Coordinator: Miriam Ruiz, MSW
13931 South Van Ness Ave., Gardena, CA 90249
Tel: (310) 768-8018; Fax: (310) 768-4170
The Youth Outpatient Treatment Program collaborates with Joint Efforts and NCADD-Long Beach to treat youth with substance abuse problems.
Languages: English, Spanish, Armenian, and Russian
AOD Care MH brochure
YOT Referral Form
Programs and Services:
- Intake Screening and Assessment
- Individual, Group, and Family Counseling/Therapy
- Urinalysis Testing
- Case Management and Referrals
- Psychiatric Medication Management Services
- Sober Activities and Field trips
- Community Education Presentations
- Mental Health Services: for children and youth age 5-21 with Medi-Cal insurance experience behavioral, mental, and/or substance abusing
- Inglewood Juvenile Drug Treatment Court: for substance abusing youth age 12-18 on probation
- CARE Voucher Requests and Assessments: for substance abusing youth ages 12-20 with no Medi-Cal
It was only five years ago, that Yvette found herself in some serious trouble. She was 13
years old and in the 7th grade when she tried crystal meth with a friend. As she stated in
our interview, she "tried it, and liked it." Thus began her journey with drugs. What
initially started as her only using crystal meth, soon turned into her also selling it. Yvette
shared that she used to sell it in school in order for her to be able to buy it. This
eventually led to her being caught with a considerable amount in her purse while she was
in school, which resulted in her getting expelled and on probation.
This is where AADAP comes into the picture. Yvette first came to YOT in 2005, when
she was 14 years old. She shares about her initial experiences at YOT with some
nostalgia. Yvette remembers how she was upset and cried when the counselor told her
that someone would be going into the bathroom with her when she got tested. She felt
violated, and did not like to be treated that way. Yvette also confesses that she had
problems opening up to her counselor in the beginning. It was difficult for her because
she had always been used to keeping things to herself. Eventually her counselor, Maria,
helped her to open up. Yvette shared that she felt that Maria listened, and this was
something new for Yvette, since she felt that her mother never listened to her.
Another challenge that Yvette faced in terms to opening up was that she did not want to
participate in the group sessions. Again, with the help of her counselor and Yvette's
determination, she finally began to be a part of the group and to make friends. Yvette
feels that this made a considerable difference in her journey, since she was able to meet
and interact with others who shared similar issues, and understood what she was going
Throughout the time that Yvette attended YOT, she had to deal with other struggles as
well. She did not drive and no one could drop her off, so she had to take the bus. She had
very little support from her family, but she was persistent and never missed a session.
This is one of the reasons that the counselors were always impressed by her behavior.
Even though she was very young, she was also very responsible. Yvette does admit that
initially her motivation to keep coming was to "keep her mother's mouth shut," but
eventually it became about her wanting to change.
As the months started to pass by and she continued her treatment, she also continued
going to school and doing her school work. Yvette modestly recalls being recognized by
a school teacher for doing a good job in school. Her teacher told the entire class that
Yvette would be graduating from 8th grade, and this made Yvette feel proud.
Not only was Yvette doing well in school, she also saw a change in how she handled
previous situations. For example, Yvette recalls that around the time that she was about to
graduate, a girl from her school was trying to pick a fight with her. Yvette avoided the
fight, which is something that she would have never done beforehand.
Due to all of her progress and her hard work, Yvette was able to graduate from YOT. Not
only did she get her family back after she stopped using drugs, but she also gained her
mother's trust and her life back.
Yvette is now married and living in Mexico. She says that now she takes care of herself.
She still parties, and has fun, but without the drugs. When asked what she would tell
young teens, she says "if they offer you, don't try [it] because you will like it." Her
advice to anyone who is starting the program is to "listen and talk." Yvette ends our
conversation with "I really love my life, life is only one."
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