Magazine article Addiction Professional

Bayside Marin Outpatient Program

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Bayside Marin Outpatient Program

Article excerpt

A typical downtown location for an outpatient addiction treatment program might occupy a corner in a nondescript office building, a spot selected to be as unobtrusive as possible. But that also means the operation settles for a setting that isn't particularly inviting to clients who spend hours there.

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Bayside Marin's outpatient program in downtown San Rafael, California hardly fits that model. Executive Director Tim Sinnott explains that the inviting site, remarkably a converted auto repair shop, speaks to the notion of Bayside Marin's founder that "it's time that the profession started not being in the basement of a building with a small sign."

Sinnott says that when an outpatient program has clients at its facility for a good part of the day, it needs to house them in an environment soothing to the senses. When clients at Bayside Marin are reading, completing assignments or taking a break at times of the day when they're not in therapy sessions, they are doing so in a common area that is by no means sterile. The area features a large mosaic wall with cascading water that serves as the facility's central visual attraction.

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"They wanted a place where people could relax," Sinnott says of the facility's planners. "There aren't a lot of bright lights and a lot of foot traffic, like you'd find in office suites with elevators. It's not like you're going down to a first-floor commissary to do work."

Another striking feature on the main floor is a well-equipped gymnasium that rivals what one would find in the community; the gym actually once housed some competitive athletes on a contract basis. Outpatient clients use the gym, complete with fully equipped locker room facilities, on different hours from when it is available to Bayside Marin's residential clients. The residential campus is about a seven-minute drive from the downtown San Rafael outpatient location. …

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