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The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program

The first major barrier that one encounters when starting the rehabilitation process is an intense craving for the drugs that were being taken. These cravings can become so overwhelming that they force many people to leave rehab before they have been able to benefit from treatment.

The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, placed early in the process of recovery, is said by many to help them overcome these intense cravings for drugs or alcohol.  It is important to note that   all New Life Detoxification Program participants must undergo a medical examination by a qualified physician to determine if the program participant can safely participate in this process.

The New Life Detoxification Program delivered at Narconon Arrowhead is a unique procedure that combines time in a dry, low-heat sauna with moderate daily exercise and a specific regimen of nutritional supplements. For more than thirty-five years, this procedure has been helping people addicted to drugs and alcohol to successfully manage drug and alcohol cravings often associated with relapse. What most commonly results is an improved state of health, restored natural energy and a healthier outlook on life and succeeding in recovery.  Here’s how and why the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program works.

Drug Residues Lodge in Fat Tissues

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When drugs are consumed, the body begins to metabolize or break them down so they can be eliminated. When the drugs have been broken down, what is left are metabolites that are unique to each drug taken. Metabolites are what show up on drug tests, not the actual drug.

Drugs and metabolites are eliminated through urine, feces and sweat, but some residues are left behind from incomplete elimination. Instead, these traces tend to be stored in one’s fatty tissue. That’s because drugs, in general, dissolve better in oil than in water so they are attracted to the fat stored in the body. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is so fat-soluble that when it is consumed, most of it rapidly leaves the bloodstream and lodges in the fatty tissues of the body. From there, it is released back into the bloodstream over a period of days or weeks.

Each person’s fat is used by the body in the process of creating hormones that affect mood, energy and immunity. Chronic use of drugs disrupts this process. This disruption is one of the factors that cause cravings, as the body attempts to correct the disturbance by craving what it lacks or a similar substance such as the drugs that originally caused the problem.

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Stored Drugs, Drug Memories and Relapse

What do stored drug residues have to do with drug memories and relapse?

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Each time a person uses drugs or alcohol, he or she retains a memory of that experience including all the emotions and sensations that were present. Even if the person blacks out, the experience is still recorded in the mind. When someone is addicted, their memories also include the pain and sickness of any time they went through withdrawal.

Later in life, a person’s body may need to break down fat cells for fuel when the heart rate speeds up due to exercise or emotional stress. If those fat cells contain the metabolites stored from earlier drug use, those residues will be released into the bloodstream and, on a physical level, will present the body with reminders of the earlier drug use.

Here’s where the those stored drugs and drug memories come together. The metabolites are re-activated into the bloodstream and trigger those memories, emotions and sensations from the past. A person is susceptible to relapse as these old feelings and emotions are triggered. This is why relapse sometimes occurs without warning, even years after drug use stopped

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Removing the Residues

To eliminate these residues from the body each person exercises at a moderate level for a specified period of time and then spends time in a sauna. The saunas used for this process are set at a lower temperature than most health club saunas but it is sufficient to cause continuous sweating.

Participants are encouraged and directed to maintain a regular schedule of sleep and a healthy diet during this process as that assists in the elimination of toxins from the body. A special regimen of nutritional supplements that includes niacin and a beneficial combination of cold-pressed oils enables the body to reach into the fat reserves and release these residues.

Each person going through this process is carefully monitored every day. Their time in the sauna and outside the sauna, showering and cooling off, is recorded. Any cravings or changes in mood are noted. A trained supervisor recommends any changes in their supplement schedule that might be needed to keep the detoxification process moving along.

Within three to five weeks for most people, there will be a sense of recovery from the effects of these drug residues. There may also be a recovery from exposure to other toxic substances, such as paint fumes, gasoline or other toxic chemicals one may have been exposed to. Statements from those completing describe a more positive outlook, brighter moods, clearer thinking and more energy. And significantly, many people say that their cravings are either greatly reduced or gone.

For many, this result means the end of a daily struggle with cravings. From this point, a person is freer to look ahead at the future steps of the healing process, toward the day he can return home and start a new sober life.

Elements of the Detoxification Program


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By Paul Onart

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