Newport Academy (2008-present) CA, CT, VA, UT, WA
History and Background Information
Newport Academy is a network of behavior-modification programs that was founded in May of 2008. The programs are marketed as a Residential Treatment Centers for teenagers and young adults (12-24) who struggle with a variety of behavoiral and emotional challenges, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, insecurity/low self-esteem, self-harm, and more. Each of the program have a maximum enrollment of between 6 and 40 teens, depeding on the program. The typical length of stay is reported to be between 45 and 120 days. The program’s cost of tuition is reported to be roughly $40,000 per month, as of 2016. Newport Academy has been a NATSAP member since 2015.
Newport Academy has several locations situated throughout the United States. Currently, there are residential locations in Northern California, Southern California, Virginia, Utah, and Washington State. Additional information regarding the specifics of each location can be found below.
Founders and Notable Staff
Jim Monroe is the Co-Founder of Newport Academy and the father of Jamison Monroe Jr. His prior employment is presently unknown.
Jamison Monroe Jr. is the Co-Founder of Newport Academy and the son of Jim Monroe. As a teenager, Jamison and his brother were both sent to Gray Wolf Ranch, which is the current location of one of Newport Academy’s programs in Washington. In addition to being the Founder/Chairman of Newport Academy, he is also the Executive Chairman of Lightning Step Technologies and a Managing Partner at Aquarius Capital Partners.
Joe Procopio is the current CEO of Newport Academy. Prior to this, Joe worked as the Divisional President of CRC Health Group, which is the parent company of the confirmedly abusive Aspen Education Group. He also subsequently worked in the same role at Acadia Healthcare, which purchased CRC Health Group in 2014. He worked in this position from 2001 until 2017, both before and after the acquisition.
Barbara Nosal is the current Chief Clinical Officer of Newport Academy and has been since 2009. Her prior employment is unknown, although her staff bio states that she has held managerial positions in inpatient and outpatient treatment programs throughout California and nationally, and has worked with adolescents and families in the field of mental health, teenage depression, and addiction treatment for more than 30 years.
Jameson Norton is the current Chief Operations Officer of Newport Academy. Prior to this, he worked as the CEO of Program Development/Operations Consultant and later the CEO at North Tampa Behavioral Health for Acadia Healthcare from 2014 until 2016. He joined Newport Academy in January 2021.
It has been reported by survivors that many of the milieu staff at these programs are graduates of the program and lack any formal training to be working with mentally ill children.
Newport Academy operates a large number of residential and outpatient/PHP programs throughout the country. Below is a list of all known teen residential facilities operated by Newport Academy.
Newport Academy – Paloma
Newport Academy – Maoli
Newport Academy – Happy Valley
Newport Academy – Redwood
Newport Academy – Rush Creek
Newport Academy – Ranch
Newport Academy – Hill
Newport Academy – Hillside
Newport Academy – Ridgeview
Newport Academy – Morada
Newport Academy – Acre
Newport Academy – Rodeo
Newport Academy – Rogers
Newport Academy – Sundance
Newport Academy – Tanglewood
Newport Institute – Miramar
Newport Academy – Avocado
Newport Academy – Aracena
Newport Academy – Highcliff
Newport Academy – Double Hill
Newport Academy – Todd Hill
Newport Academy – Kurtz
Newport Academy – Gratitude
Newport Academy – Oakley
Newport Academy – Port Townsend
Newport Academy – Seattle
Newport Academy also operates a number of outpatient/day-treatment programs throughout the United States. These programs are located in Northern California, Southern California, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Like other behavior-modification programs, Newport Academy uses a level system consisting of at least 4 levels (level 0-3). The specifics of the level system are largely unknown. However, it has been reported that new residents begin the program on Level 0.
If you attended this program and would like to contribute information to help complete this page, please contact u/shroomskillet.
Abuse Allegations and Lawsuits
Many survivors have reported that Newport Academy programs are abusive. Allegations of abuse and neglect that have been reported by survivors of the programs include verbal/emotional abuse, medical neglect, undertrained/unqualified staff members, psychological torture, communication resitrictions, lack of supervision leading to dangerous encounters between residents, and isolation tactics. Many survivors report that they have developed PTSD as a result of their time at Newport Academy.
Early in 2019, residents of Fairfax, Virginia came together to rally against the opening of two new Newport Academy campuses in their neighborhoods. The proposed campuses would be located on Davidson Road and Kurtz Road. At a community meeting in April, residents argued that the prospect of the treatment facility next door makes them feel unsafe. The secrecy and allegations of deception surrounding the purchasing of the property were also recurring themes among the opponents. Neighbors said that after the properties were purchased, the real estate agents who orchestrated the deals told neighbors they were subject to non-disclosure agreements. It was determined in May 2019 that, since it would consist of three adjacent properties, the proposed Davidson Road facility would constitute a congregate living facility, which is not a by-right use. Johnson found that the Kurtz Road site, on the other hand, would qualify as a group residential facility. The county board of zoning appeals ultimately upheld her decision on Mar. 11, leading residents from the surrounding neighborhood to file a lawsuit that is still waiting to be heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
In November of 2020, Newport Academy leased two properties on Plantation Drive in Great Falls, VA that it planned to turn into residential facilities. The residents who own the six other properties on Plantation Drive, which is just north of Route 7, wrote a letter to Fairfax County Zoning Administrator Leslie Johnson on November 3rd asking the county’s zoning administration division to deny Newport Academy’s requests. The residents argue that Newport Academy’s proposal would violate the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance because its patients could count as transient occupants instead of residents, and because it would exceed the eight-person limit for group homes if the two leased properties are combined into a single facility. The residents also say Plantation Drive is an “inappropriate” location for Newport Academy’s proposed facility, which would have adverse impacts on traffic and pedestrian safety.
