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NDAP Evaluation Appendix

Appendix for the Evaluation of the Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program (NDAP), prepared for the California Department of Education by the California Healthy Kids Resource Center, January 2005.

The California Healthy Kids Resource Center is administered for the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). This report does not necessarily reflect the position or policies of the CDE or the CDPH. Questions about this report can be sent to:

Deborah Wood, Ph.D., Executive Director
California Healthy Kids Resource Center
313 W. Winton Ave., Hayward, CA 94544
510-670-4581
dwood@acoe.k12.ca.us

Cover Letter | Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program Evaluation | Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D | Appendix E | Appendix F

Appendix A

Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Program (NDAP) Objectives and Content Overview for Elementary, Middle, and High School Presentations

Objectives

Content Overview

  1. Introduction
    0.1 Introduce self
    0.2 Give background
    0.3 Present goals of the presentation
    0.4 Get students agreement on the objectives of the presentation (middle & high school only)
    0.5 Establish ground rules

  2. What is a drug?
    1.1 Definition of "drug"
    1.2 Drugs have side effects
    1.3 Some drugs have benefits, but even medically prescribed drugs may have dangers
    1.4 Definition of "drug abuse"
    1.5 Characteristics and effects of specific drugs (middle & high school only)

  3. Physical Effects of Drugs in the Body
    2.1 Drug effects
    2.2 Drug distribution
    2.3 Long-term consequences of drug abuse

  4. Mental Effects
    3.1 Memory and associated knowledge
    3.2 Impact of drug abuse on memory
    3.3 Impact of hallucinogens on memory and perceptions (middle and high school only)

  5. Drug Addiction
    4.1 Definition of addiction
    4.2 Drug use causes nutrient depletion and negative symptoms
    4.3 Imbalances and deficiencies lead to discomfort and relapse
    4.4 Definition of tolerance
    4.5 Addiction a continual process of decline

  6. Alcohol and the Media
    5.1 Alcohol advertising
    5.2 Advertising affects attitudes toward alcohol consumption
    5.3 Alcohol representations in media
    5.4 Viewing media from an objective viewpoint

  7. Tobacco and Nicotine
    6.1 Physical impact of nicotine
    6.2 Long-term unhealthful effects
    6.3 Tobacco advertising
    6.4 Addiction to nicotine

  8. Drugs and Emotions
    7.1 Range of emotions
    7.2 Emotional states predisposing drug use
    7.3 Drug use affects emotions
    7.4 Better to change behavior/attitude to solve an emotional discomfort

  9. Achieving Goals in Life
    8.1 Setting and working toward a goal reduces drug use
    8.2 Achieving goals is like making "goals" in a game
    8.3 Working toward life goals strengthens a person's ability to say no to drugs

Note: Unless otherwise noted, the objectives and content are the same for all grade levels.

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Appendix B 

Materials Reviewed and Requested for Evaluation

Materials Received

Materials Reviewed by Outside Reviewers

Materials Reviewed by CHKRC Staff

 Notes

Eight Basic Facts about the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Program

n/a

yes

This document deals with the rehabilitation program, not the prevention program.

On Overview of the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Program (Narconon Overview , pp. 4-13)

n/a

yes

This document deals with the rehabilitation program, not the prevention program.

Papers and Studies:

  • Reduction of Drug Residues: Applications in Drug Rehabilitation, 1995
  • Evaluation of a Detoxification Regimen for Fat Stored Xenobiotics, 1982
  • Rehabilitation of a Chernobyl Affected Population Using a Detoxification Method, 1998
  • Pharmacotherapy: Millions Spent, Little Gained, 1992
  • Health Beat-Detoxification Clinic Offers Hope for WTC Responders, 2003
  • Report to the Utah Fourth District Juvenile Court, 2004

yes

yes

Background papers on detoxification reviewed by medical/scientific reviewers and CHKRC staff.

Theoretical Basis of Narconon Drug Prevention Program

yes

yes

n/a

Narconon Drug Education Program (Narconon Overview, pp. 78-83)

yes

yes

n/a

Standards Correlation

yes

yes

This document links NDAP to the California Health Framework.

