Study questions drug-treatment results

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A report presented to a legislative committee Monday suggests an Albuquerque drug-treatment program seeking more state money may not be as good as it claimed.

Dr. Paul Guerin, who has been studying the program based on the teachings of the founder of Scientology, reported it does not have the success rate it has pointed to in the past. He delivered the results of his study in testimony to the Legislatures Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee meeting in Santa Fe.

About 150 inmates and addicts have tried to recover at the Second Chance Center since it opened in the former West Side Detention Facility more than two years ago.

The convicts undergo sauna and vitamin therapy to cure them of their addiction. The program brings graduates to testify about their success to lawmakers every chance it gets.

“The sauna was very powerful,” one said in an interview outside the committee hearing. “It made me a new man.”

“I have hope,” said a second.

“Getting my life together,” a third added.

But now a study by the University of New Mexico Institute for Social Research has found the better than 90 percent success rate claimed for prisoners who spent even a week in the program in Mexico is not true for graduates in New Mexico.

Within 100 days of graduation 8.6 percent of them committed new crimes and 22.9 percent violated probation, according to the study. However a Second Chance official denied there was any attempt to mislead the legislators