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Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« on: November 14, 2010, 09:51 »
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 10:04 »
 Giving that I could here in the state of Ga start an addiction rehab facility in my house if I met the thin minimum legal requirements as laid down by the state, I would think more oversight could be a big plus. Disease or not, the sad fact is this has become a multi billion dollar industry.

 When money is involved, corruption and or abuse of the law does follow. The laws here in Ga have no teeth IMHO.

 Fraud is fraud. Only when that fraud hits the uninformed individual does that individual speak up.

Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 10:14 »
Quote
S. 1011:
Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007
110th Congress
2007-2008
Quote
A bill to change the name of the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the National Institute on Diseases of Addiction and to change the name of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health.

 Am I interpeting this bill correctly? Is the bill attempting to rename a government entity?

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2010, 10:25 »
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2010, 10:46 »
SB 1011 "RECOGNIZING ADDICTION AS A DISEASE ACT"

S1011: SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain's structure and manner in which it functions. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. The disease of addiction affects both brain and behavior, and scientists have identified many of the biological and environmental factors that contribute to the development and progression of the disease.

(2) The pejorative term `abuse' used in connection with diseases of addiction has the adverse effect of increasing social stigma and personal shame, both of which are so often barriers to an individual's decision to seek treatment.
Hmmm. I wonder what roadblock congress hit in the passing of the bill.

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 11:14 »
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« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 16:32 by VONSTEPHANSON III »

Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 10:07 »
You read my mind. I thinks it's time to speak with my state representative, but before I do that I want backing or endorsements that prevent me from going down the road of destruction by myself. CADCA may just be the people that can help.

 A bill that would change the names of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has been approved by a key Senate committee, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) reported July 5.

The Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007, SB-1011, would change NIDA's name to the National Institute on Diseases of Addiction and NIAAA's name to the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health (NIADH). The measure was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 28.

"Removing the pejorative term 'abuse' from the title of NIDA and replacing it with the words 'diseases' and 'addiction' clearly demonstrates these concepts are related," CADCA noted.

"It also represents an important step in reducing the stigma associated with addictive disorders, and correctly renames the Institute to recognize that addiction is in fact a disease." CADCA added that the NIAAA name change "appropriately pairs alcohol disorders and overall health as the two are directly linked."
I question if this "Bill" failed to pass via the weight that may have been added to it! Meaning other "Pork barrel" attachments to the orginal bill. Is there somewhere we citizens can view the voting list on this particular bill? If so, that would allow each of us within our particular state/district to raise the question with our congressmen as to how and why they voted yes or no.

Offline ethercat

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 11:35 »
Here's a topic that may go on forever, calling addiction a disease. Many are split and will remain to be. Certainly from the perspective of the addict, calling it bad choice only increases the shame and guilt which is inherent of the condition. Bad choice/bad ethics is Narconons approach, at least from what I understand. But what if addiction is renamed a disease outside the medical community. The Recognizing Addiction As A Disease Act of 2007 attempted to do just that. Yes, it's dead. But what if it regained interest and what if it passed? How would it effect drug rehabs who do not use the disease model as the base for treatment? If applicable government agencies classified addiction as a disease, would that be enough to shut down rehabs who do not follow a disease model methodology? Would it put an end to Hocus Pocus treatment?  It seems it would at least alter the approach Narconon takes because it directly contradicts their treatment method. How hard would it be for them to adjust? Could it spell disaster for NN if a bill like this passed? CADCA supported this Bill to some extent, how many others and why did it die?

http://brainwaves.corante.com/archives/2007/04/11/the_end_of_abuse_recognizing_addiction_as_a_disease_act_of_2007.php

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1011

SB 1011 "RECOGNIZING ADDICTION AS A DISEASE ACT"

S1011: SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain's structure and manner in which it functions. These brain changes can be long lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs. The disease of addiction affects both brain and behavior, and scientists have identified many of the biological and environmental factors that contribute to the development and progression of the disease.

(2) The pejorative term `abuse' used in connection with diseases of addiction has the adverse effect of increasing social stigma and personal shame, both of which are so often barriers to an individual's decision to seek treatment.



Is there somewhere we citizens can view the voting list on this particular bill? If so, that would allow each of us within our particular state/district to raise the question with our congressmen as to how and why they voted yes or no.

For Senators:
Go to http://www.senate.gov and look up your state's senators.  Go to their individual pages (it's in the form of http: //lastname.senate.gov ) and under "Issues and Legislation" you should see a link to "Votes".  Legislation will show the senator's sponsored bills.