Narconon Drug Abuse Prevention Specialist Manual

  • Principles and Objectives
  • Drug Abuse Prevention Theory
  • Drug Information
  • Elementary School Presentation Outline
  • Middle School Presentation Outline
  • High School Presentation Outline
  • Science References
  • Presentation Tips
  • Questions Frequently Asked by Students
  • Teacher and Student Responses
  • Recommended Reading

yes

yes

n/a

Student Worksheets

yes

yes

Available for teachers to use after school presentations

Marijuana, The Myth, video for teenagers

yes

yes

Video reportedly not used by Narconon presenters. However, made available by Narconon network to schools for presentation to middle and high school students.

The Truth About Drugs video

yes

yes

Two brief video clips of portions of Narconon live talks

The Truth About Kids and Drugs video

n/a

yes

Video for unspecified audience, appears to target adults

Ten Things Your Friends May not Know About Drugs, student booklet

yes

yes

Student booklet not usually distributed at or after Narconon presentations, but made available to schools for distribution to students.

Datasheet on Presentation Dosage

n/a

yes

Documentation of Narconon presentations to New England area schools

Training DVD of Two Narconon Video Properties

n/a

yes

Copies of two Narconon videos on DVD: Marijuana the Myth (video for teenagers) and The Truth About Kids and Drugs (unspecified audience, appears to target adults). No training information was found.

Narconon promotional materials

  • Event descriptions
  • Photographs
  • Teacher letters and student surveys *
  • DVD/video of community events, award ceremony footage, montage of drug prevention events.

*

yes

* Outside reviewers reviewed a sampling of teacher letters and student survey responses

Materials made available to schools that were requested but not provided for review:

Lesson plans, presentation scripts and/or videotapes of classroom presentations, including those offered on the Narconon Web site:

The Narconon presentations are divided into several subjects. They are geared to the appropriate age groups and focus on the real life situations that often lead to drug use.

Materials available from Narconon:

Videotapes of live, complete Narconon classroom presentations to California students.

Selecting, screening and training of presenters including training to ensure fidelity of implementation and standardization of the presentations across presenters. (Note: Limited information provided, including presenter application form, and statement describing training in footnote of this report.)

Calendar or schedule of presentations that will provide information on the cycling of presentations (i.e., how Narconon makes NDAP not a one-time experience), duration and dosage. (Note: Only New England data provided.)

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Appendix C 

Examples of Inaccurate and Misleading Information in NDAP Presentations and Other Instructional Materials Made Available to Schools

Examples of Inaccurate Information

  1. "Many drugs cause the body to use certain nutrients at an abnormally high rate. Once the drug has worn off, the body is somewhat depleted of nutrients, with associated negative symptoms. Continuing drug use further depletes body stores of vitamins, minerals and precursors to various cellular components including neurotransmitters." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 4.2) "Marijuana burns up calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and about 15 other nutrients that are attacked almost instantly." (Marijuana the Myth, student video). Most drugs, including marijuana, do not burn up vitamins.

  2. "Smoking marijuana burns up nutrients at such a fast rate that it causes the munchies." (Marijuana the Myth, student video). Burning up nutrients is not the mechanism that causes "the munchies."

  3. "Vitamins are burnt up by drugs (sic). . . . Like other drugs, alcohol uses up vitamins in your body so you feel tired or sick after drinking it. This is what causes a 'hangover.' If alcohol uses too many vitamins, a person's body can start shaking and sweating. . . . Anytime you take drugs, they burn up some of your body's vitamins. If you take enough drugs, later you may feel bad or get sick. What happens if you keep taking drugs to feel better, but each time the drugs burn up your vitamins? The problem gets WORSE." (Student booklet). Most drugs do not "burn up" vitamins, and vitamin depletion is not the primary source of damage or mechanisms of tolerance and addiction.

  4. "Chemicals (in marijuana smoke) can stay in the body for months or even years. Also marijuana contains THC, a "neurotoxin" (a poison that damages nerves.) When someone smokes pot, it makes two things happen: 1) There's almost an immediate burnup of vitamins and minerals in the body. 2) The nervous system changes and the nerves in the body go numb. Each time someone gets "high", they don't feel quite as high as they did before and each time they feel a little worse afterwards. Eventually, pot smokers don't want the drug . . . they NEED the drug to get rid of the unwanted conditions the drugs created in their bodies, such as pain and discomfort from vitamin deficiencies." (Student booklet). THC is not a neurotoxin; smoking marijuana does not burn up vitamins and minerals; many marijuana smokers do not become addicted; and desire for marijuana does not result from vitamin deficiencies resulting from burned-up nutrients. Marijuana chemicals staying in the body for years is speculative. Moreover, the issue of THC remaining in fat stores beyond 30 days does not have widely accepted evidence of clinical significance.

  5. "Drugs can stay in the body for a long time after you take them. Many drugs get stored in fat . . . later when the person is working, or exercising at the gym, or hiking, the fat burns up and a tiny amount of the drug can go back into the vein. This can make a person feel some of the effects of the drug again. This person also gets a tiny "taste" of that drug again. . . . so he may still want drugs even years after he's stopped taking drugs." (Student Booklet). Not all drugs are stored in adipose (fat) tissue for a long time, and many are metabolized quickly, not having recurring effect. There is no widely-accepted evidence that burning fat releases enough drug to cause relapse.

  6. "So does THC dissolve easily in blood? ("No.") Right. But right next to the blood is fat, and THC melts easily into fat. So where do you think the THC is going to go? ('Into the fat.')" (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 2.2) "Because fat is so close to veins and blood that THC instantly mixes with fat and goes into the fat." (Marijuana the Myth, student video) Inaccurate statement implying because fat is "right next" to blood that THC melts directly into fat. Metabolism of THC is more complex.

Examples of Misleading Information

  1. "So if a person smokes weed on Friday, is he clean on Monday? . . . THC can circulate in the body for weeks after the last joint. . . . Other drugs can also leave residues in the body. . . The damages that drugs do accumulate . . . Drugs can damage your lungs . . . your liver . . . your kidneys . . . your brain . . . your nerves—a lot of things." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 2.3) Misleading to infer that problems of chronic substance abuse result from sporadic use or isolated experimentation.

  2. "Of all those thousands of chemicals, there is only one that the person wants; there is only one that is the reason why people smoke tobacco, and that is the drug. Who knows what the drug in tobacco is? (Hands up. 'Nicotine!') Right!" (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts (6.1). Nicotine dependence is only one reason why people smoke; there are social and cultural reasons why people use tobacco. Nicotine dependence is an important reason they cannot stop.

  3. After a kid smokes marijuana twice: "Your body is pretty smart, and a poison that comes your way, if it doesn't kill you, the next time it comes your way, your body has built up a defense against it. It won't effect you (sic) quite as strongly as the time before. That is called tolerance. So if he wants to get up as high as before, what is he going to have to do? ('Use more!')" (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts (7.3) It is misleading to infer that marijuana is a poison, and protecting against a poison does not accurately reflect the processes of tolerance. Also, tolerance does not necessarily develop at second use.

  4. "Doctors don't give drugs to healthy people." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 1.3) Implies that healthy people are not given drugs by a doctor. There are reasons to take prescribed drugs when a person is healthy: aspirin, pain killers, allergy medications, and other drugs to maintain normal functioning when subject to chronic illnesses like diabetes.

  5. "The same drug can have different effects. A small amount of a drug can speed a person up. More of that same drug can slow the person down. Too much of that drug taken too quickly can harm and possibly even kill the person." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 2.1) Not all drugs first act as a stimulant and then with larger doses act as a depressant, e.g., LSD, valium.

  6. "Have you ever seen someone drink so much alcohol that they actually passed out? (Almost every hand up.) This is called a coma. The dictionary says that a coma is a state of deep unconsciousness caused by disease, injury or poison. A coma is not a good thing, but in a case like this, it could save the person's life; if he keeps drinking, he could kill himself." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 2.1) Coma can lead to death, and it is misleading to say a coma, in this case, could save a person's life.

