The craziest thing for me about the teen treatment industry is how long this con has gone on. I mean, I became a statistic 26 years ago. In 2004 (that’s 12 years ago for you English majors), the National Institute of Health released a statement recommending residential care as a treatment of last resort. And in 2007, the U.S. Government Office of Accountability published a report documenting thousands of episodes of abuse in such facilities, even death. And that statement doesn’t even address the residual mental health cost. Yet people still send their kids away.
My suggestion? Try emancipation first. Or grandparents. Or just let your kid breathe.
Jesse Hyde over at Rolling Stone wrote a great feature on a boot camp in New Mexico that I’ve been thinking about since November. And my fellow alum Theresa Rosado has continued her series on our alma mater, New Horizons Youth Ministries. To Hell and Back, Part Two, traces NHYM’s rise in Michigan, and Part Three explores its exodus to Indiana and the Dominican Republic. Check them out.