For Representatives:
http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/legvotes.html

Thomas:
http://thomas.loc.gov/


« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 22:05 by ethercat »
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Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 19:51 »
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« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 16:32 by VONSTEPHANSON III »

Offline ethercat

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 13:52 »
This letter originally was intended to go to CADCA, but I think I'll just send it to the originator of the bill "The Recognizing Addiction As A Disease Bill Of 2007 SB-1011, Vice President Joseph Biden.

My apologies for not getting to this thread sooner.  Has this already been sent?  If not, I have some suggested changes.

I would cut it down to two specific goals, creation of a national standard for licensing substance abuse treatment centers and adoption of a bill recognizing addiction as a disease.  I removed some of the Narconon details, since this needs to be addressed as a generalized issue, rather than an issue with one particular rehab method.  (Yeah, I think it rambled a bit, which is not unexpected, considering how you and your son have been treated by Narconon.)  I would then offer to assist him in a better understanding of the issue.  Also, break it into more paragraphs (which you may have done in the original, and may just be a cut and paste problem).

Here's my edited version (it might be prudent to make it even shorter, but I was reluctant to cut too much of what you wrote).   Feel free to use it, or pieces of it, as you see fit.   L-O-:

Quote
Dear Mr. Vice President,

It is with grave concern I write you today regarding the lack of a national standard for the licensing of treatment centers for substance abuse in the U.S. today, further complicated by the view that addiction is a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem or disease.

There are a number of substance abuse treatment centers in business today who do not meet acceptable treatment standards, but due to the lack of a national standard, continue practicing, to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers without specialized knowledge.  Some of these organizations use unproven and ineffective methodologies, which are sometimes dangerous and even bizarre, and in some cases, nothing more than a scam.  These unscrupulous businesses, based on a philosophy of being a “cure-all" for addiction, using agressive marketing techniques and hard-sell sales pitches on the vulnerable, give recovering addicts very little chance of a quality recovery.

These organizations dominate internet search engines using deceptive marketing tactics, and attract thousands of unsuspecting people who are searching for help for their addicted and dying loved ones.  It isn't until after the addict enters one of these facilities that they realize they've made the wrong choice and sent  their loved one to something other than what they were led to believe it was. 

Many private insurance companies deny coverage for these pseudoscientific therapies because they do not meet medically accepted criteria.  Unfortunately, insurance companies often do not make this determination to deny until after the treatment has been agreed to by people desperate to help their loved ones while they are willing to accept treatment, and treatment has been started by the addict.  Unaware of this policy, thousands of people have been cheated out of between $25,000 - $35,000.  In many cases this can be a life savings, leaving these people with no money to seek another form of treatment for their loved one, and forcing them into financial ruin, simply because they were victimized by duplicitous organizations masquerading as legitimate rehabs. 

An important point is that these non-standard treatment centers use a “no disease approach” to treatment that, at best, acts as nothing more than a very expensive and potentially dangerous detox.  Until there is legislation in place naming addiction as a disease, no quality standard of treatment methodology can be set and these types of centers will continue to thrive on quackery, taking advantage of people.  Addicts and families of addicts need protection from this very real threat existing today.

    The terminology and mindset that currently exists only contributes to medieval opinions in regard to the causes of addiction and contributes to the shame and guilt centered around addictive thinking for a person struggling with drugs or alcohol. Organizations that take advantage of inconsistent terminology in the addiction treatment industry do more harm than good by developing useless programs designed and cleverly disguised as an alternative to traditional therapies. Most doctors and licensed behavioral counselors are in agreement that "alternative" types of programs have no value for treating addiction from a disease perspective. In fact they can be, and often are, harmful in many cases, because they offer no real tools for addiction management and long term care, leaving anyone seeking help in the dark.

   As an example, but not the only one that operates in a similar fashion, take Narconon.  Narconon (which has nothing to do with Narcotics Anonymous other than having a similar name), is known for "alternative treatment," a phrase that, in this case, means experimental, unproven, and potentially dangerous, methods, using bizarre techniques which are nothing more than unresearched and unsubstantiated material written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.  Such bizarre techniques consist of staring at people for long periods of time without moving, touching walls, repeatedly asking "Do birds fly?" and commanding ashtrays to “Stand up!” and “Sit down!”  These exercises are combined with administering vitamins to addicts at unacceptable high levels, and sauna treatments, neither of which  address addiction management from a disease perspective.  These exercises are led by non-licensed staff who are considered by Narconon to be equipped to handle addicts in recovery, both by a psychological and medical standpoint, only because they passed the L. Ron Hubbard program. In fact they are nothing more than graduates who have been recruited into the “program”.

The main selling point of the program is an unfounded 80% success rates or higher, when traditional programs claim anywhere from 2%-20% success rates, at best.  A "cure for addiction" is another common selling point.  These centers have no follow-up care as they claim there is no need. They claim that ethics are a major reason for use and relapse, when in fact immoral behavior is a symptom, not the cause, of addiction.  Narconon advertises that the program they offer is alone enough to set the addict on his way on to a successful, ethical and happy life.

