Scientology detox advice 'could kill patients'
November 22, 2010
The Northern Territory Department of Health has warned the Church of Scientology not to give people medical advice on how to detox from drugs and alcohol.
A volunteer Scientology minister in Tennant Creek has been handing out pamphlets suggesting vitamin supplements can treat drug addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
Medical staff at Tennant Creek hospital say the treatment could be fatal if it is used by people on dialysis.
The chief executive of the Barkly Regional Alcohol and Drug Action Group says his staff turned away a Scientology minister handing out detox advice in Tennant Creek last week.
Stuart Naylor says detoxing from drug and alcohol abuse can be a dangerous process.
"Basically if anybody's wanting to withdraw they need to seek medical attention," he said.
The Church of Scientology now says the pamphlet should never have been distributed in Tennant Creek.
The health department has issued a warning to the church saying it should not provide medical advice.
Church spokeswoman Virginia Stewart says the volunteer who was handing out the booklet made a mistake.
"The booklet isn't something that we hand out to people in that way," she said.
"That was an error and it should never have happened, and that person got corrected and is collecting everything back."
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