standard and reproducible program model. The Narconon program frequently accepts as clientele some of the more recalcitrant drug abusers. Worldwide, positive results from the majority of drug rehabilitation programs have proven elusive, with a revolving door of post-program reversion to drugs and criminal activity being a common occurrence. Narconon rehabilitation centers frequently accept these recurrent drug users, as demonstrated in at least one study where the average first-time Narconon program enrollee had already failed at 2.2 earlier alcohol rehab attempts or 3.3 earlier drug rehab attempts and the majority admitted to current criminal activity.

In four follow-up studies of graduates of the Narconon drug rehabilitation program, 70% or better remained drug-free and crime-free one or more years after program completion.

We postulate that there are two reasons for this high rate of stable success amongst Narconon clients or students. First is the significant elimination of residual drugs and other toxins from the tissues of Narconon students through the Narconon detoxification program, a drug-free protocol which utilizes methodology developed by author and researcher L. Ron Hubbard to eliminate chemical residues from the body. Second is the social education program of life-skills courses, which improve the abilities of drug rehab students in the areas of communication, self-control, ethics and morality.

The Narconon detoxification protocol, based on a specific nutritional regimen accompanied by aerobic exercise and intensive sweating in low-heat dry saunas with adequate rehydration, has been shown by various studies conducted in Europe and the United States:

  • to reduce fat-soluble drug and/or environmental or industrial toxins

  • and to positively affect various health parameters.

These parameters include improvement of the immune system

  • and reduction in the severity of symptoms,

  • including improved mental acuteness, and long-term reduction of drug cravings.

In post-program life, it is the last benefit, reduction of formerly persistent and uncontrollable drug cravings, that Narconon graduates report as most significant in aiding them to live stable, drug-free lives.


The Narconon program was founded in 1966 by William Benitez, at the time a heroin addict serving time in Arizona State Prison. He had repeatedly reverted to drugs despite numerous attempts to rehabilitate himself. After reading texts on raising human ability by L. Ron Hubbard, he felt he had discovered the basis for a new “ability-raising” drug rehabilitation methodology and founded “Narconon,” coined by him to mean “no-drugs.” Subsequently, the first Narconon non-profit, nonreligious-affiliated corporation was established in Los Angeles, California in 1975. Over the last 25 years, Narconon has developed a definitive program of educational courses along with the sauna sweat out detoxification step. This same program, translated into different languages, is now delivered in widely varying cultures, to publics of varying age, literacy, social and cultural environments.

Narconon is now a network of drug rehabilitation and/or drug prevention centers currently delivering service at 75 locations in 29 countries worldwide. Administrated by Narconon International, Narconon centers - whether free-standing or incorporated into prisons or other institutions – are financially and corporately independent centers.

The Narconon Program:

Although it is Narconon’s worldwide policy that all enrolling students receive a comprehensive medical exam prior to enrollment, the Narconon program is a drug-free, non-medical model. [Certain cases, such as heavy alcohol abusers, may be referred to a short-term medical detox center before enrolling in the Narconon program due to potential medical complications.] A drug-free, relatively pain- and discomfort-free withdrawal from drugs such as heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, lesser alcohol, and hallucinogenics is accomplished regularly as the first step of the program.

The steps of the Narconon program are:

  1. Drug-free withdrawal,
  2. Communication Skills Course,
  3. Narconon New Life Detoxification (sauna sweat out program),
  4. Learning Improvement Course,
  5. Communication and Perception Course (helping the student to extrovert from past memories and to regain good self-control),
  6. Ups and Downs in Life Course (educating the student about social and anti- social personality types),
  7. Personal Values and Integrity Course (assessing, confronting, and taking personal responsibility for past contra-survival harmful acts),
  8. Changing Conditions in Life Course (tools for improving personal or organizational conditions in a step-by-step manner),
  9. The Way to Happiness Course (study and application of a non-religious commonsense moral code),
  10. Discharge Plan (for smooth and responsible post-graduation re-entry into the living environment, to be monitored by Narconon staff for an adequate period),
  11. Family Services (during and following the program, as needed).

