An institution in Oxnard, California since 1977, Alternative Action Programs provides outpatient substance abuse care, DUI education and individual therapy in Los Angeles County. In 1982, the facility partnered with DMG and Associates, Inc. and began offering drug diversion programs, domestic violence counseling and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) for industrial and commercial clients. In 1991, AAP began providing certified Department of Transportation (DOT) testing and expanded their services to serve as a comprehensive drug testing facility, conducting an estimated 40,000 tests annually.
AAP’s founder, Dennis M. Giroux, began working with addicts in 1972 at the Clare Foundation in Santa Monica, California, a well known recovery institution with branches across West Los Angeles. AAP/DMG have two locations serving Southern California; one in Oxnard providing services for the San Fernando Valley and the other in West Los Angeles.
Treatment and Staff
AAP typically follows a schedule of one group therapy session a week at the facility’s headquarters—a former doctor’s office in Oxnard. There is usually an equal mix of court-appointed and self-admitted clients, with an average group maxing out at 15 and gender-specific groups are available. These hour and a half classes are CBT-oriented and led by CSACs. It’s worth noting that clients can expect random drug screenings throughout their recovery at AAP.
While the facility does offer a basic introduction to the 12 steps, the path is not particularly stressed nor are there any on-site meetings. AAP offers a fair amount of diversity in the structure of their group sessions; there are gender-specific meetings, bilingual sessions, special groups for family members and groups that focus on post-traumatic stress.
There is no official dual-diagnosis program at AAP though clients do address co-occurring mental health issues during their individual therapy sessions. These sessions typically only occur once a month for a half hour each. Clients should not expect access to a psychiatrist during their treatment nor a medical doctor, as AAP does not have a medical staff. Still, the facility does intend to add a medical director in the near future. Similarly, there is no medical detox offered at AAP, though referrals can be made if necessary. Clients are advised to complete this process before they begin an outpatient program.
While an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is available through AAP, participation in this track is merely a matter of increasing one’s total amount of weekly classes.
AAP’s drug testing services serve a wide variety of needs. There are tests mandated by family court, federally certified DOT tests, Federal Aviation Administration approved tests, Coast Guard forensic hair and saliva testing and pre-employment drug screens as well as private and confidential tests.
There is an aftercare program offered at AAP which consists of a stepped down level of commitment. This program also meets probation standards for clients needing to fulfill a longer term of attendance.
With a fairly established history of providing outpatient care, Alternative Action Programs offers standard substance abuse treatment plans and an array of testing services. Clients do have some flexibility in determining their level of involvement except of course when their treatment is part of a court order, which typically applies to half the clients in attendance at any given time. In all, AAP is a reliable and affordable choice for voluntary and court-ordered clients.
Alternative Action Programs
314 West 4th St
Oxnard, CA 93030
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