KARL MCMILLEN: DEDICATED TO FIGHTING TEEN ADDICTION
Fourteen years ago Karl McMillen donated $5.3 million, allowing Torrance
Memorial to create the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment,
an expansion of the hospital’s chemical dependency treatment program,
named after his late wife, Thelma. At his insistence, the Center expanded
services and added an adoles- cent program, going from a staff of six
to a staff of 25.
From personal tragedy, McMillen and his wife became dedicated to helping
others, especially teens, fight ad- diction. The McMillens had two sons,
Mark and Chris. Their oldest son, Mark, died from a drug overdose in 1986.
Their youngest son, Chris, also struggled with long-term addiction problems.
Chris was on his way to beating his addiction but died from cancer in
2010. McMillen, who has been sober for more than 20 years, has dedicated
his life to assisting families caught up in the devastating and hard-to-treat
disease of addiction.
McMillen also authored the book
Triumphs and Tragedies: A True Story of Wealth and Addiction, chronicling just how difficult it was for his family to spot, treat and
help his sons in the 1980s, when there were few treatment centers or resources
for fighting addiction. The tragedies the McMillens endured are ones no
family ever wants to go through—and are the powerful inspiration
and guiding force behind the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug
THELMA MCMILLEN TEEN OUTPATIENT PROGRAM
For more than 25 years, Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s Thelma
McMillen Center has been helping South Bay adults, teens and their families
overcome the patterns of alcohol and drug abuse and addiction. The Teen
Outpatient Program is designed for adolescents, ages 13-17, and their
families, with the goal of allowing the teen to stay in school and become
sober within their community. It is the preferred treatment of choice
in cases where the adolescent needs an intensive and structured program
for recovery, but not inpatient care. Outpatient treatment has long been
recognized as an effective method for treating addiction because teens
can get clean and sober in
their real world. The program is recognized for its success and is covered by
most insurance plans.
The program is a six-month, three-stage outpatient program that addresses
the needs of both substance-abusing and dependent individuals and their
families. It 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.
A variety of unique resources are available during the treatment and recover
- Music therapy
- Fitness training (in-house fitness room)
- Nutritional counseling
- Total health and well-being techniques focused on body awareness, stretching
- Relationship and communications skills training
- Coping skills training, including identification of triggers and response
- Access to the Center’s library and reading room, which provide valuable
resources for program enrollees and their family members
- Upon graduation from the program, teens have continued access to the Center’s
resources and support groups and can participate in weekly aftercare,
which provides a sober support network
For information on Torrance Memorial Thelma McMillen Teen Outpatient Program,
please call 310-257-5760.