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Connecticut program provides innovative treatment for adolescents

June 27, 2011
by News release
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Durham, Conn. — A new 16-bed residential program designed specifically for adolescents and families struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and substance use disorders has opened in Durham, Conn. The program is located approximately 30 minutes from Hartford and New Haven and less than two hours from New York City.

Rushford at Stonegate is a private, 90-day program that provides a distinct combination of comprehensive evaluation, intervention and treatment approaches for adolescent males, ages 13 to 17 and their families.

The program is located on the 43-acre Stonegate Springs campus in Durham and provides a home-like setting for residents with amenities that include a newly renovated residential facility with private and semi-private rooms, fitness center, ropes course, basketball courts, walking trails and a certified school.

In 2010, it was estimated that at least 15,000 adolescents living in Connecticut and the surrounding states needed but did not receive substance abuse treatment. This disparity has in part been attributed to inadequate identification and diagnosis of substance abuse disorders and insufficient treatment programs.

Rushford at Stonegate has been designed to address these factors and to close the gap between the number of teens who need but do not receive substance abuse treatment. The program has also adapted national standards in regard to the recommended duration of treatment for adolescent addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to be effective treatment needs to be at least 90 days.

"Length of stay is only one component of a successful program; families must also have access to comprehensive assessment, intervention, treatment, case management and support services that are developmentally, culturally and gender-appropriate," said Dr. Frank Bartolomeo, vice president of child and adolescent services. "Rushford at Stonegate is designed to address all of these needs."

According to Bartolomeo, traditional approaches to working with adolescents with substance abuse problems have produced high relapse rates and disappointing outcomes for families. "Our program incorporates the latest research findings in the effective treatment of adolescent addiction disorders and is designed to strengthen family bonds during treatment to support long-term, sustainable results," he said. In addition to evidence-based treatment, the program will also provide complete psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation.

"Serious substance use during adolescence can derail healthy development and interfere with the accomplishment of developmental tasks," he added. "Adolescents with substance abuse disorders frequently experience difficulty in school, at home and in the community."

While not all adolescents who use substances progress to dependence and addiction, some do, according to Bartolomeo. Current brain research is demonstrating that even episodic binge drinking during adolescence can lead to enduring cognitive deficits.

Rushford at Stonegate offers specialized staff and treatment, evidence-based protocols and comprehensive services to support recovery including academic support and recreational therapies.

The program includes a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, psychologists, licensed clinicians, certified teachers and recreational therapists, who are trained in best practices and are highly experienced working with adolescents and families struggling with addiction.

For more information on Rushford at Stonegate, please call 1-877-577-3233 or visit