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Behavior health center reopens one year after fire

Creative Treatment Options substance abuse and mental health counseling is back in Arvada


More than a year after a fire destroyed the Arvada office complex that housed its substance abuse and mental health counseling offices, Creative Treatment Options Inc. celebrated a grand re-opening at a new building at Wadsworth Boulevard and 66th Avenue.

The new office includes a mural painted in memory of substance abuse counselor John Rutter, who died in the fire.

“He was a really beloved person all over where he worked,” Clinic Director Joyce Smith said of the 55-year-old Rutter. “He was compassionate and kind, but not afraid to confront. A resilient human being.”

Rutter worked at Creative Treatment for 10 years and used his own experiences of drug addiction recovery to guide patients.

“John lost his leg due to his own addiction, then he moved to Colorado to hike,” Smith said. “He’s been an example for us to continue to think of when it’s hard here.”

The group room next to the mural also is named after and dedicated to him.

The January 2016 destroyed the Scenic Heights Professional Building at 6245 Wadsworth BlvdThe cause of the fire remains undetermined. An Arvada Press investigation found that although the building did not have a modern smoke alarm system or sprinklers, it did not violate building and safety codes. Because it was an older building, it fell under previous less stringent safety requirements. An updated alarm and sprinkler system would have alerted tenants at the first indication of a fire, city fire officials said.

After the fire, Creative Treatment Options moved its Arvada business to Lakewood.

“We were able to grow while we were in Lakewood,” said Bryan Standley, operations manager for Creative Treatment Options. “We still have a full schedule of all services going in Lakewood, some in Denver and now a full schedule here in Arvada.”

The center opened in the original Arvada location in 1997. In 20 years of service, the center has served more than 44,000 people.

“I feel like we’ve provided a valuable service to the community over the years,” Smith said. “I think we make an impact on this community.”

Creative Treatment’s three locations are in Denver at Sheridan Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, in Lakewood at Wadsworth Boulevard and Colfax Avenue and the newly re-opened Arvada location. Altogether, they employ 12 counselors, five administrative staff and counseling five interns.

The outpatient behavioral health center offers education and therapy for DUIs, domestic violence therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and substance abuse disorder treatment. The center puts emphasizes dual diagnosis — the notion that substance abuse is associated with another mental health component.

The new building is custom-designed for optimal privacy for individual sessions and group classes.

“Our philosophy around addiction is that it stems from something else that people can’t cope with,” Standley said. “We’re working on some of the core issues.”


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