Sheriff criticizes drug rehab program

A controversial drug rehab program on Albuquerque’s West Side may be on the verge of losing its state funding.

Second Chance has been ridiculed for its expensive carrot juice and sauna approach to cleaning up addicts and now some people are questioning whether it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars.

“Let’s put that money, especially right now, when were on real hard economic times, let’s put that money where we know it has a proven successful track record,” said Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White.

White says Drug Court has best track record for getting addicts off drugs. He says that he has a problem with a an unproven program shrouded in secrecy with potential ties to scientology getting tax dollars.


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

Openness could be Scientology’s salvation

You only have to say the word ‘Scientology’ to get a response. Sometimes it’s a laugh, sometimes it’s a roll of the eyes, but usually it’s a quip about Tom Cruise.

However in the world of the internet mention Scientology and you’ll get a storm of commentary. And it won’t be for giggles.

Both supporters and opponents will go at it hammer and tongs at the slightest mention of anything remotely connected to the religion / cult / scam (depending on who you listen to).

A recent story here at on Katie Holmes’s Broadway debut became a battleground.

Anti-Scientology forces known as ‘Anonymous’ will claim the group is a cult, which charges gullible converts huge amounts to access its teachings, intimidates opponents and believe in an intergalactic warlord called Xenu.

And members of the Church will charge they are the victims of religious persecution and that the only reason other Churches don’t charge money is because they are so established.

Narconon drug rehab home in Newport Beach to shut down

NEWPORT BEACH – The largest drug rehabilitation home in town, a longtime magnet for community anger, has agreed to shut down, officials said Friday.

The 27-bed beachfront triplex operated by Narconon will close after its state license expires in February 2010, said Dan Carlton, a company attorney.

The company also agrees not to challenge a new city law restricting rehab homes, said Dave Kiff, assistant city manager.

“We’ve been looking for a larger space anyway, and it’s probably in the best interest of both sides anyway to just move on,” Carlton said.

The triplex in the 1800 block of West Ocean Front on the Balboa Peninsula has been used for addiction treatment since 1985, but Narconon didn’t move in until about 13 years ago, Carlton said.

Since then, the house has been lambasted by residents complaining about noise and constant deliveries.

Commissioners decline to pursue rehabilitation program

Curry County Commissioners agreed Tuesday not to pursue a contract with an Albuquerque rehabilitation program aimed at treating habitual drug offenders.

County Manager Lance Pyle told commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting the Second Chance Center has neglected to return a signed contract to the county since the commission approved it in June, but has billed the county for inmate care totaling more than $4,500.

The bills include student program fees at a rate of $37.50 a day and charges for drug screenings, over-the counter medications, vitamins and some prescription medications.

And despite requests, the center is not sending progress reports on the inmates in their care, Pyle said.

Scientologists call Amy Winehouse to offer their help

SHE’S been been in and out of rehab to beat her drugs and drink demons, but anyone who’s seen recent pictures of Amy Winehouse knows that clearly hasn’t worked.

Now I hear the troubled singer could be turning to the Church Of Scientology to get back on the straight and narrow.

Amy has told mates she received a “welcoming” phone call from the religious sect’s “celebrity centre” in LA.

My spies tell me she’s now seriously considering joining Hollywood stars including Tom Cruise, Katy Holmes, John Travolta and Juliette Lewis.

The movement was founded by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, who believed each human is inhabited by an alien spirit.

Swedish tax money benefits Scientology

Swedish taxpayers have been indirectly supporting the Church of Scientology though local government contracts given to front organizations with ties to the group.

According to a Sveriges Television (SVT) documentary set to air on Wednesday, 156 of Sweden’s 290 local councils have contributed more than 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) to the Scientology movement.

Much of the money has been channeled through contracts with Narconon, a company which offers a controversial treatment method for drug addicts.

According to SVT, Narconon also serves as a front organization for the Church of Scientology and contributes 10 percent of its earnings to the main branch of the movement.

“I don’t actually think that politics can dictate what they do with their profits,” said Cecilia Lund, a Social Democratic council member from Eslöv in southern Sweden, to SVT.

Eslöv has paid Narconon more than 1.5 million kronor for its services in the last five years

The SVT report also details other organizations with ties to the Church of Scientology that have received contracts with various municipalities in Sweden.

One such organization is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which attempts to discredit all forms of psychiatry and claims that psychiatry is to blame for the Holocaust and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

SVT has interviewed people who have abandoned Scientology who explain that the movement relies on front organizations to raise money and recruit members.

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