11/3/2021: (EX-STAFF) “In my two years of employment at Newport Academy, the glamorous rehab for those struggling with addiction, mental health struggles, and everything in between, I’ve experienced much much more than I ever could’ve anticipated. Allow me to shed some insight. I’m not sure who thought that a treatment facility that accepting 12 year olds with severe ADHD and placing them in the same house as a 17 year old dealing with substance abuse would be a good idea. This does nothing but hinder the growth for both of the kids. There’s no group that will be able to accommodate what both of these kids need. If that right there isn’t the perfect exploit of money before proper care I don’t know what is. On the topic of substance abuse, as someone with lots of experience in regards to addiction and substance abuse please listen when I say this is NOT THE PLACE FOR ADDICTS. Aside from a couple NA books hidden on the bookshelves there’s virtually no implementation of any sort of twelve step program. If the twelve steps aren’t your cup of tea for addiction treatment I can kinda understand, but please recognize the recovery rates for teenagers using nothing but “coping skills” and “harm reduction” are staggeringly low. There’s no access to outside meetings, there’s no H&I meetings, I genuinely don’t see anything related to helping with addiction whatsoever. Last year a 17 year old kid that was in the house I worked at relapsed and died within less than three months of leaving the program. I understand addiction and death go hand and hand but I can see a tangible correlation towards this child’s death and the lack of support at Newport Academy. Now let me get into the clinical side of things. The house I’m currently at has been without a fully staffed clinical team for over a month now. The family therapist is literally an intermittent therapist who lives halfway across the state and only meets with the kids through zoom. There currently is no counselor, and the individual therapist (the only clinical member on site) is limited to meeting with the kids once or twice a week. This is the CURRENT situation. There have been times within the last year where there have been houses open with literally zero clinical members, what’s the point of even having a house open if that’s the case? Obviously the answer is money. I have personally been incentivized to refer any sort of clinical member, regardless of license status, literally claiming “seeking referrals for therapists and counselors, licensed or unlicensed”. I’ve witnessed therapists having to work at numerous different houses simultaneously. I have personally been asked to run clinical groups, I am what is called a care coordinator, essentially the chaperone, I’m not required to have a license, making this even more of a ridiculous request. Now let’s talk about staffing issues in general and the way that Newport treats their employees. I am worthless, my time is worthless, my priorities should remain on “putting the clients first” when it comes to anything in my life. This is a job, this is not my life, this is not my company, I am literally an hourly employee making a couple dollars more than minimum wage. I chose to work at Newport because I too was once a kid in treatment centers and felt I could be a value to the kids and to the company, one of those things is true. Newport discourages set scheduling for their hourly employees. Newport has had entire meetings in regard to schedule changes in which full time staff has been informed we will no longer be allowed to have set schedules nor can we have two consecutive days off work, their reasoning for this is that it helps the kids for us to be placed wherever we’re needed. The backwards aspect of this is astounding. I’m my two years here, I kid you not I’ve witnessed nearly 50 people enter my position, get burnt out due to the aforementioned scheduling problems, and quit. It almost appears as if the Newport business model for the chaperones is to hire a bunch of employees, keep them until they’re burned out, and once they’ve all quit, repeat the process. I’m not a clinical member but I have heard numerous complaints from that side of the company as well, so much so that I’ve witnessed nearly three full clinical staff’s quit and had to be replaced (which they still haven’t been). I have been asked to literally break the law by denying kids phone calls. The food is always cooked off site and has been delivered moldy, undercooked, and many times just downright disgusting. Mind you this is the same food provided for staff as we are not allowed to leave the site while on shift. There have been countless times in which mandatory overtime is requested of me (is that even legal?). There have been times in which I have had to care for an entire house (6 kids) by myself, as have many of my coworkers. I had raises not be implemented in my paychecks. Speaking of raises, there seems to be a raise in my responsibility monthly yet no pay increase, this has become routine. I feel like I see way more of the companies deceptiveness than most other employees solely because the rest just quit once things get too overwhelming. The only reason I’ve maintained my time here is because I gave up on trying to fulfill Newport’s desires a long time ago, instead my only priority is on the kids, I just want their days to be as non-shitty as possible while I’m there, and that’s where I keep my focus, mind you once again I am NOT a clinical member and clinical duties are not and never have been in my job description despite how much I’m requested to fulfill said duties. I hope I’m not coming across as some bitter employee who resents my employer, even though there are truths to that description. I’m much more inclined on solely informing the parents of the children who they live more than anything on the literal dump of a place Newport is. You can look anywhere online and find confirmations of whatever I’m saying, but I really wanted to offer my personal experience.” – u/ThrowRA4679 (Reddit)
8/13/2021: (SURVIVOR) “I went to Newport on December 26th. I was 17, had some serious problems and was in dire need for any type of treatment. I put myself in this program, no-one forced me, no-one kidnapped me in the middle of the night, it was my choice. Now looking back, it’s a choice I wish I had Never made. This is my experience. Do what you want with what I’m going to share. Just know this Is real, this is the reality you will face, that I faced. I’m writing this not for the parents, and that not because I believe you don’t have it hard. Trust me, if you’re having to send a kid to Newport you haven’t had it easy. But you won’t be there, you won’t know what it’s like. Only the girls who go in and out truly know. Let me first tell you how I got there. Two weeks before Newport I found myself at the hospital pleading for help for suicidal ideation, self harm, substance abuse, numbness. I was a drifter. Life wasn’t real and not worth living. They denied me due to overcrowding. I wasn’t “bad” enough to be admitted they told me. As a response, I told the women ill come back with the gun strapped to my head. After that I realized help doesn’t come easy. So we found Newport, I was sold on all the idea they shared, but mostly I was sold on the idea of a one month stay. I was a senior in high school, I felt as if I didn’t have time for a 6 month program. If I was going to get my shit together I would have to do it now and I would have to do it fast. So I bought it. That’s the first bullshit lie they tell you. There are two ways you stay for only a month. Your insurance cuts or your parents pull you. Besides those, expect more like a 2 to 3 month stay (And most girls go to Newport more than once). You’ll realize this almost the second you get there. you’ll realize alot of thing. But it will be too late. You parents will have left and your first call isn’t gonna come anytime soon. Thats the second thing. You get 5 minute phone calls until you earn more. Trust