  7. "Of all these chemicals, there is only one that is the reason people smoke marijuana. The chemical that makes people feel high is called THC. . . If THC wasn't in there nobody would ever smoke marijuana." (Elementary, middle, and high school presentation scripts, 2.2). There are other reasons people smoke marijuana, for example, experimentation, desire for social approval, etc.

  8. "Drugs are basically poisons. Drugs are basically toxins, or more simply, poisons."(Student booklet). Although all drug use involves various levels of risk (and can be toxic at certain dosages), it is misleading to call drugs poisons.

  9. "A small amount (of a drug) acts as a stimulant . . . A greater amount acts as a sedative. . . A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill you. This is true of almost any drug." (Student booklet). This effect depends more on the type of drug, rather than the amount. Although ultimately, all drugs can sedate if a lethal dose is taken, this overstatement is confusing.

  10. "Almost all drugs affect the mind."(Student booklet). This overstatement is misleading.

  11. "Anyone who takes drugs does it to avoid problems or get rid of some pain or unwanted feelings, including boredom. To understand why someone takes drugs now, you need to know what was wrong to know what was wrong (sic) before he or she took them." (Student booklet). People take drugs for many reasons, including health. Young people, in particular, often take drugs because they are curious, or want to experiment, rebel, be socially accepted, etc.

  12. "When a drug wears off the person wants more. When any drug wears off, the pain or other feeling that went away comes back harder than before." (Student booklet). Not everyone wants more, and the problems are not always worse. Some people do not like the drugs they try and never use them again.

  13. "Drugs ruin creativity." (Student booklet). This statement is unsupported by widely accepted, scientific evidence.

  14. "Drugs dull all your senses. . . . drugs block off all feelings. Eventually any kind of feeling becomes harder to experience." (Student booklet). Overstated and misleading. Some drugs are described as enhancing the senses and feelings. Some people cite this perceived enhancement as the reason they take the drug.

  15. "Anyone who takes drugs takes them as a solution to a problem he already has . . . there is ALWAYS a problem before the drugs . . ." (Student booklet). People take drugs for many reasons that have nothing to do with problems.

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Appendix D

Terms Used in NDAP Elementary, Middle, and High School Presentations

Drug
Stimulant
Dose
Depressant
Dosage
Toxin
Caffeine
Overdose
Alcohol
Coma
Bloodstream
Circulate
Body's Tissues
Metabolized
Eliminated
Excreted
Metabolites
Residues
Marijuana
THC
Chemicals
Accumulate
Addiction
Nutrients
Depleted
Associated Negative Symptoms
Vitamins
Minerals
Precursors
Cellular
Components
Neurotransmitters
Symptoms
Deficiencies
Cramping
Calcium
Nervousness
Anxiety
Magnesium
Imbalances
Metabolism
Tolerance
Continuum
Addicts
Advertising
Pervasive
Provoke
Virtue
Excessive
Nicotine
Cancer
Insecticide
Lethal Dose
Milligrams
Overt
Restricted
Industry
Subtle Product Positioning
Enthusiasm
Cheerfulness
Boredom
Anger
Fear
Grief
Apathy
Emotional State
Predispose
Constructive
Emotional Discomfort
Goals
Principles
Major
Freedom
Barriers
Pursuit

Note: Bold signifies those terms for which the presentation content or delivery scripts include a definition for students.

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Appendix E

Personal Experiences with Drug Abuse Reported by Former Drug Users-Narconon Graduates in Marijuana the Myth (student video)

Note: Repeated, personal testimonials about negative consequences is indicative of scare tactics, which have been shown to be ineffective. In addition, this is a video about marijuana, yet the former drug abusers talk about the consequences of their "drug use" with a few references to ecstasy and heroin use. This lack of distinction between different types of drugs and between drug use and abuse may mislead student viewers to conclude that marijuana use always leads to other drug abuse or by itself directly caused these outcomes.

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Appendix F

General Developmental Guidelines for Addressing Specific Drugs Within the NDAP Presentations

Note: Bold drugs are identified in the Developmental Guidelines as appropriate for grade level—but no delivery script, language, suggestions or examples for addressing these drugs with students was provided in the presentation outlines.

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Questions:   Coordinated School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0914
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