Beat Addiction By Sweating It Out: Expert
The Times of India
February 20, 2002
MUMBAI: The ill-effects of years of narcotics, alcohol or pharmaceutical drugs abuse cannot be wiped away by administering so-called wonder drugs to addicts.
These wonder drugs, or magic bullets as they are popularly known as, only make the body a pharmaceutical dump, says Clark Carr, president of non-governmental organisation Narconon International, which has worked in the field of rehabilitation for three decades and has recently launched a pilot project offering rehabilitation and prevention services in Mumbai.
He believes that the human body should be allowed to flush out toxins naturally - with the help of a few physical and psychological exercises and a balanced diet. In an interview with TNN, he gives tips on how to survive in an increasingly toxic world.
How do toxins assault the body's immune system?
We have worked with 10,000 drug addicts in eight centres across the world. Our work has shown us that the human body can recover its natural health by eliminating toxins built up through abuse of recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, or environmental/industrial pollutants.
Our studies have shown that residues of drugs, pesticides and heavy metals get stored in the body's tissues or fatty layers. When a 'recovered' person undergoes stress, or is subject to vigorous exercise, his body draws upon the energy stored in these layers.
The drug residue also gets released and restimulates the craving for drugs. Toxic residues can also lead to depression, hopelessness and fear. Drug interventions commonly used to suppress these symptoms only compound the problem. The ill-effects of drugs cannot be treated with more drugs.
How does your detoxification programme work?
Our detoxification programme flushes out drugs or other toxic residues from the body through sweating. It focusses on moderate exercise that stimulates blood circulation, followed by dry saunas.
The long-term effect is extraordinary. Drug addicts who undergo this programme say, "The drugs are not talking to me any more." The same procedure works for environmental and occupational toxins.
This approach needs to be supplemented with fluids and natural food. Drug addicts also need capsule supplements of vitamins and minerals as they suffer from an imbalance of micro-nutrients.
Would such a detoxification programme work for India?
Our detoxification approach is workable in every situation. In poor countries, even in the absence of saunas, a programme of exercise, sweat and vitamins enables rehabilitation without hospitals.
This detoxification experience works even in the most catastrophic environmental disasters as has been scientifically validated.
The US Environmental Protection Agency in a paper in 1998 testified to the effectiveness of this method in treating individuals exposed to high doses of radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster and the Gulf War Syndrome (the name given to the toxic effects of a vaccine administered to US military personnel to protect them from chemical warfare).
Why is there such a high incidence of pharmaceutical drug abuse?
In the US, six million children have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity - that is, they cannot sit still or pay attention in class. The fact is that every kid has experienced this boredom. Instead of improving the system so that kids want to stay in school, or investing in skilled teachers and getting parental involvement, we are drugging children and putting them in a chemical straitjacket that forces them to sit still.
The main problem is not the substance but the belief that you need to sedate yourself to feel better.
Our programme has developed tools that help solve the problems. People should learn life skills: just as adults learn to deal with difficult bosses or spouses, fame and big money, children can learn to deal with boredom, rejection, handle situations without drugs, and know who their true friends are.
What has your experience in the field of pharmaceutical drugs abuse shown?
Our bodies are treated as pharmaceutical waste dumps. The role of the pharmaceutical industry needs to be exposed. There was a time when morphine was considered to be the solution to alcohol addiction. When people became addicted to morphine, the industry advocated heroin as the answer.
In the 1920s, a well-known company sold heroin to deal with menstrual irregularities among women, leading to addiction. Then methadone was pushed to counter heroin addiction, and this turned out to be four times more addictive than heroin.
The US is inundated with messages advocating anti-depressants for commonly felt emotions like nervousness. These drugs feed billions of dollars to corporations. We are saying that illegal drugs are dangerous, but we are also saying that one should be wise and careful about other drugs as well.
Pain killers, sleep inducers and other drugs in the opiate range are addictive. Stimulants and appetite suppressors are equally suspect. Drugs are poisons and they store in the body. It is unwise to suppress symptoms, and not identify the source of the problem. There is no 'magic bullet' to substitute hard work.