me, you can’t share the truth in 5 minutes. The third thing. The girls are no joke there. Any wrong move and you’ll pay for it, and maybe they can’t touch you (at least without getting kicked out for it) but they will fuck with your head. They will make it miserable for you. But on an emotional level when you’re there you start to forget the outside world, you forget what it’s like to be in public spaces, you forget what it’s like to live a life without locks or drug tests. You become so emotionally invested in this life of insanity that you normalize it. It’s normal to see girls with infected self harm scars, or ptsd attacks, and hear the screaming and fighting. It all becomes so normal that when you do end up leaving, the outside world is almost uncomfortable to be in. When you are at Newport they use this slogan of ” it’s ok to be uncomfortable”, but it’s not uncomfortableness that you’re feeling it’s the lack of dignity and self respect or normalcy. I slept my time away there, I didn’t want to be alive at Newport, and even tried not to be. When I wasn’t sleeping I read books upon books and I stared numbly at the walls. A lot of this was caused by the medication they put me on, due to the absolute horrible Psychiatrist. It was pure fear when we heard her heals, girls would come out of her office crying. She even stapled a sheet of paper and gave it to my friend. The next day she had bloody bandages on her wrist. Girls go in an and out of the hospital and self harm is so normal there. I can go on and on about what it was like there and the constant lies you were told and the staff that mean so well but don’t know how to treat us and the lack of support and the humiliation. But really if you weren’t there you wouldn’t know. All I can tell you is that I had to pick up the pieces that they destroyed. I don’t remember my life without this experience and everyday I wish I did. But in a strange way it took hell to get me to where I am now. I’m going to college in two days, I’m sober for almost 8 months, I have a best friend and am stable. I don’t self harm and suicide rarely crosses my mind. That’s what I have now, and it wasn’t because Newport. I still hear the ptsd screams, and see the scars and can’t look at red clocks or listen to certain songs. The memories replay everyday but I’m trying to have a new life, and I know Newport means well and most of the staff do too but it scars kids. It scared me. I made it out and you will too. But at what cost I can’t tell you. My number is 631-223-6879. If you want to talk to someone with a different experience than what they advertise, I’m here . I can only share my truth.” – Chelsea (Yelp)
August 2021: (SURVIVOR) “There were many traumatic events that happened to me by other staff and clients. Most of the staffing would just sit and laugh or yell at me for asking to call my support system. Terrible place. Only makes people worse.” – Sabrina (Google Reviews)
7/6/2021: (SURVIVOR) “My parents sent me here about a year ago but no therapist or psychiatrist ever even thought that I had ADD I guess because I’ve done pretty well in school but that’s just because i’m not stupid but I went here and to their outpatient program and no one ever realized or even considered it but today I saw a psychiatrist and told him about my past pretty much the same stuff i’ve told them but he actually knows what he’s talking about. Also they only allowed kids to have one 5 min phone call per day even with corona and no visits just a zoom call like every couple of weeks. You see a therapist only once a week there like how is that going to fix anything just keeps people their longer. I also found it upset me even more being because I met all these messed up people and still feel bad for them to this day. The food is also pretty gross. I feel bad for anyone who has to go to that place. I would only recommend for people who are really messed up in the head or struggle with eating.” – Rachel (Yelp)
July 2021: (SURVIVOR) “Miramar house is alright. Bayview is unorganized and just does not feel like a mental health facility. Bayview sent me to a psych ward at the end of my treatment handcuffed by a sheriff because patients were allowed to use a knife and I stabbed myself with it in treatment. They have strict rules you only know about when you get admitted, like you can’t use your phone unless you’re in phase 3 of the treatment. You start at phase 0. Miramar has excellent food while Bayview does not. You don’t need to spend money at Miramar but at Bayview you need to spend money on food for Instacart shopping if you don’t like the food they serve. The CC’s at Miramar are very organized, motivating, and welcoming. While at Bayveiw the CC’s just sit on the table and type on the laptops and basically boss you around and do nothing. I did not recover at Newport, this place made my mental illness worse because I did not learn useful skills. But then again there are better places to recover. On their website they say they treat people with PTSD, false alarm, they don’t know how to treat people with PTSD. Bayview has only a 30 mins lunch break while Miramar has 1 hour. 30 mins at Bayview includes chores which basically you only have time to eat and mingle with the other clients for 15 mins then do chores for the rest. At Miramar you get to do hygiene at 11:30 and can stay up late til 12:30 midnight in the room or hallway playing cards with others while at Bayview you strictly need to be in bed by 11pm. CC’s at Bayview treat you like your a child or a criminal. While Miramar treats you like a client that is going through something and compassionate. And they monitor everything you say on the app. Caydin Sanders kicked me out of the app for complaining about the treatment and using my freedom of speech. This place is expensive and it’s not even worth the price. If you take mental health seriously, find somewhere else other than Newport institute. More than half of the treatment at Bayview is on zoom. You can do the entire treatment at the comfort of your own home if they offered it. Raven the counselor at Bayview is clueless on how to manage things at the house, she has no clue what goes on in the house because she does all her counseling from home. Treat people fairly regardless of race. Total waste of time there if you ask me.” – Maria (Google Reviews)
6/19/2021: (SURVIVOR) “DO NOT SEND LOVED ONES THERE (CT facility) They tell you everything you want to hear to get your child admitted (medical care, dbt therapy, yoga, classes, groups , activities and thorough communication) – COMPLETELY FALSE. They do not have those programs and if they do it is on a very infrequent schedule and not well run. The majority of their staff is not credited and the turn over is extremely high. The admissions people are paid on commission but once you are there it is not what they claim it is to be. Just want $$. Appalling that they have not been shut down. Dangerous for them to have at risk individuals in their care.” – Mary (Yelp)
May 2021: (SURVIVOR) “I was there for 2 months and 4 days. I left about 7 months ago and a lot has changed since then, there have been changes in staff for being “manipulative” to the clients. they often complained to us about how understaffed they were, and made their personal lives our problems. I did make lifelong friends there and a few of the staff members I had a good connection with. However, the residential supervisor and family therapists lied to parents about things their children were doing. One of my friends therapist told her she was completely done with her therapy and had been doing amazing for 2 straight weeks, but told her parents not to bring her home until their insurance ran out. the parents finally listened to my friend about the things they would do to her there and pulled her out. they occasionally took us on outings in a big white van and while I was there it was crashed 3 times with clients inside it. if you are having an emergency and need somewhere as an emergency backup plan this might work but my parents thought this was the best place there was for me and it has scarred me for life. Also if you don’t have great insurance and it runs out they don’t tell the child until the night before they leave, and then they just kick you out.” – Sabrina (Google Reviews)
