Narconon Arrowhead: An Overview of the Program
Prepared by Shelley L. Beckmann, Ph.D.
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.
Results of the Narconon® Program: Key FindingsIncarcerated Populations:
The Narconon program was originally set up for incarcerated populations. The program has been delivered in a variety of institutional settings. Several means of monitoring the programs’ effects have been used:
1) Parolees who had taken Narconon program courses at the California Dept. of Corrections, The California Institute for Women, the Arizona Correctional Authority and Riker’s Island Institute for Men in New York were tracked.
On average, 73% of Narconon program clients released from prison remained clean while on parole.
2) Youth at the Youth Training School of the California Youth Authority had the opportunity to participate in a Narconon program. The behavior of youth at the facility was monitored by the number of infractions, the number of restrictions, and the grade being achieved in trade school.
Those youth who participated in the Narconon program showed positive changes in each of these measures compared to other youth at the same facility who did not participate. In fact, the number of infractions and the number of restrictions of non-participants increased while the numbers for Narconon program clients decreased.
3) Narconon program clients at the State Reformatory for Men in Minnesota showed improvements in the number of rule infractions of which they were found guilty, of the days of lost privileges, and the days of segregation. These changes were evident during both program delivery and follow up time periods.
4) Parolees from the Delaware Correctional Center were tracked. 70% of the Narconon program clients had no arrest during the follow up period, compared to 36% of the control population.
|2. Results of the Narconon® Program in the Prison Setting:
Several evaluations of the Narconon program have been conducted. Evaluations of Narconon programs being delivered to incarcerated populations have focused on objective measures of behavior, including the involvement of clients with the criminal justice system during and after parole.
Surveys of Narconon® Program Graduates:
Simple tabulations of the behavior of parolees were done in several institutions in the 1970’s:
A) The California Dept. of Corrections reported on 19 inmates who had participated in the Narconon program while in prison. 17 had been paroled. 12 of these were reported as clean (70%). Of the five remaining, 2 were not found, 2 had been arrested and one was suspended due to cocaine use.
B) In a study conducted in Spain, over 75% of graduates remained free of drugs. Whereas almost 90% had been actively involved with crime before doing the Narconon program, none were involved with crime afterwards.
C) The California Institute for Women reported on 25 Narconon clients. 23 had been paroled. 18 of these were clean (78%). Of the remaining, 3 were parolees at large and 2 had been arrested.
D) The Arizona Correctional Authority reported on 76 Narconon clients who had been released from prison. 32 were found. 24 of these were clean (75%).
E) The Narconon organization’s Executive Director compiled a report on Narconon clients at the Riker’s Island Institute for Men in New York. Of the 81 clients who had started the voluntary course, 43 had completed the initial program. 21 of these had been paroled and 17 were contacted. 14 of these were clean (82% of those found, 67% of total parolees).
Overall, around 73% of the Narconon clients released from prison remained clean while on parole in these follow up surveys.Evaluations of the Narconon® Program:
California Youth Authority:The effectiveness of the Narconon program in changing behavior was studied at the Youth Training School (YTS) of the California Youth Authority. This study was aimed at monitoring objective measures of behavior. Therefore, the evaluators tabulated the number of infractions, the number of restrictions, and the grade being achieved in trade school.
Narconon program clients were defined as those students who regularly attended meetings for one to four months. Controls had not participated in the Narconon program. 14 clients were compared to 27 randomly selected controls.
On average, the youth participating in the program had been at the Youth Training School for 5 months prior to program start. They continued at the school for 4 to 8 months. Therefore, the three measures were compared for the first 5 months versus the balance of the school program for both Narconon clients and controls. This comparison was designed to assess any change in behavior following the Narconon program.
Table I shows the average finding for each of these measurements. Both the number of infractions and the number of restrictions for Narconon clients decreased, on the average, after starting the program. In comparison, the number of infractions and restrictions increased for the control group of YTS wards.
The average grade in trade school for both Narconon clients and the control group increased over the course of the program. The increase in grade level was more pronounced for those in the Narconon program.
As Dan Fauchier, of the Youth Authority, stated: “[the survey] results should not be viewed as positive proof of the Narconon program’s effectiveness, they do seem to strongly indicate that the Narconon program is having a very positive and beneficial effect in increasing the socially-desirable behavior of its participants both in trade classes and on the living units.”
Study of Narconon Program Clients at the Youth Training School in California
|3. Evaluations of Narconon® Residential Programs:
Survey of Program Results
The Narconon program has been delivering services to non-incarcerated populations since 1972. Currently, the majority of the Narconon programs deliver drug rehabilitation services to the public in residential facilities. The main criteria tracked in surveys have been the number of clients off drugs, involvement with the criminal justice system, and employment status. The results of several surveys of Narconon program clients are shown in Table III.
Evaluations of the Narconon® Program, Delivered to Public Populations
* Contacted the Narconon program, but did not start program.