On June 5, The Frederick News-Post published an editorial recommending that the Narconon issue needs to be dealt with at the state level. The News-Post reasonably argued that the County Council’s vote on the historical designation of the Trout Run property is merely a short-term solution. Since I sit on the Health and Government Operations Committee in the House of Delegates, I believe that this is an issue that very closely aligns with our work.

State law requires a substance abuse treatment program — defined as any individual or organization that provides treatment, care, or rehabilitation for individuals who show the effects of drug abuse or alcohol abuse, and represents or advertises itself as an alcohol abuse or drug abuse treatment program — to be certified by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene before program services are provided. At my request, the legal staff of HGO has checked with a DHMH staff member who oversees this area. DHMH believes that the statute gives them all the authority they need to approve and regulate these programs. DHMH has not yet received an application from Narconon.

The certification requirements are clearly defined in the regulation (www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=10.47.01). The regulations establish requirements for all alcohol and drug treatment programs in the areas of governance, clinical requirements, environmental requirements, staff requirements, patient rights and grievance procedures, program records, outcome evaluation, and referral agreements and program cooperation.

The regulations establish additional requirements according to the type of treatment provided, in the areas of early intervention, outpatient services, intensive outpatient services, residential services (ranging from low to high intensity), medically monitored inpatient services, detoxification services and maintenance therapy.

The Narconon issue has become highly emotional. Decisions regarding their suitability should not be influenced by these factors or any religious connection that the organization might have. The state of Maryland has a very detailed approval process in place that critically evaluates scientific and medical practices and outcomes.

Nevertheless, given that Narconon has no evidence of independent endorsements of their program, and the state of Georgia has recently banned their facilities, many of us will be watching very closely to ensure that an application submitted by their organization meets the strictest definition of the law.

Delegate Karen Lewis Young

writes from Frederick. She represents District 3A in the Maryland House of Delegates.

(5) comments


Thank you for paying attention to this and committing to continue to watch this issue closely Karen Lewis Young!


Sounds like Karen is doing her job.


Karen we will be watching also to make sure you follow up on this


Thank you Karen Young!


For what???

DHMH has not yet received an application from Narconon.....we already knew this. If their intentions were to open a drug rehab center and truly help us with our drug problem don't you think that would have been one of the first things they did? ...Apply for a license...

Nevertheless, given that Narconon has no evidence of independent endorsements of their program...nor will they ever be able to because there is none...we already knew this.

Narconon had no intention of EVER opening a "drug rehab" center at Trout Run, you do realize that right? This "drug rehab" was just a ploy to get the zoning which they did and then to influence the HPC which they did. Both boards were played into believing the lies. . Luckily the County Council was not.

Karen should have pointed this stuff out WAY BEFORE now..thing is why didn't she write this letter months ago?

Kinda late to the game here dontcha think?

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