A 16-year-old drunken driver who escaped jail time for killing four people because he suffers from “affluenza” will apparently get treatment for his “affliction” in the capital of “affluenza:” Newport Beach.
Affluenza was described by the defense for Ethan Couch as what he “suffers” from because his parents are rich and have never given him boundaries. They looked the other way when Ethan drank, as he did one night when he killed a mother, her daughter, another young woman and a pastor along the side of a Texas road.
Only 16, so not old enough to even be consuming alcohol legally, Couch had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit and was speeding. The four counts of manslaughter he faced could have put him in prison for up to 20 years. But the judge sentenced him to 10 years probation and time served at a residential rehab.
Because the affluenza made Ethan do it.
A CNN story on this has sparked outrage and the revelation that Couch's family will spend about a half million dollars for treatment at the Newport Academy, which is based in Newport Beach but has homes elsewhere in Orange County and around the country.
“Newport Academy is dedicated to providing comprehensive, gender-specific, integrated treatment programs for adolescent males and females in an environment of caring and compassion by which teens and their families may recover from the destructive effects of substance abuse and related behavioral health issues,” reads the literature.
No mention is made of treating affluenza, but according to The Fix, Newport Academy offers “equine-assisted psychotherapy” and mixed martial arts. The teen rehab center is described as being “two red-tile-roofed, Spanish-style residences” that are “15 miles northeast of downtown Newport Beach, amid bougainvillea and rose gardens.”
That goes with the rose-colored world some are fortunate enough to be born into.