Sen. Tom Ivester said he will work with officials at Oklahomas Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to author legislation aimed at regulating questionable practices of a drug treatment program with close ties to the Church of Scientology.
A recent in-depth investigation by NBCs national news program, Rock Center, highlighted the story of three people who walked into the Narconon Arrowhead facility expecting to leave with a new outlook on life but ended up losing their lives, Ivester said. The parents trusted Narconon to give their children the help they needed to get clean. Instead they got a phone call telling them their child would not be coming home alive.
Ivester said he believes the state could impose strict regulations of unorthodox drug treatment programs, like the one being run at Narconon Arrowhead that requires patients to endure five hours of extreme heat in a sauna and taking questionable doses of the vitamin Niacin.
There are proven treatment regimens to help people deal with the illness of addiction and we have a duty to ensure that programs being offered within the borders of Oklahoma are strongly regulated to ensure the upmost safety for these vulnerable patients and their families, said the Democrat from Sayre.
The lawmaker said a quick legal search revealed no less than 15 lawsuits against the facility on Lake Eufaula.
Clearly something isnt right and we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to end this predatory business being run by the Church of Scientology disguised as drug treatment, he said.
Ivester vowed not to stop until legislation is signed into law ending these senseless deaths and the exploitation of desperate family members.
This is a disgusting business that preys on desperate family members and their sick loved ones, scamming them out of thousands of dollars with the promise of providing hope and new life, Ivester said. Its a disgrace to have these people operating in the state of Oklahoma. Too many lives have been lost under their watch.