Lufkin Counselor explains whether 'affluenza' exists - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin Counselor explains whether 'affluenza' exists

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: CNN Source: CNN
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Affluenza: it’s the term that rocked the nation when Ethan Couch's defense used it as a way to explain his drunk driving that resulted in the death of four people and injured several others.  

Does affluenza actually exist?

"It's not an actual disorder that has a set of criteria, that has a description, that has certain symptoms,” said Dr. Debra Burton, a Lufkin-based licensed professional counselor. “It is not, in my opinion, a legal defense at all.”

Burton said she isn't buying the punishment that was handed down to Couch by the judge.

"It doesn't make any sense,” Burton said. “To give him back to the people who supposedly caused this in the first place doesn't make a bit of sense."

While Burton doesn't think affluenza exists, she does believe Couch suffers from another problem.

"Obviously, he's showing signs of [poor] impulse control; a lot of times we see that with adolescence,” Burton explained. “To say his parents did not give him proper consequences for his behavior, therefore he should have been let off the hook, I think we've done that young man a big disservice."

In fact, Burton said the light punishment he received is the reason Couch continues to misbehave, breaking his probation and fleeing the country. Had she been in the judge's shoes, she said,  things would've gone very differently.

“He probably did need some time in a juvenile detention center, and if he did get treatment it should've been very long term in an adolescent treatment facility that was not in the country club range,” Burton said. “Somewhere he could've actually learned that his behavior is going to determine his consequences."

Burton said she hopes this case is a wake-up call for parents who let their children off the hook too easily.

"That's what you want to do as a parent, is have firm consequences for actions,” Burton said. “That way, that young person can begin to learn to make good choices instead of poor choices.”

Copyright 2016 KTRE. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:28 PM EST2017-11-19 02:28:07 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
  • East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-18 00:26:00 GMT

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>
  • Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:25 PM EST2017-11-18 00:25:00 GMT
    Source: KTRESource: KTRE

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly