In June of 2012, Christy Estrada was searching the Internet for an appropriate drug rehabilitation facility for her 19-year-old son, Branden Chavez, who was struggling with heroin addiction. Christy found a website belonging to Narconon Warner Springs that purported to provide help in finding an appropriate drug rehabilitation facility.
After Christy entered her personal information, the lawsuit claims that representatives from the website called Christy and immediately began to represent that Narconon’s Fresh Start program had a 70-80% success rate, even though Narconon has published no studies or other verifiable evidence to support their claimed success rates. Further, the complaint states that they represented that the sauna program had been scientifically proven as effective in reducing and eliminating drug cravings while also promising that her son would receive drug and addiction counseling from highly trained professionals.
After further coaxing, Christy borrowed and raised $23,000 for her son’s treatment, which she paid in cash to Narconon. She came up with another $10,000 three days later.
Branden, like all patients at Narconon, was required to undergo the sauna program. Narconon calls this program the “New Life Detoxication” program. Under the New Life Detoxification program, students first exercise vigorously before entering the sauna each day. On entering the sauna, Narconon requires each student to ingest increasing doses of Niacin and a “vitamin bomb.” Narconon increased Branden’s dosages of Niacin well beyond the recommended daily allowance. Narconon requires students to spend six hours per day for five weeks in a sauna at temperatures between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. There are no medical personnel overseeing Narconon students undergoing the sauna program. Narconon is aware that students routinely become ill during the New Life Detoxification program. Despite this awareness, Narconon failed to provide any on-site medical supervision of Branden or other patients who were undergoing the New Life Detoxification Program.
Branden received no education about substance abuse, its causes and effects, or methods to deal with his addiction. Instead, Branden received instruction only in Scientology.
Christy and Branden have filed a federal lawsuit claiming Breach of Contract, Fraud, and Negligence.
Attorneys David Miller and Jonathan Little are reviewing potential liability lawsuits for patients of Narconon. Call Mr. Little at (317) 721-9214 or fill out the form to see if you are eligible for a potential Narconon lawsuit.