The Law: NARCOTICS: Testing Synanon

Testing Synanon

Close to 90% of drug addicts at federal hospitals suffer relapses once they are released. At Synanon, a privately run California halfway house for narcotics users, a combination of selfhelp, trust and group therapy has lowered the figure to as little as 20%. So successful is Synanon that five affiliates have sprung up across the U.S. Nonetheless, California Narcotic Authority agents raided Synanon's beach-front building in Santa Monica last month and removed Alyce Mae Walker, 27, and Richie Marks, 34, two of the 700 voluntary inmates.

Both Marks and Walker were...