There are almost as many treatments for drug addiction as causes for it. One of the so called "alternative therapies" is Narconon.
This treatment looks at handling the causes of the addiction, as well as the addicition itself. It is controversial inasmuch as it is based upon the writings and beliefs of Ron L. Hubbard. One time science fiction author and founder of the "religion" of scientology.
The basic premise is to try and look at an individual's own position as a start to treating the actual addicition. This program does not make use of any drugs to combat withdrawal symptoms. Rather using education and rehabilitation. The program is widely used in schools as preventative education, along with the schools own program, if they have one.
Advocates of the program commonly claim a 70% success rate with it in combatting drug abuse. As opposed to the more usual figure of around 30% for most other treatments. Narconon claims that addicts can resume normal life as a healthy, productive member of society, when they work with the program and stick with it.
Narconon have their own facilities, where drug addicts can be treated "in-house", or they can be treated as an out patient. Depending upon their level of drug abuse, and of course the wishes of the patient themselves, or more usually their partners/relatives.
The usual amount of time taken for the Narconon program to work effectively is between four to six months. During which time addicts are said to be "going back to school" to be re-educated on drugs, their use and abuse, the dangers of drugs and drug addiction, and of course eventual recovery. All done without the use of other pharmaceuticals to dull the pain of withdrawal.
Narconon has it's adversaries, just as Scientology itself. These opponents say the information used is not scientifically sound, and results are manipulated to show the program in a good light. They also say that the program is in effect brainwashing. Which of course it is, as are most programs designed to wean the brain off the effects of various substances.
Another point brought up is that the educational materials used in the Narconon program are not geared to the capabilities of the students involved. That the same materials are used for elementary level to high school level, and use many scientific terms without sufficient, or even any, explanation. This can make understanding quite hard for the younger students.
This being the case, it is still a fact that drug abuse is a massive problem worldwide, and it's causes and treatments are many. Narconon probably does have it's place in the scheme of things, and there is no doubt that many addicts have benefited from the program. Whether those people would have benefited equally from any other program is of course a matter for conjecture.