STHS using questionable anti-drug program


Even though the California Department of Education in 2005 warned districts against using Narconon as a viable drug prevention curriculum, the group is still in schools – including South Tahoe High School.

“Yes, Narconon has sent a guest presenter to the Health Seminar class at STHS. They share curriculum with the students to have them avoid drug use and abuse,” STHS Principal Ivone Larson told Lake Tahoe News.

She said the curriculum includes:

• The difference between taking a drug for a necessary reason and taking a drug for a recreational reason.

• The dangers of drugs (overdose, addiction).

• Goal setting.

• The presenters’ “story” all have been past addicts who have recovered at the Narconon facilities.

• The process of addiction.

• The affects of drugs on the nervous system.

• The affects on driving.

The state’s issue with Narconon is that it was developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology and Dianetics.

The state Department of Education has not changed its stance since first writing on Feb. 24, 2005, “Narconon’s drug prevention program does not reflect accurate, widely-accepted medical and scientific evidence.”

Larson said, “They are on the list of Health Seminar presenters because they share their story of drug abuse and how it has affected their lives. We continue to use a variety of resources to address current topics in the Health Seminar class that meet the needs of all our students.”

Narconon presenters at STHS are not allowed to not leave a phone number for students call, hand out any information, recruit, discuss their program’s steps or the philosophy behind it, Larson said.

Melody Easton, South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition coordinator, said, “I don’t know enough about this to comment.”

Narconon has an office in South Lake Tahoe, though it is not regularly staffed.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report


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Comments (8)
  1. oh brother says - Posted: May 30, 2014

    Melody Easton, South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition coordinator, said, “I don’t know enough about this to comment.” Hello!!! Really Go Back To School.

    And as for Yvonne Larson, she might be a good grant writer, but as a principal with all her cameras and cops. In my eyes she has failed to protect my children at that high school on several occasions!!!

  2. Free Minds, Free Hearts says - Posted: May 30, 2014

    Melody Easton and Ivone Larson should know that Narconon is a dangerous fraud, a front group for Scientology, and does not provide treatment. In fact it provides only Scientology coursework. Narconon preys on vulnerable families and can result in death. The staff are not certified and there are no medical professionals on site.

    The problems are becoming more obvious every week with new lawsuits being filed documenting the fraud and the use of Narconon as a recruitment opportunity for Scientology.

    Narconon is currently being sued for fraud by families of patients in 10 federal lawsuits – see ( Four of the fraud lawsuits are against California Narconon facilities.

    Last week, Narconon was also sued for fraud in federal court by National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) for faking credentials (see

    In August 2013, Narconon’s medical detox at its flagship facility in Arrowhead, Oklahoma lost its state certification after the deaths of three patients in a period of months (

    In September 2013, the Narconon in Atlanta, Georgia closed down to avoid being charged with fraud (

    Narconon in Quebec was closed down by the health department in 2012 because of danger to patients, four of whom had been hospitalized because of methods used by Narconon.

  3. VtToTahoe says - Posted: May 31, 2014

    It’s a little scary that a simple Google search reveals so much negative press yet our high school is using them as a resource for educating our kids. Perhaps a staff member is a Scientologist…

  4. Hmmm... says - Posted: May 31, 2014

    Not exactly ‘Clear’. They have an ‘office’ in South Lake Tahoe that is not regularly staffed? What the hell does that mean?

  5. go figure says - Posted: May 31, 2014

    Education on drug use and abuse should start at home. We, the parents, should be setting the example and giving our kids age appropriate knowledge about what is before them, how to make choices, what those choices mean in the real world, and about the consequences. If we leave their education to schools or to the streets than we will all suffer the consequences.

  6. Wond'ring Aloud says - Posted: June 1, 2014

    Narconon also has a residential treatment facility here in Tahoe-is that also ‘not regularly staffed’?