December 12th, 2013
10:13 PM ET

Treatment center in "affluenza" case

Ethan Couch, the Texas teenager who killed four people while driving drunk, will spend the next year at California's Newport Academy instead of a prison cell. His father is footing the bill which is about $500,000. For that money Couch will get to stay in a facility that in 2009 Treatment magazine called "the most beautiful treatment facility in the industry." It offers equine therapy, an on-site gym, art therapy, yoga, meditation, and individual nutritional counseling. Anderson discussed this with Dr. Drew Pinsky, along with Newport Academy CEO Jamison Monroe Jr.
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Filed under: "Affluenza" • Dr. Drew
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rick

    If this kid's rich parents hire a good lawyer to claim this ridiculous "afluenza" defense; then aren't they in effect admitting their guild and culpability in the situation? And so, shouldn't they at least face some jail time and be forced to take responsibility for his actions? And I also agree with the comment by Whidbey Island pointing out how contradictory it is to say this is a result of never having to have taken responsibility for anything, and in turn he is given no penalty or responsibility for what he did. Doesn't this just perpetuate his supposed "alfluenza"? Another word for ENTITLEMENT by the way.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Lisa

      Even he isn't facing jail time despite four people dying.

      December 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm |
  2. robert miller

    God bless the people whos lives he has ended! Not to mention all the people who will never see there mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, loved ones! But to know hes in a 500000 treatment center that offers horse back riding, yoga, and other brutal forms of punishment!!! Maybe they can sleep well! Think about this people, does your bank account dictate your punishment in America .

    December 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  3. Gail W

    As a former Probation Officer and social welfare major, everyone has problems and disfunction in their lives: everyone would love to live at this facility and probably everyone would benefit from it. This is not a punishment for, nor a 'placing reponsibility' for his actions on this young man. As the court essentially found the parents reponsible for his actions; the court should have punished them accordingly. Jail time is the norm in our society for having taken a life. Not a year long refective spa vacation.

    December 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  4. Whidbey Island

    I'm confused. This poor little rich kid killed 4 people. His attorney argued, and the judge agreed, he wasn't responsible because he was never given consequences for his bad behavior growing up. Wasn't this the perfect opportunity to give him the consequences they criticized his parents for not giving him? I must be dense, because it seems completely contradictory. Oh well, he'll probably learn his lesson at the $500,000 a year rehab (spa) facility his parents are sending him to. And after they pay for all that, they probably won't have anything left over for the paralyzed survivor whose family already owes $1,000,000 in medical bills.

    December 16, 2013 at 4:04 am |
  5. Douglas

    Can we stop calling it "Affluenza"?! If he were a child from a different socio-economic group he would be called a murderer. I also think that if this type of treatment is the best situation, why is it not offered to other children that have found themselves in trouble with the law?

    December 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  6. Mel

    Of course that guy is going to defend that kid going to his facility. He will receive $450k!! That $450k should go to the VICTIMS FAMILIES for the rest of THEIR lives!

    December 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  7. Lili

    I simply cannot believe that a judge would dole out a sentence like this to someone who killed four people. The judge just proved that Ethan Couch's actions have little consequences.

    December 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  8. Mimi Mayer

    No amount of money will erase the guilt that that young man will have to live with for the rest of his life. Having lost a brother to a drunk driver, I definitely can see and feel the pain that the families who lost a loved one are experiencing. But the family of this young man is also suffering, and will continue to suffer. It is a no-win. All the families implode.

    December 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  9. Deena S.

    Anderson, have you checked to see if this Newport Academy rehab place is a Scientology affiliated center? There are many Scientology cult front groups, with different names operating across USA which are directly controlled by the cult and turns these young kids in to an obedient cult members.
    Hope this center is not one of them.

    December 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  10. samjmpkj

    "This Kid" is a person who lacks any sembelence of affection. He is a victim of his g-d forsaken invitorment. He's not sick, he's empty. Dah!

    December 13, 2013 at 5:01 am |
  11. nystromfoundation

    This affluenza idea is actually an edpidemic. Look at the fraternity kid who died as a result of a hazing ritual, the boy who died in a gym mat, the situation of the girl who was raped while drunk in Ohio. It is an epidemic of teens in the US. I work with US teens and have been appalled at the lack of consciousness of consequences, no ability to empathize, lack of connection to others. Parents have to have the courage to counteract the influence of culture on their kids. Look at the parental responsiblity for this...

    December 13, 2013 at 4:52 am |
    • Ange Tekam

      Parents are over worked and have no time for connection with their kids. Bounding takes time, it helps the child's brain connect to the right feelings and distinguish between feelings. None of that is done in a vaccum. Holding 2 or 3 jobs, being the over worked ceo or manager of some sort, reporter s, nurses, debt collectors, call center reps with screaming customers,...etc... is almost always distant even when they are home because of thier own need of rest , It takes away from parents ability to guide their child's emotional development, growth. From one generation to the next, some of these emotions will be lost, because they were never transfered to the next generation.

      December 18, 2013 at 7:33 am |
  12. nystromfoundation

    How about the parents also foot the bill for the bereaved loved ones and the boy who is left paralyzed? And maybe other kids who are drunk drivers. That might even out the playing field...Or at least an attempt to.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:49 am |
  13. Vince Maldonado


    This is a case of social economics; a case of "haves" and "have not's". As a society we now have the ability to demand that contractors not use Cleburne Metal Works for any construction projects. I have looked up the company's website and found that many city buildings and churches in the area used Cleburne Metal Works. Therefore, we should boycott any future projects of this company and demand that contractors not use this company for any construction projects. Furthermore, there should be an investigation into whether or not this company or its owners were contributors to the judges campaign, which may have influenced the outcome of this trial.

    December 13, 2013 at 2:04 am |

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