Avanti’s Partnership With FullCircle Denver

Oct 24, 2023 | Parterships

Avanti recognizes the transformative power of connection, belonging, and active participation within a larger recovery community. We strive to engage our clients in meaningful ways, fostering a sense of purpose, personal growth, and social integration. 

While addiction destroys relationships, belonging to a community strengthens recovery. Through collaborative initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and creative endeavors, we empower our teenage clients to become positive contributors within their communities. We believe that community engagement is a vital component of holistic healing and we are committed to helping our clients build fulfilling connections beyond the treatment environment.

Avanti has forged connections with several organizations in the Denver Metro area to find additional support for teenagers participating in our intensive outpatient program. Our talented team of recovery coaches has built relationships with multiple organizations and communities.

Our partnership with the alternative peer group FullCircle allows our teens to practice social interaction with other like-minded youths choosing to live a life in sobriety. FullCircle provides an atmosphere of caring, support, and fun at all their events, weekend social activities, and 12-step meetings for young people.

FullCircle is an alternative peer group centered around the idea that young people will stop their self-destructive behavior only if they are offered alternatives that are both fun and fulfilling.

Officially, Full Circle is a “12-step-based enthusiastic-approach recovery community organization,” explains Ben Stincer, program director at Denver FullCircle. “We received permission from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services to modify the 12 steps and gear them more toward young people and adolescents.” For example, in FullCircle meetings, people don’t have to introduce themselves in the traditional manner as “Hi, my name is Billy. I’m an addict,” it’s quite enough just to say their names.

“We found that adolescents are still developing their personalities and if they latch on to ‘I am an addict,’ it can actually be detrimental to their long-term recovery,” says Stincer. “If you’re fifteen and you’re using cannabis nine times a day, skipping school, and having a terrible relationship with your parents, that’s obviously not ideal and it doesn’t really matter whether we call you an addict or not.” 

In the world of 12-step sobriety, meetings are still a central element, though, for people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD), mental health problems, or other issues. All of FullCircle’s support groups hold 12-step meetings twice per week, specifically designed to allow young adults and teens the chance to be themselves, connect with each other, and grow in their understanding of the 12 steps.

“We have young people in the groups for substance misuse, self-harm, promiscuity, pornography, and other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression,” says Stincer. “Primarily, we have kids who struggle with substance use, self-harm, and eating disorders—those are the big three.”

FullCircle meetings are very solution-focused, he explains. “Kids with substance use issues, kids engaging in self-harm, kids with eating disorders—all in the same meeting talking about solutions, rather than just discussing the problem.”

Enthusiastic recovery is an approach to sobriety based on the belief that in order for substance use treatment to be effective for young people, it must be fun and feel good. “Young people often don’t respond to logic, you can talk until you’re blue in the face,” says Stincer. “They don’t think in terms of long-term consequences. It’s all about what’s fun right here, right now. So we provide them with something that is as much fun and as exciting as they’re used to but without mind-altering substances and habit-forming behaviors.”

FullCircle staff work the 12 steps with their young clients and provide additional recovery coaching, reaffirming the therapeutic work that clinicians at other facilities such as Avanti Behavioral Health have done. FullCircle does not provide psychotherapy—its support services are complementary to Avanti’s intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Greenwood Village. The Avanti-FullCircle option is also a great step-down choice for teens who are being discharged from full residential treatment. 

Besides FullCircle, Avanti also developed ties with local recovery high schools, fitness organizations, advocacy groups, and other options teenage clients can explore. We attempt to give each teen the opportunity to find a community that fits their specific needs best.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive, holistic, family-centered, and trauma-informed care for teens with substance use disorder. We’re here to support sobriety and boost mental health in adolescents during one of the most difficult transitions in life. We know this underserved population requires treatment for addiction that is uniquely crafted for this age group and very different from adult programming. It’s real. It works. Recovery is possible. 

If your teen needs help, do not delay seeking treatment. For more information about our IOP and family programming call us at (720) 753-4030. 

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