Protest Planned At Scientology Based Drug Rehab Center In OK
SAYRE, Oklahoma - The heat continues to build against a Scientology based drug rehab center on Lake Eufaula.
A protest is planned for the facility this weekend, as a State Senator says he will try to shut down the controversial program.
All that is addition to lawsuits from all three families of those who recently died at the facility that could be filed as early as this week.
Gabriel Graves, Hillary Holton and Stacey Murphy were all under the care of Narconon's Arrowhead facility within the last nine months when they died.
"The bottom line is three deaths in nine months is unacceptable, if this was a state run facility they would have been shut down immediately," said Sen. Tom Ivester (D) Sayer.
Narconon is licensed by the state as a non-medical rehab facility which means it's not regulated as closely as a medical program.
But Senator Ivester of Sayer says he will begin pushing for stricter regulations of what he calls unorthodox drug treatment programs like Narconon.
"I'd like to see a regulated facility that's safe for its patients and a legitimate rehab facility, that's not a rip off or just a scam," said Ivester.
Former patients have told News 9 Narconon's drug treatment involves high doses of the vitamin Niacin, and five hours in a Sauna.
Attorney's representing those who have died at the facility also allege there isn't proper medical staff on hand and patients are denied essential medication.
The CEO of Narconon argues the facility employees 190 rehabilitation and nursing staff.
But Ivester says clearly something isn't right and he vows to do what he can to stop it.
"I want the facility to be safe and secure for the patients that are there and second I want a reputable drug treatment center," said Ivester. "We owe that to the citizens."
That protest of the facility is this Saturday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.
The state department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Pittsburg County District Attorney's office is investigating the facility.