Church can keep its 'cure'
November 23, 2010
ALCOHOLISM is rife in the Territory, particularly among Aboriginal people.
The sight of drunks lurching around our streets — and the thought of people dying young from grog abuse — is distressing. It is, therefore, no wonder that some among us look for a silver bullet, the single cure–all that will rid the NT of this curse.
The Church of Scientology thinks it has the answer. It is peddling what has been called a "drug bomb" to indigenous people in Central Australia.
The concoction purportedly "cures" alcoholics of their dependency. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that it does any such thing; in fact, quite the opposite — it has the potential to be fatal. Luckily, alert health workers in Tennant Creek heard about the drug bomb treatment and contacted the Health Department in Darwin, which took action to stop the Church of Scientology spruiking this latter–day snake oil.
The Territory's alcohol problem is grave and has its causes deep within Aboriginal disadvantage. It is not going to be ended by people using indigenous Territorians as human guinea pigs for quack remedies.
Alcoholism can be treated only in a professional, medical way; its causes can be tackled as part of a general assault on Aboriginal disadvantage. The Church of Scientology would, no doubt, say it was only trying to help where all else has failed.
Well, its help is unwelcome.
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