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El Camino Hospital Media Releases

El Camino Hospital Launches Evening Outpatient Addiction Services Program

Mountain View, CA - January 19, 2012 - El Camino Hospital is now offering an evening outpatient addiction services program to address the needs of professionals, students and others who cannot attend treatment during regular business hours. The innovative, evidence-based treatment program is the only evening program in the area between Redwood City and San Jose.

"According to government statistics, almost 75 percent of drug and alcohol abusers are employed," said Michael Fitzgerald, director of Behavioral Health Services at the hospital. "Many patients simply cannot afford to take time off from work or school, and privacy is an issue if they're absent, too. Our goal is to remove the obstacles to successful treatment."

The El Camino Hospital program uses a "Stages of Change" model, based on the idea that behavior change does not happen in one step. "People tend to progress through different stages at their own rate on their way to successful change," said Fitzgerald. "We provide individualized help from a licensed therapist in a non-judgmental and supportive setting. A psychiatrist on staff provides patients with a full assessment of symptoms, because for many people, substance abuse is a way to deal with anxiety or depression. Identifying these symptoms allows us to address them during treatment--a more holistic approach to addiction."

National figures show an unmet need for addiction treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (revised in March, 2011), 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 23,000 deaths annually result from alcohol alone. But only 2.6 million--11.2 percent of those who needed treatment--received it at a specialty facility. Studies suggest that Californians' rate of illicit drug use may significantly exceed the national average.

El Camino Hospital's outpatient program includes eight weeks of intensive, four-nights-a-week treatment, with both individual/family treatment and group therapy. One year of free post-completion treatment is included.

The new program expands the hospital's comprehensive approach to behavioral health care which includes an extensive offering of outpatient and partial hospitalization programs addressing a wide spectrum of acute behavioral health issues for teens, working age adults, moms and older adults. The hospital maintains separate treatment environments to help patients feel assured of secure, confidential and high quality treatment. Patients can be self-referred to the outpatient programs, or referred by their family, employer, healthcare providers or other means. The programs often are covered by insurance, but physician fees are not included.

Prospective patients can get more information or make an appointment for the initial assessment by calling the Addiction Services referral line, 650-988-7700 or 866-789-6089 (toll-free).