The Freedom to Begin Again

At Fresh Start Recovery Center, each staff member brings a combination of education, training, professional certifications, and hands-on experience. We approach treatment from a variety of disciplines and therapeutic modalities, allowing us to create a truly comprehensive, individualized treatment plan.

Many of our staff members are in recovery themselves, and are excited to share the fulfillment they have found with you. We are real people in recovery, we have been where you are, and we are excited to help each individual find long term recovery.

dr parveen

Marium Parveen, MD, MS

Medical Director

Marium Parveen, MD, MA, Medical Director at Fresh Start Recovery Center (FSRC), has 22 years of experience working in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as providing consultation services. Dr. Parveen trained in the Psychiatry and Neurology Residency Program of Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Parveen brings to the team sound knowledge of psychiatric diseases, vast clinical experience working with emotionally challenged patients with co-occurring addiction problems, as well as years of experience in leadership and education. She is caring, compassionate, and ready to meet patients where the needs are.

What is your mission at Fresh Start Recovery Center?

My mission is to treat patients who are suffering from mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders or other causes, and place them in better health status. My goal is to provide patients with tools they can use to free themselves from addictive drugs, increase their insight, and make them productive and valuable members of society. I believe in working in a multi-disciplinary team, harnessing strengths of a diverse group of individuals of the treatment team that exists at the FSRC. I believe in treating patients with psychotherapy and use pharmacological interventions appropriate to their medical and mental health needs as well as engage their social supports.

What makes Fresh Start Recovery Center stand out?

I believe in FSRS’s policy of treating patients with the aim of freeing them totally and completely of drugs that are responsible for their addiction and mental health problem. FSRS stands out as a treatment facility because it is a total and absolute abstinence-based program, meaning not relying on any drugs with any addiction potential. FSRC offers patients’ ways to gradual reentry to society through different programs tailored to individual patient needs.

Most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start Recovery Center?

It is professionally gratifying for me to evaluate new patients knowing these individuals want to pursue abstinence. I admire their enormous inner strength and willingness to come to our program knowing that they will not be prescribed any controlled substances or addictive medication to treat their primary addiction. It is also rewarding to have multi-disciplinary support of great professionals that FSRC provides.

Gage Theodore

Director of Operations

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission is to ensure that all clients that come through our doors here at Fresh Start Recovery Center receive a treatment plan tailored to their needs. Meeting our clients where they are in life, focusing on their strengths, and finding solutions to help them live a long productive life in recovery.

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

What makes Fresh Start stand out is that we have a heavy presence in the local recovery community and our community as a whole. The majority of our staff are people in recovery themselves, which we believe allows us to connect with our clients on a personal level so we can best meet their needs.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

The most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start is seeing someone come to life during their stay here. The majority of our clients come here beaten, broken and a shell of a human being. By the time they leave they have regained their confidence, set goals and are ready to live a productive life in recovery. Witnessing that amazing change in someone is definitely the greatest part about working at Fresh Start.

Sarah Atencio, MS, LCPC, LCADAS

Clinical Director

I hold a Masters of Substance Abuse and Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Certificate of Rehabilitation Counseling from East Carolina University. I have been working in the field of addictions since 2013, and recently joined the team as the Clinical Director. Working in behavioral health is a calling, and I am excited to have a team of staff who also feel called to make a difference, not only in people’s lives, but in the community. The atmosphere here is positive and the staff genuinely care about helping clients make positive changes in their lives. We are working together to make Fresh Start Recovery Center feel like home to clients, so that they have a comfortable environment in which to thrive.

Mindy Navarro

Mental Health Therapist

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 13 years’ experience working in inpatient, outpatient, and correctional settings. I am a local Washingtonian and finished my Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at Bowie State University.

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission at Fresh Start is to treat the whole person in a safe, judgement-free environment. Using a person-centered approach, I want the client to feel secure in the fact that we are working together towards meeting their individual goals.