May 2021: (SURVIVOR) “i went to newport academy in kirkland washington. my family therapist was extremely unprofessional and just extremely poor at her job. she provoked my panic attacks twice within the same week and failed multiple times to gain my trust. they declined me of my phone calls home when i was feeling extremely isolated and overwhelmed. this place was more hurtful than helpful and traumatized me. don’t send your kids here.” – Eva (Google Reviews)
4/30/2021: (PARENT) “Even though we research this place for our son they did not live up to what they portray. Our son was 18 when he went there. The therapy was not appropriate for an 18 year old. One conversation with him he stated they played duck duck goose. When I questioned why 18 year olds are playing a game intended for 5 year olds they said, “it’s up to the therapist as to what they do and they have their reasons” I have not found any reason 18 year olds should play duck duck goose as a form of therapy (when their mental status is an 18 not 5 year old. We took him out at the end of the week but continue to be charged every month $328.00. I would not recommend this overly priced facility.” – K.C. (Yelp)
February 2021: (SURVIVOR) “I was at the San Rafael location for six weeks and left significantly worse than I went. The staff is uncaring and at certain times very cruel. I asked for medication to help with my panic attack and was handcuffed and sent to the psych ward where the analyzed me and sent me back, even though I said that I didn’t feel safe there. In a no touch facility I was pushed by the same nurse that called the cops on me, and was threatened for two weeks that they would call the cops again any time that I cried or bugged them for something (like access to the pool, the only coping mechanism I was given there) in the middle of a panic attack. Along with another client, I had to beg for a fifteen minute walk each day that they were often too lazy to give us. Please do not go here if you care about your mental health, and please do not send a loved one here if you would like to expect them to feel happy or be alive upon discharge.” – Amelia (Google Reviews)
1/29/2021: (PARENT) “I will start off by saying DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO NEWPORT ACADEMY IN ORANGE CA!! If I read an honest review like mine before I sent my daughter I would never have sent her to Newport. My 14 yr old daughter arrived at Newport on 12/13. My husband and I were all in. After hearing about the program we were excited for our daughter to get the help she needs. We live across the country and were very nervous but excited for her to get the help she needs. Two weeks into her stay at Newport by daughter came down with covid. We still don’t know how. I received a call that a staff member tested positive but my daughter was not a direct contact. The two girls that were were isolated in a room together. Two days later my daughter tested positive on a rapid. Come to find out she is the only girl that tested positive in the house. Not sure how since she wasn’t a direct contact but my daughters health was more important so I moved on. She was isolated in a room by herself for 10 days. She did absolutely nothing! Refused all the virtual programs and Newport didn’t care. This was the start of the end. My daughters mental health went downhill. She was disrespected by the CC’s ( they are not qualified to be working with teens with mental health, not the ones in this house) , my daughter ran out of the house on numerous occasions. Out of the 5 times she walked out Newport lied about 4 of them. They would tell me she was on a horse trail. Well after reading her journal she was not! She was on main roads, in stores, in parks. I don’t condone for one minute my daughters behavior, that’s not how anyone should act. BUT Newport kept saying we are keeping your daughter safe…um no you aren’t. Now here is the important part… After my daughter ran away 1/24 Newport and I came to a neutral agreement that this is not the place for my daughter. We scheduled a flight for 1/25. My husband boarded the plane and I received a call from our family therapist letting me know that Ashley has been cutting herself AND that there was a trauma that happened outside my home and they had to report it to child protective services in NJ. Ok, so let me get this straight. Now you are telling me? It turns out by my daughters journal she has been cutting herself for weeks!! I was never told. She has been refusing body checks for weeks!! And my daughter reported this trauma to her therapist on 1/14. I was told about it on 1/25 when we were on our way to pick up my daughter. My daughters arms looked like rail road tracks. This is not keeping my daughter safe at all. I’m disgusted that I ever sent my daughter there…she is not the same child I sent, she is worse. You are probably wondering why they kept my daughter at Newport so long if she was acting out and running away. Well, I have very good insurance. My insurance covered it all and guess what they didn’t even have a cut off date. My insurance paid Newport $90,000 for 45 days of NOTHING!! Newport is a business…always remember that!” – Jodi (Yelp)
January 2021: (PARENT) “In 6 weeks my daughter was there nothing seemed to go right. There was a turnover in staff, short staffed so our family therapist was actually in Port Orchard, very poor communication including missing out on calls and not getting zoom links for parent education groups, not being notified when staff contact left abruptly until several days later, their teacher did not work with our school and my daughter only received academic instruction 1 week out of the 6 she was there, allowed her to receive mail from people on her no contact list.” – Ellie (Google Reviews)
10/27/2020: (PARENT) “Some fantastic individual therapists but the administrators who make decisions were awful. They treated our LGBTQ kid terribly and despite promising they “got” her issues, they did not. Even if your child is not LGBTQ, I recommend against Newport if you want a place where you can feel confident that they are committed to your child’s safety and well-being.” – Michelle (Yelp)
10/14/2020: (SURVIVOR) “I attended this treatment center from October 2019-December 2019. This was the most traumatic experience of my life. Kids fighting, Kids smoking weed that they gathered from outings, or had DEALERS drop off at the end of the very long driveway. A kid tried to jump off the roof and the only people up there to talk him down were ME as a CLIENT and one staff member. A CC had SEX with an under-aged client, A kid kicked through a glass door and tried to attack another client with a halved pool cue. I have heard good things about Grey Wolf Ranch, and that’s what most of these reviews are referring to. This place is now New Port, NOT grey wolf. They fired almost all of the old staff and changed the rules. The kids broke out and robbed a gas station TWICE in my stay there, they put a brick through the window for cigarettes. The surrounding town had a meeting in which they decided to all ARM themselves because of the frequent runaway clients. Patients would pick locks and steal other’s possessions, phones would be brought in. We were promised weekly family therapy. I had one session in a month, and finally the clinical director for all of new ports locations had to step in and be my family therapist. Keep in mind you WILL NOT be released until you have worked things out with your family, if your parents decide to pull you out before, it will be considered against the recommendation and they will be stuck with the full bill 2k a day. I made some friends there 2 of them have oded and died, and a staff member has also oded and died. This program is a sadistic scam.” – Bob (Yelp)
