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Addicts, disgruntled workers seize substance abuse rehab centers

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A group of recovering addicts and disgruntled employees seized control of six Eastern Pennsylvania drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, saying administrators didn’t understand how to treat addiction and were interfering with their rehab.

Hogar Crea International of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit group, manages the centers. The Hogar Crea treatment program, which originated in Puerto Rico in 1968, imposes strict behavior requirements backed by boot camp-style discipline.

Dissident workers and addicts staged coups at Allentown, Bethlehem, Freemansburg, Reading, Lancaster and Philadelphia centers. They changed some of the locks and barred administrators from entering the facilities.

Roughly 100 protesters gathered outside the Allentown facility to call for a new board. The board responded by seeking the court’s permission to bow out gracefully, and Northampton County Judge William Moran granted it.

Hogar Crea International has said it will appoint a new board.

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