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

What makes Fresh Start stands out is its dedicated staff that always places the needs of the client above all else. Every person that works at Fresh Start puts their whole heart into their work every day. This is a treatment center where respect, compassion, and empathy are something every client can expect, no exceptions.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

The most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start is being able to witness the incredible transformations that are taking place within our incredibly strong and brave clients every day.

Brent Fischbein

Mental Health Therapist

Brent Fischbein is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Maryland and one of our Primary Therapists at Fresh Start. Brent received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. In addition to his course work revolving around harm-reduction, he had the experience of working for the Monroe County Probation Department in the drug court program. After completing his undergraduate degree, he received his MSW at University of Maryland, Baltimore with a focus in Clinical/Behavioral Health. While in graduate school he gained experience in the field at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, Maryland and Sasha Bruce Youthworks in Washington, DC. With experience with both inpatient and residential settings he was able to gain a strong understanding of the needs of clients with dual diagnosis including drug addiction. He plans to use of all the experiences to help clients with substance use needs in a therapeutic setting.

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission at Fresh Start is to help guide clients on a path that that is sustainable and conducive to their recovery after treatment. I believe this can be achieved by creating individualized treatment plans while using a strength-based approach, in efforts to help clients realize the power and potential they have for their treatment to be successful.

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

Fresh Start stands out because it utilizes a multi-disciplinary team to address mental health and substance abuse needs of our clients. Since co-occurring disorders are prevalent in this field, it is important that there is a treatment team from substance abuse, mental health and psychiatry backgrounds that work together to meet the needs of our clients.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

The most rewarding part about working at Fresh Start is watching client’s progress through treatment and take what they learn at Fresh Start and apply these skills to their life. Treatment is about what clients learn in the program and how they use those strategies and skills in their live after they complete the program.

Norm Friedlander, BA, ADT

Substance Abuse Counselor

Norm is a lifelong Maryland resident who graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Maryland University of Maryland and has an ADT status with the Maryland Department of Health to be a primary substance abuse counselor in a treatment facility. He lives ten minutes from the center with his wife and their daughter.

What is your mission at Fresh Start?

My mission is to ensure that all clients that come to Fresh Start Recovery Center are treated with kindness and respect, and I endeavor to facilitate and maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere that is conducive to their recuperation. I believe in the moral imperative “once a client always a client”.

What makes Fresh Start stand out?

Like myself, much of the staff here is in long term recovery. We’ve been there and we get it. We believe that the opposite of addiction is connection, and we strive to connect with every person who does an intake.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Fresh Start?

Many of the people who come to us for treatment had never heard of Gaithersburg MD before yet often the connection to the center and the local recovery community is so strong that they elect to remain in the area even after discharge. Seeing the light come on in a persons eyes and the ensuing reawakening of their soul is why I never need an alarm clock to help get my day started. Working here is a privilege and one of the many gifts of recovery.

Erin Liposky

Substance Abuse Counselor

After working for more than 25 years in marketing and communications, I was called to the field of substance abuse. I took classes, which led to my becoming a certified associate counselor – alcohol and drug (CAC-AD). My mission at Fresh Start is to give people hope, which I believe is critical for staying sober. People need to believe they will get better, that they can atone for their past mistakes, and that they can start their lives over again. I try to instill in them that those things can happen. What makes Fresh Start different is the camaraderie among the staff and the way that camaraderie carries over to the treatment we provide. We are a great team who loves working together, which makes us better at helping the populations we serve. The most rewarding part of my job is watching people go from depressed and hopeless to “Hey, I can do this. I can get better.”

Meghan Denslow

Case Manager

I obtained my degree in criminal justice and political science but after starting my journey in recovery I found my passion working in behavioral health. My mission at Fresh Start is to assist the clients with a smooth transition to life after treatment. What makes Fresh Start stand out is the atmosphere, the staff here feels like a family. Since day one, the most rewarding part of my job is to see the light come back to the clients’ eyes and see families reunited.