The McMillen Teen Outpatient Program
It started innocently enough for Jennifer when she was a 15-year-old high school sophomore, sneaking an occasional beer with her friends. When she added marijuana and pills to the mix, however, her life began to spiral out of control. With faltering grades and little ambition, her academic aspirations started slipping away. Fortunately, her teachers and parents spotted the signs of trouble and got help. Now Jennifer is a happy college freshman looking forward to a successful future.
Help for Teens in Trouble
As anyone who has been there knows, watching talented, promising kids lose their way to drug and alcohol abuse is heartbreaking. Torrance Memorial Medical Center offers a program that can help -- the Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program.
One of the few outpatient substance abuse treatment programs for adolescents in the South Bay, Torrance Memorial's Teen Outpatient Program serves youths ages 13 to 17 with substance abuse problems. It is designed to help adolescents who need an intensive and structured program for recovery, but not inpatient care.
"The Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program represents another significant expansion of our outpatient chemical dependency treatment program," said Moe Gelbart, Ph.D., executive director of the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment. "There is definitely a need for this service, and we are dedicated to helping troubled teens in our community."
How the Program Works
Upon intake, the teen and their family is assessed on the biological, physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of their life. If appropriate, the teen will be entered into the Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program; if not, a referral will be made to an appropriate resource. Upon entry into the program, the adolescent receives a comprehensive history and physical, and then a three-phase course of treatment is put into action. (Teens receive weekly random drug testing throughout their participation.)
Phase I - Intensive Care
During the initial eight-ten week Intensive Care phase, teens and their families attend four sessions weekly to address addiction education, relapse triggers and 12-step philosophy. A multidisciplinary team of professionals devises an individualized treatment plan, addressing family, school and individual barriers to recovery.
Phase II - Transitional Care
The four-month Transitional Care phase of the program focuses on relapse prevention, peer support and practical applications of learned recovery tools. Progress is assessed to determine attendance requirements; most clients are required to attend at least twice weekly.
Phase III - Continuing Care
Teens in the Continuing Care phase of treatment are encouraged to attend weekly peer support groups and monthly community social activities until they reach 18. They are also welcome to join in quarterly teen social nights, aimed at sober fun and creative expression.
Family involvement is integral to the successful treatment process. Family members are involved at every step of the way, including individual family and multi-family group therapy sessions. Teens and their families address issues such as communication, conflict and healthy boundaries.
There is no question that a strong support system is vital to recovery from substance abuse problems. This can be particularly true of adolescents struggling with peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol. The Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program provides a wide variety of support and therapy options, including teen group therapy, parent support groups, teen peer support groups, and individual, family and multi-family therapy groups.
Healing Mind, Body and Spirit
Because the Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program is dedicated to healing the mind, body and spirit, a variety of unique resources are available during the recovery process. Fitness and nutrition specialists provide information and referrals; a supervised fitness room is available in the center. Art counselors, music therapists, and yoga instructors stimulate creative expression, and teens learn total health and well-being techniques focused on body awareness, stretching and breathing.
Begin the Recovery Process
Each of the experienced professionals involved with the Teen Outpatient Program is committed to returning troubled adolescents to a full and rewarding life. If your teen is struggling with drugs or alcohol, make the call to the Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program and start the recovery process today.
"At first, we had no idea our son was using drugs. When we found out, we didn't know where to turn. Then we discovered the Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program. They turned our son around and got his life back on track. He's been clean and sober ever since!" - Bob & Carol K., parents