This organization and others like it are spread across the U.S. today, raking in millions. Other similar rehabs continue to profit by selling ridiculous programs to the public.  Unfortunately most consumers are unaware of what is required in addiction management, so consumers become the prey from which the unscrupulous centers profit.

Addiction is a complicated disorder to treat, but to the average person, it is further complicated and confused by pseudoscientific approaches, and by facilities using these approaches which are licensed by state agencies.  Addiction is known to be progressive, and when the afflicted cannot get proper care and treatment, it continues to progress.  This behavioral, rather than disease, model contributes to the addict resisting further treatment,  because failure, particularly due to inconsistent treatment methods, sets up the mentality, in the addict, of their personal inability to succeed. 

I fear if we do not improve our standards when it comes to health care in this country, things will not improve. Until we educate ourselves, the societal view will continue to be split.  Either addicts will continue to be harmed due to ignorant beliefs centered around judgment and ridicule or helped by understanding through education and research.

Until addiction is accepted as a disease, and consistent treatment methods are required across the country, the Status Quo remains.  The public needs an appropriate required standard in place for rehab centers that prevents the use of the sick as a way to profit.

A first step to progress in this regard would be changing the terminology within governmental agencies so guidelines can be developed, along with understanding that addiction is a disease. Resurrecting and supporting a bill similar to “The Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007 SB-1011” would be a first step in doing so.  With a disease terminology and mindset we can begin to work an acceptable approach already laid out by DSM criteria and address the growing problem of treatment centers who are in this for profit only.

It's high time government agencies join the medical community in respect to the view on addiction as a disease and how we treat it.  Until that happens we leave the door open to anyone looking to make a buck. 

It's time to support a disease model for intervention and treatment of addiction centered around solid criteria, and quit allowing those who falsely claim they can "fix and cure" the addict through life courses designed for profit to use any form of methodology they choose.  Insufficient regulation and inconsistent treatment methods only contribute to the drug epidemic; they do not help improve the situation.  If we continue to allow methodologies that do not attack the problem in a proven and medically sound approach, we then become a part of the drug epidemic and not the solution. 

I thank you for your attention to this matter, and offer to provide any further information and assistance I can provide on this issue.

Sincerely,

Might need some proofreading by someone else (or me later); I've been looking at it for a while now, and tend to start overlooking picky details when I do that. 
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Offline mefree

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2011, 14:49 »
Quote
Dear Mr. Vice President,

It is with grave concern I write you today regarding the lack of a national standard for the licensing of treatment centers for substance abuse in the U.S. today, further complicated by the view that the controversy surrounding addiction as a behavioral problem versus a medical problem or disease.

There are a number of substance abuse treatment centers in business today who do not meet acceptable treatment standards, but due to the lack of a national standard, continue practicing, to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers without specialized knowledge.  Some of these organizations use unproven and ineffective methodologies, which are sometimes dangerous and even bizarre, and in some cases, nothing more than a scam.  These unscrupulous businesses, based on a philosophy of being a “cure-all" for addiction, using aggressive marketing techniques and hard-sell sales pitches on the vulnerable, give newly recovering addicts very little chance of a quality recovery.

These organizations dominate internet search engines using deceptive marketing tactics, and attract thousands of unsuspecting people who are searching for help for their addicted and dying loved ones.  It isn't until after the addict enters one of these facilities that they realize they've made the wrong choice and sent  their loved one to something other than what they were led to believe it was.

Many private insurance companies deny coverage for these pseudo-scientific therapies because they do not meet medically accepted criteria.  Unfortunately, insurance companies often do not make this determination to deny until after the treatment has been agreed to by people desperate to help their loved ones while they are willing to accept treatment, and treatment has been started by the addict.  Unaware of this policy, thousands of people have been cheated out of between $25,000 - $35,000.  In many cases this can be a life savings, leaving these people with no money to seek another form of treatment for their loved one, and forcing them into financial ruin, simply because they were victimized by duplicitous organizations masquerading as legitimate rehabs.

An important point is that these non-standard treatment centers use a “no disease approach” to treatment that, at best, acts as nothing more than a very expensive and potentially dangerous detox.  Until there is legislation in place naming addiction as a disease, no quality standard of treatment methodology can be set and these types of centers will continue to thrive on quackery, taking advantage of people.  Addicts and families of addicts need protection from this very real threat existing today.

