Controversy Over Drug Program Extends to New Va. Clinic - 1983-01-02
The one-story brick building near an industrial park in Springfield seems as nondescript as the warehouses it borders. Inside the one-time sporting goods store, however, one of the toughest drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the country is waging what it calls a life-or-death battle for 143 children of the "chemical society."
For 12 hours and more every day, teen-aged patients, or "clients" of Straight, Inc. must come here to confess and renounce their habits in front of their peers. There is no sanctity of the confessional: Straight claims that through this "reality therapy" and concentrated peer pressure, it can excise the habit and the frustration and confusion that caused it.
According to William Oliver, Straight's national executive director, the organization turns "adolescent drug-users into highly motivated, goal-oriented, drug-free members of society." He and other Straight officials claim that the drug and alcohol treatment program has had a 60 to 70 percent success rate among some 3,000 patients treated around the country since the program was founded in Florida in 1976.