Affluenza Debate: Is it really an illness? - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Affluenza Debate: Is it really an illness?

Posted: Updated:
A recent DUI case involving a Texas teen guilty of killing four people while driving drunk has become a national talking point.

Now Texomans are weighing in on the debate.Ethan Couch, 16, was sentenced ten years probation for driving drunk and killing four people. 

A judge’s decision to only give the teen probation has sparked a debate not only about the ruling in the case, but also the term “affluenza” used by a psychologist who testified in the case. Beforehand,

The psychologist who testified in the case stated that Couch suffered from an illness called affluenza. But people question whether affluenza is an actual illness.

“It has been used to describe a condition in which children – generally from richer families – have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior, and sometimes dabble in drugs and alcohol,” said Dr. Gary Buffone, a psychologist interviewed by CBS. 

Buffone is just one of many health experts commenting on this ruling, but locals here in Texoma are just shocked by the ruling. 

“To make up a mental illness, if they will, of ‘affluenza,’ I think it’s ridiculous,” said Jazman Patterson. “People need to take responsibility for their actions, as well as parents need to take responsibility for the way that they raise their kids."

"Drinking and driving should be cracked down on more, and I don't think enough restrictions are put on that," said Deborah Walls, a Texoma resident.

"I think it’s pitiful that you can use money as an excuse for that kind of behavior. I think anyone else in that situation would be having serious consequences,” said Jazman.

“It’s awful that anybody should die because somebody drinking and driving, but because someone's parents have more money than someone else's does not mean it needs to be blown off by any means,” said Amanda Davis, a Texoma resident.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 
  • News HeadlinesNews HeadlinesMore>>

  • Suspect Leads Police On Chase

    Suspect Leads Police On Chase

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:56:15 GMT
    A Department of Public Safety Trooper stopped to help what looked like a broken down car Saturday afternoon. When the Trooper got close to the vehicle the driver took off running.It happened around Clyde Morgan Road and Turkey Ranch Road. The suspect vanished into a wooded area. Wichita and Archer County Sheriff Deputies helped in the search. A K-9 Unit was brought in from the Holliday Police Department to assist as well.The suspect was eventually found after another short foot chase. He had ...
    A Department of Public Safety Trooper stopped to help what looked like a broken down car Saturday afternoon. When the Trooper got close to the vehicle the driver took off running.It happened around Clyde Morgan Road and Turkey Ranch Road. The suspect vanished into a wooded area. Wichita and Archer County Sheriff Deputies helped in the search. A K-9 Unit was brought in from the Holliday Police Department to assist as well.The suspect was eventually found after another short foot chase. He had ...
  • SKYWARN 6 FORECAST

    Rain Remains in the Forecast for Tonight and Easter Sunday

    Slight Rain Chances Tonight Into Easter

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:37:40 GMT
    Rain chances increase for Easter Sunday.
    Clouds continue to move in. There is a chance of isolates storms tonight. However, rain chances increase for Easter Sunday.
  • Farm Bill Basics Meeting

    Farm Bill Basics Meeting

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:22:30 GMT
    The Texas AM AgriLife Extension will host a Farm Bill Basics meeting Monday, April 21st at the Region 9 Education Center located at 301 Texas Loop 11 in Wichita Falls. 
    The Texas AM AgriLife Extension will host a Farm Bill Basics meeting Monday, April 21st at the Region 9 Education Center located at 301 Texas Loop 11 in Wichita Falls.