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Offline webdiva

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Today's Jersey Journal
« on: January 24, 2007, 03:20:39 PM »
KIDS: Few made it all the way to graduation
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Secaucus-based KIDS of North Jersey reportedly used drug treatment methods developed at STRAIGHT, Inc., a Florida center where Virgil Miller Newton III had served as national clinical director.

The five-phase program aimed to put the "negative influence of peer pressure" to positive use, and help individuals overcome substance abuse via the encouragement of their peers.

During treatment, patients were at the center for 18 hours a day, six days a week. They were overseen at the center by junior and senior staffers, many of whom were former patients without formal training.

First-phase patients, called "newcomers," stayed with parents of other patients and weren't allowed to speak about anything but their addictions. They did not attend school, were not allowed to speak to members of the opposite sex, read, play outside, or eat sugar, among other restrictions.

Second-phase patients had many of the same restrictions, but were now responsible for the well-being of first phase patients, and could speak about issues other than addiction.

Third-phase patients were allowed to hold jobs or attend school, depending on their age.

Fourth-and fifth-phase patients were allowed to watch television and develop relationships with members of the opposite sex.

However, it is unclear how many patients ever progressed to even the third phase. In 1996, only two patients graduated from the center; in 1997, none did.

Former patients at the Secaucus center and at other centers run by Newton have alleged they were held against their will, misdiagnosed, and abused during their treatment. Patients deemed to be "uncooperative" or "inattentive" were often deprived of the right to speak and were screamed at and pushed by staffers.


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RIP Steve Matthews and all those we have lost along the way!