8/28/2020: (SURVIVOR) “While I can see how this place might be helpful for some people, the false advertising on the website landed me stuck in at Newport for 3 horrific weeks with hardly anyone who was equipped to deal with the issues I had sought help for. I was not forced into treatment– I’m an adult and I chose Newport because I’d heard good things about it and the website made it seem like the perfect place for me. The two main things I needed help with were my eating disorder and PTSD. Newport does not treat eating disorders like they claim. In fact, nearly everyone I met there told me their eating disorder behaviors had worsened since their arrival, and the dietitian and meal support coach were doing nothing to help. The food at Newport is restrictive and orthorexic and the meal plan is completely inadequate, especially for people in recovery from eating disorders. the food is all organic, no sugar, and low carb. Before Newport, I’d been at two other eating disorder residentials, so I know what adequate portion sizes are, and Newport portions were tiny. The food restrictions reinforced all of my negative disordered beliefs. I’m in recovery from Anorexia, and prior to arriving at Newport I had been in a pretty good place in my recovery, challenging my food rules, and learning to incorporate a variety of foods into my diet in a balanced way. I had come a long way in my body trust journey, and was in the process of learning to give myself unconditional permission to nourish my body. Newport destroyed any and all progress I’d worked so hard to build up. I was lied to and manipulated into staying as long as I did, told that the dietitian was going to provide me with alternatives to the orthorexic bullshit they were giving us. Then the dietitian changed her mind, of course, and told me that she thought I was capable of progressing in my recovery without those alternatives. At this point in my stay, I’d already been sent to the emergency room TWICE because of how severe my eating disorder had become, so CLEARLY I was not able to make progress on the restrictive meal plan they were offering. Newport is also not a program for adults, regardless of what they tell you on the website. I was very clear with them from day one that I did not want my parents to be involved in my treatment, since my parents are a trigger for me and have been a roadblock for my recovery in the past. The first time I got sent to the emergency room, I was asked to sign a release for them to inform my parents on what was going on. I agreed. But instead of just telling my parents about my hospital visits, they continued to give my parents frequent updates on my care, DESPITE MY REQUESTS TO REVOKE THE RELEASE. That is at LEAST malpractice, if not fully against the law. The family therapist I had at Newport repeatedly talked over me and did not respect the firm boundaries I have with my parents. She blamed me for my family issues, instead of believing me when I tried to explain that I have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of my mother. She told me that I cannot expect my treatment providers to keep secrets from my parents, despite the fact that the REASON I have boundaries with my parents is for my safety and well-being. Also, it is completely against confidentiality and HIPAA for a therapist to share things with a clients parents without consent. The only exception to this rule is if the client is a danger to themselves or others, or in the cases of a mandated reporter. My physical and mental well-being were repeatedly neglected at Newport Academy. I was lied to, manipulated, and retraumatized. Newport should not claim to treat eating disorders when in reality they breed them. Newport should not claim to treat adults when in reality they infantilize us. Newport should not claim to treat PTSD if the majority of their staff is not trauma informed. Save your money, save your kid, save yourself. I highly recommend looking into other treatment centers.” – Duly (Yelp)
2/26/2020: (PARENT) “This review is not easy to write because my hopes were so high for my son and I, and I only want other families to realize that they are not a treatment center for a teenager that has severe OCD issues without a drug or alcohol problem. I am so disappointed because both AJ and I visited Newport Academy in Bethlehem Connecticut prior to making a decision on where he would attend for treatment which he truly needed. We were both told one thing during our interview and were both so excited and impressed with the facility and with the admissions staff, intake coordinator staff, however, when it came to actual drop off I was not told the truth. I live in Virginia, so imagine trusting your son with a facility that made promises that he would be in a “pod” with like diagnosis, not alcohol or drug patients, that he would be in an area that was with teenagers like him. He actually chose to come here after having so many issues with his OCD, he wants to get better, to be the best version of himself. Unfortunately what we were told and what happened once I left was not the truth and when I tried to seek clarification, no one from the staff was able to give me the answers, I was looking for. My son had 5 minutes to convince me that this place that we trusted and gave our money to was not the “right” fit. He was so mature about the entire situation and I applaud him for using his voice, which thank goodness he had one and knew what type of hints to give me. I can only imagine what happens to those that are not able to use their voice that are not addicted to drugs or alcohol either. I am not sure if the staff thought he was lying and that he had been a user but my son has a very unique case of OCD that controls his life and what we were told and what was delivered just was not the truth and I feel like others need to hear my story. Newport gave me part of my payment back but they would not give me the $3,000 plus the airfare and uber fair that I had to pay for twice in one week. They are not able to give me back the time that it took to convince my son to trust this place and go with me to visit. They have no idea what we went through before getting AJ to this place, and now he has stepped behind even more and we are trying to figure out the correct path. When I came to pick AJ up after being so sick all day with worry and flying for 8 hours to get my teenager who I was obviously concerned about the entire staff came out to greet me and apologize. They also returned some of the money, which leaves me to believe they knew they did something wrong and that he did not belong there. I asked for someone to call and discuss the money but they had one of their admissions person (who was very nice) call and let me know that they were not able to reimburse. I plan on telling my story to many because I do not want others to fall into the same “trap”. Everyone was nice but they falsified information and left my son even more traumatized with increased OCD which I am dealing with at the moment. My son did say that they were nice to him but the things that he was put through, treated like a drug addict, scared to death on his first night because he was breathalyzed, had to pee in a cup, mouth swab, wanded (this is someone that he has never gone through any of this, has OCD (we usually prep him for what is going to happen), no one told me this. He went into the nurse the very first night and told her that he did not belong there and was bawling, scared to death. The staff I spoke to only told me he was scared and crying, I thought because it was new, little did I know the true reason. When he was brought to the “pod” with the other boys they asked AJ what he was there for, drug of choice? AJ said OCD, the boys asked him did you come here because you wanted to? He said yes, I had a choice and we visited and this looked great. He said by the 2nd day he knew it would not help. AJ is very bright and wants to get better and I am just thankful I was able to read the signs or I would of been out a lot more money and would of listened to the therapist that I spoke to who did not pay attention to me when I asked if AJ could be moved. So yes, I am an upset parent but rightfully so. If you need a drug or alcohol treatment center for your child or even eating disorder, I suppose this is a good place but I am so disenchanted and still traumatized over what happened. Please make sure you research and ask all the questions. I thought, I did but I still got snowballed. I am forever, wary of any treatment center in the near future and I would not recommend Newport. I thought it was my saving grace but they lost my trust and respect.” – Stacy (Yelp)