Each component of this program is tailored to the specific needs of the individual student. For most steps, students (as “clients” are called in this program) pair up and work with each other under the direction of a trained supervisor–to complete the program step. Each step involves both training and practical application to the individual’s life. The average length of full-time study for the Narconon program, in a residential facility, is four months.

The Narconon New Life Detoxification:

Undergone only after the addict has physically withdrawn from active drug use, this program is aimed at mobilizing and eliminating accumulated drugs and their metabolites from the body. Other drug rehabilitation methodologies have included attempts to flush toxins from the body, but the Narconon program is a more comprehensive approach to this problem.

Many substances are known to store in human adipose (fat) tissue. In addition to commercial compounds, many drugs–both pharmaceutical and so-called recreational or illicit drugs – can remain in the body for an extended time. Drugs such as LSD, PCP, cocaine, marijuana and diazepam (Valium) are found in fat. These drugs can be retained for extended periods, especially under conditions of chronic use. For example, marijuana metabolites are found in urine up to 77 days subsequent to the last use of marijuana. It is hypothesized that these metabolites are stored in adipose tissue prior to excretion.

Cocaine is generally considered to be a rapidly metabolized drug and, indeed, the majority of the drug is metabolized and excreted within 2 hours. However, cocaine is a lipophilic substance (having an affinity for fat) and is expected to accumulate in body tissues. Studies of urine and saliva in cocaine users show that unmetabolized cocaine is found for 5-10 days after the last use of the drug.

Frequently reported subjective effects of long-term drug abuse include feelings of disorientation, fatigue, and lack of motivation. Certain drugs, most notedly LSD, are reported to cause “flashbacks” long after the last ingestion of the drug.

The detoxification component of the Narconon program is based on the premise that these adverse consequences of drug abuse arise from small amounts of drugs or their metabolites stored in the fatty tissues of the drug user. When fats are mobilized during times of stress, hunger, weight loss, or exercise, these drug residuals can be mobilized as well. This may lead to reactivation of drug effects, a “flashback” type experience or, in the case of the recovering drug abuser, may lead to reactivation of the “craving” for his original drug of abuse. Persistent drug cravings are known to lead to relapse. Hence the revolving door of “drug rehab program, relapse, another drug rehab program, relapse, and on and on.”

This hypothesis is supported by the results from treatment with Narconon?s detoxification program. Clients often report feeling the effects of drugs while undergoing this protocol, apparently as they are mobilized and eliminated from the system. Following treatment, they report increased mental acuity, less disorientation and greater energy. Findings of a research project at two Narconon centers in the United States showed that drugs, including cocaine and diazepam, are eliminated during the Hubbard detoxification protocol, despite their having been undectable prior to the regimen.

Components of the Detoxification Program:

This procedure is designed to mobilize the elimination of fat-stored foreign compounds. It was specifically developed to reduce levels of drug residues and has proven effective in the reduction of other fat-stored compounds as well.

This is an intensive regimen and, as such, requires physician approval to participate. Physical illness, ongoing physical problems such as anemia, heart disease, high blood pressure, advanced diabetes, digestive ailments, kidney disorders, malnutrition and physical infirmities relating to alcohol and/or other drug dependence may result in restriction from this program while these prior medical conditions are addressed, or may result in a medically-supervised modification to the procedure to fit individual needs.

Briefly, the program consists of the following components:

  1. Aerobic exercise, preferably running, to stimulate circulation.
  2. Prescribed periods in a low temperature sauna (60-80 Centigrade).
  3. An exact regimen of vitamin, mineral, and cold-pressed oil intake (vitamin dosages balanced around gradiently increasing dosages of instant-release [not sustained-release] B3, niacin).
  4. Sufficient liquids to offset the loss of body fluids through sweating.
  5. Regular diet, supplemented with plenty of fresh vegetables which are not overcooked.
  6. A properly ordered personal schedule which provides the person with the normally required amount of sleep.

Students are on this program up to 5 hours per day, always participating with another present and under the supervision of staff personnel. Students exercise for half an hour, then sweat in sauna (with regular cool-off periods) for up to four and a half hours, every day, until program completion.

