A New Jersey rehabilitation center affiliated with the embattled KIDS of El Paso County Inc. faced a formal investigation of complaints similar to those that plaque the area center. KIDS of Bergen County Inc. was cleared last year, however and continues treating drug, alcohol and eating disorders in young people. A KIDS center that opened May 1 in California was cited for operating without a license in a case that's still pending, state officials said. Meanwhile, two leading drug rehabilitation experts questioned the alleged harshness of the KIDS treatment regimen. The El Paso KIDS center was closed Thursday by court order requested by the Texas attorney general's office. Then a second judge modified that order so the center could remain open pending a hearing that's planned this week in Austin. All but three of the 90 patients returned to KIDS Friday. Center officials were trying to track down the three apparent runaways. The one-day shutdown climaxed an investigation by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, which has charged the 2-year-old KIDS of El Paso Inc. with physical abuse, neglect and civil rights violations. Based on the commission's investigation, a state investigator has recommended revoking the center's license. Last year, the Bergen County prosecutor in Hackensack, NJ, investigated KIDS of Bergen County Inc. after some patients alleged they were intimidated, physically abused or were held against their will. The center was cleared of any wrongdoing two weeks ago, KIDS of Southern California Inc., which opened May 1 in Yorba Linda Calif., was notified by the California Social Services Department that it was in violation of the law because it was operating without a license. Kids of Southern California Inc. did not return calls from the El Paso Times Friday about the complaint.KIDS uses strong peer pressure tactics to motivate patients to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. Tactics include encounter sessions and extremely close supervision, at least during initial phases of the program. Program officials say patients win greater freedom as they earn greater trust. ***, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, said the commission has investigated 95 complaints in drug and rehabilitation programs in Texas. Three of them, in 1987, involved KIDS of El Paso County, Inc. The commission has closed only one other rehabilitation center, she said. ***, the founder of KIDS of America Inc., helped open the El Paso center. He said the complaints at the other two KIDS centers have no effect on the El Paso center as each is completely independent. The centers exist, he said, "because parents in those communities want them there. We let them use our name, but there is no umbrella organization that controls them.” But the KIDS tactics have their critics. ***, a drug rehabilitation expert in San Francisco, said, I believe in treating drug or alcohol addiction like a disease. I do not believe in using judgmental or intimidating methods that make a person feel like he's a bad person." ***, founder and director of ***, a drug rehabilitation program in Hawaii with a success rate three times higher than the national average, also questions the KIDS method. "We get a lot of reluctant customers, too," he said. "But our job is to motivate them. This idea of sitting on top of people to make them stay does not work. "*** said he personal has investigated the allegations against KIDS of El Paso County Inc.” I found one case of emotional abuse, stemming from the excess of immaturity, but nothing that was intentional. On previous visits, I have found minor things that needed correcting, but nothing that fits the findings of the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse," he contends. KIDS of El Paso County Inc. opened at the urging of parents with children who completed the program elsewhere. The private non-profit center charges about $700 a month for treatment of behavior disorders. such as drug addiction, alcoholism, bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Newton said 90 percent of' about 100 who completed the program in New Jersey or Texas have remained drug free. Prominent El Pasoans serve as advisors or trustees of the El Paso center.