Making a Difference

Jul 17, 2023 | Uncategorized

Many American teenagers struggling with mental health issues will attempt to alleviate their emotional pain by misusing psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cannabis, depressants, and stimulants. Many of them require treatment or risk escalating their substance misuse to dangerous levels. 

Avanti Behavioral Health has only been providing services for teens with substance use disorder (SUD) for a few weeks but the team has already made a big difference in the lives of their clients. 

Clinical consultant Stephen Sbanotto, MS, LPC, CSAT-S has been a licensed professional counselor for over 12 years. After working with some of the teenage clients at Avanti, Sbanotto found they respond well to the treatment approach of our new intensive outpatient program (IOP). 

“A common theme for the kids in recent three-hour sessions has been their sense of belonging,” says Sbanotto. He was delighted to hear from one client that he felt he belonged at Avanti—that he had come to the right place where he could feel safe. Another client said he felt accepted in the group. “I’m just really pleased with how well it’s going.”

Feeling accepted and having a sense of belonging are great foundations for developing a new sense of well-being away from substance use. “Before they came to Avanti, many of those teens regarded substance use as their ‘friend’ but now they are beginning to realize the dangers of this kind of friendship,” says Sbanotto. 

The treatment approach at Avanti is built on three pillars: Continual clinical growth, family support, and community integration. “Our ‘Always Forward’ motto pushed us to think differently about the care we wanted to provide. We saw an opportunity to innovate and create a more comprehensive approach to a complex set of conditions,” explains Sbanotto.  

At Avanti, we constantly strive to explore and integrate the latest and most effective ways to serve our teens and families. By embracing innovation and staying abreast of emerging research, therapies, and treatment techniques, we ensure that our adolescents receive the most comprehensive and cutting-edge care available. 

We recognize the role of family integration as a pillar of our comprehensive treatment approach. By offering resources and education, we empower parents to effectively support their child’s journey while attending to their own needs. 

“Our commitment to an evidence-based clinical curriculum enables us to adapt and refine our approaches while serving the unique needs of everyone, fostering their progress, and maximizing their potential for long-term well-being,” says Sbanotto. 

The aim of the Avanti team is to cultivate a sense of purpose and worth, allowing adolescents to recognize their value and potential as strong members of their communities. By embracing community integration, we pave the way for our teens to build meaningful connections, gain a sense of fulfillment, and create positive impacts that extend far beyond their treatment journey.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive, holistic, family-centered, and trauma-informed care for teens with substance use disorder. We want to help each client find their version of what is known as “dynamic recovery”—a positive approach to staying sober that involves finding enjoyment and fulfillment in life without the use of drugs or alcohol. It’s an approach that is focused on personal growth, self-improvement, and the pursuit of new interests and passions.

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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