The terminology and mindset that currently exists only contributes to medieval opinions in regard to the causes of addiction and contributes to the shame and guilt centered around addictive thinking for a person struggling with drugs or alcohol. Organizations that take advantage of inconsistent terminology in the addiction treatment industry do more harm than good by developing useless programs designed and cleverly disguised as an alternative to traditional therapies. Most doctors and licensed behavioral counselors are in agreement that "alternative" types of programs have no value for treating addiction from a disease perspective. In fact they can be, and often are, harmful in many cases, because they offer no real tools for addiction management and long term care, leaving anyone seeking help in the dark.

As an example, but not the only one that operates in a similar fashion, take Narconon.  Narconon (which has nothing to do with Narcotics Anonymous other than having a similar name), is known for "alternative treatment," a phrase that, in this case, means experimental, unproven, and potentially dangerous, methods, using bizarre techniques which are nothing more than un poorly researched and unsubstantiated material written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.  Such bizarre techniques consist of staring at people for long periods of time without moving, touching walls, repeatedly asking "Do birds fly?" and commanding ashtrays to “Stand up!” and “Sit down!”  These exercises are combined with administering vitamins to addicts at unacceptable high levels, and sauna treatments, neither of which  address addiction management from a disease perspective.  These exercises are led by non-licensed staff who are considered by Narconon to be equipped to handle addicts in recovery, both by a psychological and medical standpoint, only because they passed the L. Ron Hubbard program. In fact they are nothing more than graduates who have been recruited into the “program”.

The main selling point of the program is an unfounded 80% success rates or higher, when traditional programs claim anywhere from 2%-20% success rates, at best.  A "cure for addiction" is another common selling point.  These centers have no follow-up care as they claim there is no need. They claim that ethics are a major reason for use and relapse, when in fact immoral behavior is a symptom, not the cause, of addiction.  Narconon advertises that the program they offer is alone enough to set the addict on his way on to a successful, ethical and happy life.

This organization and others like it are spread across the U.S. today, raking in millions. Other similar rehabs continue to profit by selling ridiculous programs to the public.  Unfortunately most consumers are unaware of what is required in addiction management, so consumers become the prey from which the unscrupulous centers profit.

Addiction is a complicated disorder to treat, but to the average person, it is further complicated and confused by pseudoscientific approaches, and by facilities using these approaches which are licensed by state agencies.  Addiction is known to be progressive, and when the afflicted cannot get proper care and treatment, it continues to progress.  This behavioral, rather than disease, model contributes to the addict resisting further treatment,  because failure, particularly due to inconsistent treatment methods, sets up the mentality, in the addict, of their personal inability to succeed.

I fear if we do not improve our standards when it comes to health care in this country, things will not improve. Until we educate ourselves, the societal view will continue to be split.  Either addicts will continue to be harmed due to ignorant beliefs centered around judgment and ridicule or helped by understanding through education and research.

Until addiction is accepted as a disease, and consistent treatment methods are required across the country, the Status Quo remains.  The public needs an appropriate required standard in place for rehab centers that prevents the use of the sick as a way to profit.

A first step to progress in this regard would be changing the terminology within governmental agencies so guidelines can be developed, along with understanding that addiction is a disease. Resurrecting and supporting a bill similar to “The Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007 SB-1011” would be a first step in doing so.  With a disease terminology and mindset we can begin to work an acceptable approach already laid out by DSM criteria and address the growing problem of treatment centers who are in this for profit only.

It's high time government agencies join the medical community in respect to the view on addiction as a disease and how we treat it.  Until that happens we leave the door open to anyone looking to make a buck.

It's time to support a disease model for intervention and treatment of addiction centered around solid criteria, and quit allowing those who falsely claim they can "fix and cure" the addict through life courses designed for profit to use any form of methodology they choose.  Insufficient regulation and inconsistent treatment methods only contribute to the drug epidemic; they do not help improve the situation.  If we continue to allow methodologies that do not attack the problem in a proven and medically sound approach, we then become a part of the drug epidemic and not the solution.

I thank you for your attention to this matter, and offer to provide any further information and assistance I can provide on this issue.

Sincerely,

Nice job!  I made a couple of suggestions for edits and one spelling correction.

The following websites could be added for additional information and Kathleen Sebelius at HHS might like a copy.

Narconon Exposed
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/

California Rehab Referral
http://www.california-rehab-referral.com/

Reaching for the Tipping Point - Narconon
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/page,Narconon.html
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2011, 18:26 »
Yes, good job to all 3 of you.
VonStephansonIII, beware that a 'wall of text' discourages readers from reading. It's overwhelming and makes it hard to think separate the thoughts conveyed.  Breaking things down into paragraphs makes it digestable!
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 21:38 »
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« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 16:32 by VONSTEPHANSON III »

Offline Sunshine

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Re: Nail in the coffin for Narconon?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 22:29 »
Very Nice.