out brochures and promoting awareness about Alpha's rehabilitation
programs that many in the community -- including hospital employees
-- don't seem to know about.
"If people call the hospital and ask for a drug-treatment program,
they will say they don't have one and will refer them to another
program, which is a recovery program for [alternative lifestyles],"
Mike Harmon, an Alpha alum and coordinator of the walk-a-thon, said
about some uninformed hospital employees. "That program will then
refer them to Alpha."
George Patterson, the clinical director and co-founder of Alpha,
located at 1330 S. Glendale Ave., said the center's impetus came from
personal experiences. A former entertainer during the "wild '60s,
when drugs were rampant in show business," he witnessed many friends
and loved ones struggle with and even die from addictions.
Determined to help those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse, he
opened the Alpha Recovery Center 28 years ago and estimates there
have been more than 12,000 who have participated in the program. Now,
it's the oldest treatment program in Southern California.
"This is a treatable disease and people can get help," he said.
"We have created an affordable program, and those who cannot afford
it are assisted by [donations received from such fundraisers as] the
Mark Bradley, a chemical-dependence counselor and program manager,
said the base cost is $6,000 and scholarships can be granted to those
who cannot afford it. More than $1,000 was raised from yesterday's
"They saved my life," Pati Troup, the Alpha Recovery Center alumni
president, said. "I wouldn't be here today without Dr. George
The program meets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week for 30
days, offering detox and alternative living environments during
treatment such as sober living if needed. For more information, call