The daily schedule is related to the mobilization of fatty acids caused by vitamin B3 (niacin). Following an initial 30 minute reduction in the mobilization of free fatty acids, niacin then promotes a several hour transitory increase in free fatty acid mobilization; hence, the time period of the sweating regimen. After ingesting the daily dose of niacin, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is followed by frequent periods of low-heat sauna (not the high heat sports gym saunas which allow for only short periods of sweating). Instant-release crystalline niacin only is used. Polyunsaturated oil is administered to sustain the mobilization and elimination process and to inhibit reabsorption of mobilized toxins into the liver. Increasing dosages of the vitamins also replace those lost through sweating. Vitamins and minerals are supplemented and the daily liquid losses are replaced. Body weight is kept constant throughout the program, helping to monitor and prevent dehydration.

The program is pursued individually until a stable clinical improvement is achieved, generally from 14 to 28 days of treatment. The protocol is monitored by clinical and subjective change, not by reduction of stored toxins. The goal for drug rehabilitation students is to attain sustainable recovery from the past effects of drug abuse. (See Hubbard [1990] for a full description of this protocol.)

Results and Discussion: The Narconon detoxification program has resulted in marked improvements in rehabilitation program students. Across the world, over 20 years, tens of thousands of Narconon students have consistently reported increased mental acuity, greater energy, greater awareness of their surroundings, and an increased feeling of general well-being following detoxification completion. Fully supporting this record of positive health result from the Hubbard detoxification was one recent study performed by Russian Federation doctors associated with the Medical Radiological Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Obninsk, Russia. They put 24 males between 20 and 40-years-of-age who had been exposed to severe radiation as a result of the Chernobyl reactor explosion through the Hubbard protocol. They monitored the health and progress through the regimen for each person and performed multiple clinical diagnostic tests, monitoring 22 different biochemical parameters of blood, psychological evaluations, etc.

The function of each participant’s immune system was measured through various tests. The scientists presented in their conclusion that, “There is evidence suggesting that the program revitalizes the immune system and improves the general physical condition of the participant. In spite of its robust regimen, there is an absence of negative health effects. In addition, the detoxification program devised by Hubbard possesses a powerful psychotherapeutic potential that has been associated with a significant improvement in the general health of the participant. Follow-up examinations of the participants conducted at one and nine months after completion of the program indicated that chronic diseases present at the start of the detoxification study were in lengthy remission.”

Two additional studies have found similar benefits accrue to children or juveniles with toxic body burdens who are guided through this procedure.

Based on these intriguing results concerning improvement in the immune system and remission of chronic diseases, we recommend that further study of the Narconon detoxification regimen should be conducted, particularly with HIV-positive drug addicts who have not yet advanced to the stage of AIDS.


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  1. To facilitate withdrawal from drugs broadly implement use of the simple, inexpensive, nutrition-assisted and drug-free system utilized in the Narconon program. This withdrawal approach helps heroin and other IV drug addicts to successfully withdraw from drug use in a relatively pain-free manner, hopefully before the addict becomes HIV-infected and then infects others.
  2. Expand use of the Narconon detoxification program to reduce the persistent ill effects from drug abuse and to reduce recidivism. Reducing recidivism will lead to reduced spread of disease.
  3. Further evaluate the effectiveness of the Narconon detoxification program in improving the health of former addicts, particularly as regards reports that this sauna-sweat-out detoxification protocol enhances the immune system.
  4. Expand the use of socio-educational drug rehabilitation approaches as opposed to medical drug substitution approaches. Employ drug-free, nutrition-based and social-education drug rehabilitation models such as the Narconon drug rehabilitation program to help train grass-roots organizations and personnel to improve their drug rehabilitation results (without needing to rely on costly medical support.)
  5. To reduce the spread of AIDS in India and Africa vis-a-vis the sexual transmission, simplify the public education message to “Do Not Be Promiscuous.” Communicate this message with consistency on every channel of dissemination as the primary message. Back this up with universal education on the use of condoms and other safe sex measures.

Mr. Clark R. N. Carr

The Narconon history.