1/7/2020: (PARENT) “Unfortunately my daughter did not have the best experience here. The family therapist is not too intelligent nor very empathetic and my daughter was way beyond her intellectual level, which made her feel inferior and was given pushback rather than encouragement and patience. If you want to send your vulnerable daughter to residential, my recommendation is to really do your homework. There are other treatments and treatment centers that have very patient and understanding staff, so don’t rush to pick whatever is recommended by someone without doing your homework. After all, you are putting your most precious child in their care.” – Nancy (Yelp)
2020: (SURVIVOR) “If there was a 0 star I would put it with no doubt.Food is absolutely disgusting and gave me and the other residents serious stomach issues.Really odd expectations and did more damage than good.staff were really unprofessional and the overall experience was GARBAGE.” – Keira (Google Reviews)
12/17/2019: (SURVIVOR) “If I could give a negative I would. TERRIBLE! The professionals are only trained to hep with AA/NA not mental health issued. All residents are sent into town for AA meeting with creepy old men. Personal items & Chirstmas gifts were stolen. Support staff unprofessional & untrained to deal with residents. Food in all no sugar & carbs. They use food as a reward & our child was denied food. Our child was threatened upon release. Upon picking our child up the “staff” & doctors that dealt with us & our child were no where to be found. The discharge was in the public lobby with someone we never met before, how professional. RUN don’t walk away from this facility. We requested a formal evaluation from their psychiatrist and all we received was an interview with information established prior. There were other residents there for their 2 & 3rd time. Do your research!” – P.S. (Yelp)
7/14/2019: (SURVIVOR) “I was admitted into Newport (maoli house in San Rafael) on April 9th and was discharged June 8th. All I have to say is don’t go here. I here the houses in Southern California are great but at least the girls houses in Northern California are HORRIBLE! They are extremely unorganized, don’t know how to do anything, and treat us like babies. When a girl would scream all the time, we were locked in the family therapy room and couldn’t be in our rooms. This happened more than once. One night we didn’t get our meds until MIDNIGHT! We are supposed to get them at 8pm. They don’t know how to cut pills, lost all of our mail, would constantly lie to us and our parents. One of the employees even took me and one other girl in the car for 10 minutes so we could scream out the window because of how insane the house would be. One of he higher ups constantly lied to our parents and said anything to them just so they wouldn’t pull us out. She called one of the girls entitled and told her mom she’s a danger to us and said she threatens the girls which is NOT TRUE! This girl is really nice. Of course, the mom believed the higher up and kept her daughter in Newport. If you say anything on your phone call that’s negative about Newport or anything about discharge or about what’s going on in the house, they will hang up the phone call. We would lie to our parents. We told them it’s going good so they wouldn’t hang our call up. What they are doing now is all of the trained care coordinators are going to the redwood house and maoli gets new people every week who are being trained. Even the trained CCs don’t know how to do their job, the trainees are awful! Absolutely no consistency. We are severely depressed , anxiety riddled , trying to get sober , etc. we NEED consistency !!!!!! On paper, this place seems amazing. If you’re looking into going here , try Southern California. I don’t know if it is actually good or not but i here it’s a lot better than what I experienced. DONT GO TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRLS. I’ve heard bad things about the boys houses too , but I have no experience there. I met my best friends there, but the staff are horrible. There are three CCs that were amazing though but the majority is not.” – Leigh (Yelp)
4/13/2019: (PARENT) “If you look at the reviews of this program, the majority are from people who went through it many years ago. The program changed ownership in January of 2017 and fired many long time staff. The program is horrible now. It is unsafe, training and supervision are inadequate, communication with parents is subpar and they don’t set limits with the patients. There is no accountability from the staff and they don’t hold the kids accountable. The kids get away with all kinds of crazy behavior. The kids are allowed to bully each other and fights happen. Google “Gray Wolf Ranch Death”. A kid died there in January of 2018 through setting himself on fire after staff failed to supervise him during a smoking break and he was able to break in to a shed where gasoline was stored. Was he huffing during an unsupervised smoking break? Was he trying to commit suicide? This was after he and another kid had previously broken in to the same shed to huff gasoline. Why were drug addicted kids not supervised enough to prevent them from breaking in to a shed where gasoline was stored? A good program has a 1:4 ratio of staff to students and won’t leave kids alone ever, except to go to the bathroom. If kids want to go somewhere they have to be “in ratio”. A good program will be doing enough therapy to know who is at risk for self harm and will put kids on “self harm watch” during which time they can never be farther than within arms reach of a trained staff member. My son was there for less than 4 weeks after he was pulled because the program was out of control. Kids were huffing gasoline (yup, you read that right, even after a kid died through immolation kids were still able to get access to gasoline.) One kid poured boiling water on another while he was showering. Coffee and tea were left out and kids would drink 11 cups of coffee to get high. An adult resident reported that my son was “tea bagged” while he was asleep and GWR never did an investigation. The campus became non smoking in September of 2018, but kids were still able to smoke on campus after that. My son was allowed to share a room with an adult resident for one night which was against their own rules. Kids went in to Seattle and relapsed. Kids got in to fights after being bullied all day. My son wasn’t taken to medical or dental appts as requested. They never completed a treatment plan or an educational plan as is part of the contract. They said he would be “closely supervised during the entire time he was there” Once he was there the I kept trying to find out what the staff / student ratio was. They would never give me a straight answer. Finally the program director admitted that during graveyard it was 1:16. Teens brains are wired to be awake in the middle of the night. My son said they would run around during the middle of the night yelling “Horton hears a resident” about the graveyard shift guy who was checking the perimeter of the 20 acre campus. The parents are supposed to have weekly contact with the counselor. In four weeks this happened once and then was set up to start happening for 10 minutes a week. In other programs you get an hour a week. A friend of mine lives in Port Townsend and found a counselor’s notebook that had been left in the street. All of the staff are in recovery, which I think is a weakness. I think a strong program has recovering and non recovering people. In retrospect I realized that the Admissions Director lied to me on two occasions. The Program Director had extremely poor skills for dealing with conflict. They were desperate for patients. Can I say anything good about Gray Wolf Ranch? Many of the staff are very nice people. There are some very good things in the curriculum including yoga and mindfulness. And the food is great. It is 12 Step based, however, which is not designed for adolescents. The Seven Challenges model is evidence based for adolescents. Gray Wolf Ranch doesn’t have the systems in place to run an effective program. All this for 11K a month. My son is excelling in a safe out of state program where he is learning to be accountable.” – Marie (Yelp)
