Narconon Head Cites Support
January 27, 1992
TO THE EDITOR:
The state of Oklahoma spends about $40 million on drug and alcohol rehab services each year. There are currently only 1,311 beds available while the numbers of people needing rehabilitation services are many times higher. No one can deny there is a serious drug problem in this state. Drugs ruin lives, increase crime and destroy families.
Drugs are a deadly problem. Funding to solve the problem is a problem. Inadequate facilities are a problem.
Narconon Chilocco has invested more than $3 million in the local community, at no cost to the state, for renovating and operating its leased campus and employing, at peak times, more than 100 local residents. We are now forced to incur legal fees in excess of $500,000 for projected litigation regarding certification which may take years to resolve.
These funds should have been directed not only toward additional renovations and jobs for local residents, but toward providing additional life-saving substance abuse services to people in need of them.
Meanwhile, the state of Oklahoma has invested almost two years of time and an unknown but certainly substantial amount of taxpayers' money in the certification process of Narconon Chilocco.
Has this state effort helped solve the drug problem? No. The Narconon program has been licensed in California for 13 years. Several European governments pay Narconon to provide drug rehab services. We have a safety and effectiveness record spanning 25 years.
Statistics show that the existing means of addressing substance abuse, in Oklahoma as much as elsewhere, are not always as effective as hoped for. The state should be enthusiastically encouraging new modes of treatment, not trying to run them out of town - whatever the motive.
I recently had one of my staff members review the Oklahoma attorney general's files on Narconon. The staff member found five ring binders labeled "unsolicited correspondence. " These contained more than 700 letters received from the public since Dec. 13, commenting on the Mental Health Board's decision to deny certification to Narconon.
Every single letter was written in support of the positive results obtained at Narconon. This was confirmed by Assistant Attorney General Guy Hurst, who admitted to the staff member that the attorney general's office had not received one letter expressing approval of the Mental Health Board's decision.
I receive letters every day from concerned family members of prospective students who have been denied entry to our program due to the board's action.
Gary Smith, president, Narconon Chilocco New Life Center