Narconon uses an unconventional and unscientific method of drug and alcohol detox, devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and originally called “Purification”. It consists of long stays in a sauna, far past the recommended time period, large doses of certain vitamins and minerals, larger than medical and nutritional experts recommend, drinking vegetable oil, allegedly to replace fat that is driven out of the body with the sauna, and periods of exercise.
While we won’t deny the value of exercise and proper nutrition, the key word there is “proper”.
Narconon will point to studies that they claim support their ideas about detox, but a closer look at those studies reveal that they are not independent studies, but in all cases, are studies done with the financial backing of Narconon or of the Church of Scientology, or done by Scientologists. Chris Owen has done an excellent analysis on Narconon’s Supporters: Scientific & Medical.
There are other studies and statements by medical and biological professionals, which are truly independent, that say just the opposite to what Narconon and its supporters say. Some of these directly address Narconon’s “detox”, while others address the methods only without mentioning, or even considering, Narconon at all. The number of studies directly related to Narconon might be higher if it were taken more seriously by experts in the field of addiction, but these experts recognize that it is largely bunk and would be a waste of valuable time and resources to undertake additional studies.
The list that follows contains links to documents and other sites which consider whether the claims of Narconon – that vitamins and minerals loosen up drug and other toxins stored in the body’s cells, the sauna drives the toxins out through the sweat glands, and the vegetable oil replaces the fat that is lost in the sauna – have any validity or not. If you want to detox from alcohol or drugs, it only makes sense to use a method that actually does what it claims to do.