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New Rehab Facility For Teens Hooked On Phonics


A new community rehabilitation center opens this week to help teens fight the latest addiction that's overtaking an entire generation of young people.

"They're hooked on phonics," explains Tom Cavanaugh, director of the new facility. "Kids start out experimenting with simple, one-syllable sounds when they're young. It's just a matter of time before they move up to harder core phrases. By the time they get here, some of them are in pretty bad shape, speaking in iambic pentameter, some even talking in rhymes. It's sad to see. They all want to be drama majors."

The facility employs a number of methods to combat the affliction. "Ours is basically a ten-step program," says Cavanaugh, "but we supplement it with various forms of group therapy, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy."

"I'm Billy Moon," announces one patient at a group therapy session, "and I'm a phonic-olic." Billy, age eighteen, proceeds to explain how, at age 6, his mom bought a phonics program at a neighborhood garage sale.

"This stuff is being sold right under your noses. Your next door neighbor may be a phonics user and you won't even know it--till you try to get him to say a few words that don't rhyme." "We find that many of our patients' phonics problems can be traced back to their mothers and fathers. After all, the first words we hear are spoken by our parents. It's not easy to overcome issues that are so deeply imbedded.Doctor Seuss is the worst offender. That Green Eggs and Ham I am stuff is a killer."

Once patients have proven they are clean, and begin to use regular phrasing again, they are allowed to leave the facility. But the struggle isn't over then.

"Phonics are all around us," says the director. "You turn on any radio and you hear song lyrics that rhyme. You have to be pretty strong when you leave here or it's pretty easy to slip back into using inappropriate phrases."

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