3/21/2019: (PARENT) “After 30 days of treatment at Newport Academy Castro Valley (CA), our son (16) ran away with 2 other teens to find alcohol ! The staff found them in a grocery store and drove them back. By coincidence later in the day the period review occurred with our insurance (Anthem) and they denied more treatment ! I called Anthem and they told me that the primary diagnosis given by Newport was “psychiatric health mental issue” but if it was “substance abuse” they would accept more days ! We are very disappointed with Newport Academy and feel that they just made a diagnosis to “get rid” of our son… unless we pay a deposit of $7,200 for him to stay ! We should have chosen The Camp Recovery in Santa Cruz one month ago, what a waste of time and money ! So sad … hope that we are the only ones “screwed up”, be sure to ask for the primary diagnosis of your teen before the period review with your insurance: you can be up for the same unexpected sad surprise !! Run away from this program …” – Phil (Yelp)
2/19/2019: (PARENT) “My family’s experience at Newport’s West campus was utterly appalling. We were lied to and/or mislead from the start. The program they offer is probably absolutely aces for teens with very distressing issues such as suicide attempts, sexual abuse, drug abuse and addiction, running away, promiscuity, and other negative acting out coping skills. The problem was that my daughter exhibited exactly NONE of those behaviors. She suffered depression and anxiety, set off by bullying incidents at her small private school. Newport’s program is specifically designed to remove all “normal” teenage “privileges” from these girls until they can “earn” them back by behaving like good little inmates. My child couldn’t have shoes, makeup, an electric razor, letters from home, phone calls, the list goes on and on, until such time as Newport had broken her spirit, taught her who was boss, and slowly doled out these everyday “privileges”. My main problems with these distinctly punitive measures were that we were blatantly lied to about how the program would be administered. We were told that our child could have letters from her parents at any time but that she’d need to “earn” the right to receive letters from other family members or friends. This was a complete lie and as of day 9 she had received NO letters from her parents. The most egregious, unforgivable event was Newport’s inability to get their act together to get my child her antidepressant in a timely fashion. She went for FOUR days without her meds for reasons I still do not understand. It is IMPERATIVE for patients on antidepressants to maintain a steady dosage in their bodies over time. The lack of medicine, her home sickness, and the inexcusable lies they told led me to withdraw her from the program after only nine days of a 30 day commitment. I’ve no idea if we’ll get our $ back but I rather doubt it. This was simply not the right place for a girl who’s main complaint was sadness when other residents were dealing with suicide, familial sexual abuse, violence, hallucinations, etc. At no time did anyone at Newport suggest that it’s program might be too intense for my daughter. Furthermore, therapists and counselors were NOT available to my child 24/7 as they had been promised. A “care worker” basically told my child to suck it up and go back to bed even though she was sobbing hysterically and needed someone to talk to. A family therapy session had to be cut short because the therapist had a dentist appointment. Really? I live 2500 miles from Newport and expect the therapists to honor their commitments to us. Please please use caution when considering this facility if your child is one of the “softer” depressive kids. I’m afraid Newport did more harm than good for my child.” – Beth (Yelp)
2019: (SURVIVOR) “I am grateful for a lot of the staff here but the clinical team is just bs. In here they put people in levels and if you have family issues or are still having depression or self-harm, they call you a “problem”. They don’t care about good behavior they still won’t stage you up. And if you make one mistake all of the people treat you badly even if you grew from it. This place was basically just like summer camp wish a lot of false advertisement for depressed people and drug addicts and I didn’t find it helpful at all.” – Anonymous (Google Reviews)
6/2/2018: (PARENT) “My child and family had a very disappointing experience with the Newport Academy program in Bethlehem Ct. Although I’ve read some positive reviews of the California facility, I think they need to slow their expansion plans and take a hard look at what they are doing in the newer, larger facility. They undoubtably need to address security/safety issues, reconsider the new unpalatable, uber-healthy food program, and most importantly, they need to hire more qualified, experienced staff to care for our kids. There were a couple of really great staff members there, but that is the only good thing I can say. My child’s experience there truly set them back. Quite a few other attendees left early. From what I could see, very few students actually finish the program. We very much regret sending our child there & are working to rebuild their trust after such a negative experience.” – Roberta (Yelp)
1/30/2018: (PARENT) “Newport Academy is definitely more concerned with money than really helping your child. What a joke, they get your child in there any way they can by telling you anything you want to hear. When insurance will no longer cover the amount that is good for them, well your child is let go immediately and with no explanation regarding the academics and how they transfer. I was left with a mess to clean up when my child left. What a waste of time for my child and my family. My child’s belongings were stolen and when I asked for certain items back, well I never heard another world from them. Can only say a few good things about certain staff and then some of the so called techs seemed to be useless and only there to show power and get paid. Overall, this facility was a waste. I was not impressed by the grounds and buildings whatsoever. So, the amount of money that they are asking for should reflect their facility!” – Amy (Yelp)
1/11/2018: (SURVIVOR) “As someone who has gone through this program, I HIGHLY suggest against sending your child here. There are a few people who work there that actually care, however 99% of the staff could not care any less. You’re given loads of false information(via the website, your therapists, and the admissions team), and it is a hostile environment where staff is always talking badly about other clients or employees. If your child doesn’t have any substance abuse issues, this care is not for them. While going through the program for emotional issues, I had to attend NA and AA groups every other day. I feel as though this program was not helpful, and managed to make my situation not only with my family worse, but my emotional situation as well. To add to that, most things that I came with ended up getting lost or stolen. I’m missing hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, and Newport won’t respond to my emails or phone calls. This place genuinely only cares about getting paid by your insurance, and not about your care.” – Enya (Yelp)
