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Drug Rehab Program Linked to Scientology

Channel 10 News
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

One of the largest treatment programs in the world, Narconon, claims to have incredibly high success rates. But it also uses techniques that mental health professionals call “quackery” and caused, according to one family, the death of their daughter, 10 News in Tampa reports.

That high success rate is what spurred Kaysie Werninck’s family to pay $28,000 to send her to a Southern Oklahoma for treatment.  After she became violently ill and died, her family sued Narconon and eventually accepted a settlement from the treatment program, according to 10 News.

Critics of Narconon, which just opened a new treatment facility in Spring Hill, say the program is not upfront with patients about its links to Scientology.  Narcronon says it does borrow the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and admits it takes funding from the church, according to an investigation by 10 News.

A USF psychiatrist says the techniques Narconon uses, including spending five hours a day in the sauna, administering megadoses of vitamins and staring at objects, like an ashtray, to get them to move, do not work in treating addiction, 10 News reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.