What Measures Success with Treatment at Narconon Arrowhead

What Measures Success with Treatment at Narconon Arrowhead

As part of a compilation of studies and reviews of the effectiveness of the Narconon drug rehab program over the past 40 years, the flagship Narconon Arrowhead center in Oklahoma has recently published a pair of Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM) reports. The two reports date from 2006 and 2007, and they represent some of the most recent studies on the success rates achieved through the Narconon program. The administrative team at Narconon Arrowhead implemented its ROM program as a measure to act upon the recommendations that the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has been making for two decades. Specifically, SAMHSA has been urging drug rehab centers nationwide to perform outcome monitoring as an accountability and quality-control step to ensure that they were getting the results that they promised and to assist them in achieving even better outcomes. After all, the outcome of drug rehab boils down to nothing less than a salvaged life, a person who is no longer living life in the grips of an addiction that could prove to be fatal in the long-term. Looking at the situation from this viewpoint, it is clear that a rehab program has every reason to perform qualifications steps such as the one that Narconon Arrowhead uses with its ROM program.

The Narconon ROM system is based directly off of the guidelines recommended by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, which are in turn developed from the recommendations featured in the Government Performance Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010. These detailed several core client-outcome measures that can be used to determine whether or not a rehab program is working, including:

  • Is the individual engaging in substance abuse?
  • Is the individual engaging in criminal activity, has he or she been arrested or incarcerated?
  • Is the individual enjoying mental and physical health?
  • What are the individual’s family and living conditions?
  • Is the individual gainfully employed or pursuing an education?
  • To what degree is the individual connected socially?

Most rehab treatment centers do not perform this type of follow-up, for the simple reason that it is too costly in terms of time and resources. The fact that Narconon Arrowhead does run its own outcome monitoring program serves as an indication of just how dedicated they are to producing the best possible results for the people who come to them for help. The above criteria have been used to develop a survey that incorporates 18 outcome measures to ascertain whether or not a program graduate is still doing well, and to pinpoint any areas that may need help.

Results of Narconon Arrowhead Implementing an Outcome Monitoring Program

As soon as the Narconon Arrowhead center implemented its ROM program, they saw remarkable improvements in the quality of their results. This fact can be clearly seen by examining the statistical data obtained through the program. The data for the first ROM were gathered in May of 2006, and it involved surveying 80% of the 65 students who had graduated the program approximately 6 months previous. It was found that 67.3% of the program graduates were drug free over the past 30 days, and that an additional 15.4% had used no drug except for social alcohol, by which is meant not drinking to get drunk. Altogether, this adds up to 82.7% of graduates remaining sober over the past 30 days. Over the course of the six months since graduating, 51.9% said that they had been drug and alcohol free. The initial ROM found that 76.9% of graduates were either fully employed or were in school full time, and 96.2% were arrest free. Not even a full year passed before Narconon Arrowhead performed its second ROM. In February 2007, they contacted 95% of 37 graduates who had completed the program roughly 6 months earlier. They found that the number who were drug-free over the past 30 days had jumped to 76.5% drug free over the past 30 days, while 8.8% had only used alcohol socially, for a combined total of 85% of graduates being drug-free in the past month. Even more impressive was the increase in the number of graduates who had remained entirely sober in the 6 months since graduating, which shot up from 51.9% to 76.5%. Furthermore, the number of students who were gainfully employed or in school climbed to 86%, while 97.1% of graduates were arrest free. The implementation of the ROM program caused significant improvements across the boards. Why was this such an effective course of action?

In the words of the Narconon Arrowhead Executive Director, the program works by keeping the entire organization’s eye on the ball, ensuring that the student’s needs are being met at every stage of the program. There is no arguing with results.