10/23/2017: (PARENT) “Please read all reviews before sending your teen here !!! I sent my daughter to Newport September of 2017 and after just two weeks I had to remove her and place her in treatment facility in Malibu California. After the first two days at Newport there was no communication with facility or staff . My daughter called me several times crying about the girls there wanting to fight her . I was deeply concerned being that we live in Texas and no one would get back to me after emailing and leaving messages on the main phone number which you have to leave a message on after three days I finally heard something back by that time I already had booked a plane ticket to pick her up . The most phone calls I received where when I told them I was coming to get her then everyone wanted to call to get me to keep her there . I am so glad I picked her up she was in worse shape then when I left her . She had little to no counseling do to the incompetent staff .” – Natalie (Yelp)
2/8/2017: (PARENT) “We were very disappointed in Newport Academy. After our son was accepted and started the program we discovered that much of what was told to us prior to his admission was completely inaccurate. We sent him there for manualuzed DBT which we were told was the foundation of the program but is not. In fact, they implement a recovery approach consistent with treating people with substance abuse issues. In spite of being told that the majority of the residents were adolescents with anxiety and depression most of the participants had major substance abuse problems including heroin. When our son was there 21 out of the 24 residents were former addicts. The groups were poorly organized and unfocused. It was obvious that we were told whatever was necessary to convince us it was the right placement for our child. When he was finally allowed to call us 72 hours after his admission he told us it was not the right place for him and he was getting worse and not better. He could not elaborate because somebody stands next to the resident and listens to the conversation which was extremely anxiety producing for him. As a result, he became more despairing and hopeless and we transferred him to a facility where his needs are being met and he is getting the right treatment.” – Janice (Yelp)
5/24/2015: (SURVIVOR) “Honestly, I am very disappointed to see that Newport academy has a five star rating. If you want the TRUTH please read (I will try to not be bias).I am a female, & went through this program at 17 years old. I completed this program june of 2014. it truly makes my heart hurt when I think about this place. I, along with a couple other residents, kept in touch with over the past year, and are still traumatized by this place. First off, They make you go to meetings every night with addicts (NA, AA, and CA, so on) Not saying that addicts are bad, but the majority percentage of people filled in the rooms of AA, are 75% OLDER men. be sure to know that when you sign up for this program, you will be sending your 12-17 yr old sons/daughters to AA meetings with strangers every night (whether they are considered to have a drug problem or not) Yes, there are pedophiles in AA programs. please do the research. THIS is probably one of the most important things to note. Secondly, yes, the food and living accommodation are nice. Be sure to have lots of money or a great insurance plan to cover this overly EXPENSIVE rehab facility. Not worth the money I should note. Food, yes, it is nice but the females are limited to how much food they are to eat. for an example, I would really want seconds or a snack. The staff would not let me eat anymore/ less than the other residents. My friends and I just wanted an extra snack/second and we would be penalized for eating more. If we didn’t like the food served, they would make us drink “fat gaining” shakes so we would get our calorie count. The staff continued to be little me and my accomplishments. The therapist seemed to degrade me and point out all my flaws. I get therapists are supposed to do that, but to what extent? girls would be crying and filled with anxiety because maybe a meeting with a therapist or group didn’t go well and they wouldn’t get to level up. Let me note that there is a level system. I was very upset when I found out I wasn’t able to call my parents for three days and once I “level up” I can have my makeup and be able to talk to my parents for 5 minutes EVERY OTHER day. it was very upsetting for the other girls along with myself. It wasn’t until a month later, I was able to call my grandparents. We would cry every night BEGGING to have more phone time with our loved ones. it makes me so sad thinking about it. There were countless activities ran by other “Addicts and Drug counselors” (have you caught along that most of this program is designed for kids with drug issues?) It is VERY FUNNY that many people quit and got fired right after I left the program for unnamed reasons. hmmm. Patt Ochoa (counselor)-fired along with Candice (family counselor) Heather (counselor)tand renee (counselor) all quit their jobs. Another fact to know is that the staff members are actually kids who graduated the program. They all of a sudden change because they are “sober.” Blind leading the blind if you ask me. PLEASE READ: As I was getting college acceptances from Top universities all over the country. the staff continued to be little my accomplishments and TOLD me to NOT GO to college because there would be too many drugs and alcohol. hmmm okay, no, I thought to myself. Once I graduated I did not want to see or have anything to do with this program. I chose a university and am currently a Biological Science Major and carry a 3.7 GPA . I inspire to become a pediatric dentist and am interning at a family dentistry. I am also in a sorority and continue to have fun in college, but the smart and RIGHT WAY. I am not trying to boast about my accomplishments. I just want to let everyone know who reads that although the staff were degrading me and told me to not do things because they knew themselves couldn’t do, I carried on with my gut instinct and knew that my future didn’t involve any advice Newport academy had to offer me & going to AA meetings the rest of my life at 17 yrs old. They continued to tell me to my face that I Was indeed an addict and couldn’t “level up” until I admitted I was one. I believed for such a long time that I was an “addict” and couldn’t control myself. when grown adults tell you that constantly every day for three months, you start to believe them. It was awful lying and saying that I was an addict when in my heart I knew I wasn’t. I came in to NPA to help with traumatic situations that have occurred when I was younger, they certainly did not help anything, in the long run it made things much more difficult. Im glad I am out of there and starting my new life! I COULDNT BE HAPPIER for the decisions I have made so far. Yes, Newport Academy was an AWFUL place, but I learned to be patient and move on. there will be traumatic situations you have to face, Newport academy was one, and I HOPE and PRAY that you will NOT send you precious teen here. I am just trying to help anyone I can. I would write more but i have reached the limit!! Please” – Callan (Yelp)
Newport Academy Website Homepage
Newport Academy – Wikipedia
Neighbors raise concerns about school for troubled youth (WFSB, 1/2/2018)
Rehab Company Faces Widespread Community Backlash Over Planned McLean Facility (Tysons Reporter, 4/25/2019)
State Rep. Laura Devlin: Update on Newport Academy (CT House GOP, 2/25/2020)
Newport Academy Eyes Great Falls for Treatment Facility as Residents Vow to Fight (Tysons Reporter, 11/10/2020)