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Advantage Behavioral Health - Administrative Offices

250 North Avenue, Athens, Georgia, 30601
Advantage Behavioral Health Systems provides client-centered, community-based services to individuals and families suffering from mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse issues. The rehab offers a variety of programs and resources, including detox, crisis stabilization, residential treatment and outpatient programs, as well as job training and school-based treatment. Treatment is offered to children, adolescents and adults.

Facility Highlights

  • Group Counseling
  • 12-Step Process
  • Educational Activities


  • Peer Recovery

    Peer Recovery is a Peer-Driven Support Service Offered as a step-down program from more intensive level of treatment or for those individuals who are in recovery but desire to have more intensive supports. The program is primarily staffed by Certified Addictions Recovery & Empowerment Specialists (CARES) and offers educational groups, individual supports and employment resource and development. You may attend 3-5 days per week depending on progress made toward abstinence.
  • Women's Services Program

    Advantage’s Women’s Services program provides residential treatment to pregnant women or women with children who have a substance-related disorder. If your children are in your custody and under the age of 12, they can live with you onsite while you’re participating in treatment. Our goal is to help you identify and reach recovery goals, learn the skills you need to effectively parent your children, meet the goals/objectives of your Department of Family and Children services case plan, find housing, and find employment so that you can support your family.

Facility Settings

  • Average Location/Amenities

Meet the Staff

  • Oliver J. Booker
    Oliver J. BookerChief Executive Officer
    O. J. came to Advantage in Athens as Chief Operating Officer in December 2011 after 25 years of experience in acute care hospital executive management. A native of Warm Springs and Macon, GA, he holds a BS degree from Mercer University, MS in Biology from Auburn University, and an MBA and MHA from Georgia State University. A person in long-term recovery, he is also a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist (“CARES”), graduating with the 9th cohort in 2012. Since 1985, O. J. has held hospital CEO or COO positions in Quitman, Warner Robins, Florence, Alma, Forsyth, and Madison. O. J. has served as a trustee for the Georgia Hospital Association and now serves as an advisory board member of the Georgia State Office of Rural Health and the Athens Health Network. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. A past member of the Madison Rotary Club, he is a Paul Harris Fellow and has been involved in Rotary since 1985. O. J. assumed the CEO position in January, 2014 after the retirement of Cindy Darden, Ph.D. He is married, has four children, and resides in Madison, GA.
  • Sherrie Maxwell
    Sherrie MaxwellChief Operating Officer
    Sherrie Joined Advantage as Human Resources Director in June, 2012 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in January, 2014. Over the past twenty years, Sherrie has held several executive level jobs, including Human Resources Director for Medlink, a collection of community health centers. MedLink is based in Colbert, GA and operates clinics in 10 counties. Prior to MedLink, Sherrie held senior human resources leadership positions in other fields including a VP position at Compass Group, the largest contract food service company in the world. Sherrie has routinely handled HR, Benefits, Payroll, Quality, Facilities, Safety, and Workers comp, to name a few. Sherrie possesses a BA in Psychology from Fort Valley State College and is certified in HR with the SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) credential. Sherrie lives with her husband Danny and their Collie, Chaka, in Jefferson, GA. Sherrie is an avid reader and loves music. Danny and Sherrie spend their spare time traveling or playing video games. She is an active mentor, volunteer, and community service worker.

Treatment Center Links

Rehabs 360 Guide


Advantage Behavioral Health Systems (ABHS), based in Athens, Ga., is a publicly funded organization that offers a comprehensive menu of behavioral health, mental health, and addiction and recovery services. The center offers CARF-accredited residential and outpatient services for substance abuse. This review focuses on the Women’s Services location, which provides residential substance abuse treatment for pregnant women and women with children. This is one of the only 143 (49 percent) treatment facilities in Georgia with specifically-tailored programming for women and one of the just 75 (25.7 percent) centers in the state with a treatment track for pregnant women.


According to the center’s website, the first step of treatment at ABHS is an assessment as a basis for a treatment referral. The assessment addresses life stressors, attitude, emotional stability, and alcohol and/or drug use. Then the results of the assessment are used to determine a treatment plan for the client. Treatment recommendations are based on the guidelines from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Level of Care.

The Women’s Services Program strives to help residents identify and reach their recovery goals, as well as meet any objectives set by external agencies. It also assists clients with developing parenting skills, finding housing, and obtaining employment.

The main treatment modalities are group counseling and education, geared to address the needs of women in recovery. 12-step principles are also introduced. In addition, the facility offers a PEER Recovery Program.


Advantage Behavioral Health Systems’ website indicates the managerial staff includes a master’s level counselor, a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, and nurses. The PEER Recovery Program uses peer coaches. The six Rehabs.com survey respondents polled on the center's staff to date provided extremely positive feedback.

Staff's level of Training and Experience: 4.5/5 stars


According to the center’s website, children under 12 may stay on-site with their mothers during treatment, but alumni reviews indicate that other visitors are not allowed. The six reviewers polled on accommodations to date provided generally high ratings.

Cleanliness: 4/5 stars


Of the seven alumni surveyed by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, six provided mostly positive reviews. These six alumni indicated they would recommend the center, and many praised the “caring” and “great” staff. Alum A.N.S., for example, enjoyed the treatment overall but would have liked more visiting options. She also provided just one star for holistic offerings. Howver, those polled on family participation gave the facility exclusively four- and five-star ratings.

In the sole negative alumni review sourced by Rehabs.com to date, the alum wrote, “I am APPALLED at the level of disrespect and apathy the people who work here exhibit.” She described being in a waiting room for hours, and spending a week and a half unsuccessfully trying to get a prescription refilled.

Still, others offered praise for the staff. While L.M.M. admitted that some staffers could use more training, overall she remarked, "The counselors are caring and understanding." She gave four stars for the center's counseling options and five stars for its treatment of co-occurring disorders. Another alum felt that the facility had "good workers," and S.H.C wrote, "Caring," when surveyed on facility strengths. Providing low, two-star ratings for the center's holistic offerings and exercise and leisure activities, this alum did also add that the center needed "More transition services."

Overall, the alumni agreed they would recommend this center to others. "It's a strict program because they focus on not only treating addiction but on teaching the current how to live life again. They taught me structure, which I desperately needed after 20 years in active addiction," one former client concluded.

On Advantage Behavioral Health Systems' Facebook page, which the facility can manage and which covers the entire scope of the organization in addition to Women's Services, Advantage Behavioral Health Systems received 3.3 out of five stars from 17 reviews to date. [1] Alumni praised the effectiveness of the treatment program and the staff, but mentioned poor administrative practices.

A lower rating of 2.3 out of five stars from 26 Google users to date also encompassed the entire organization.[2] Similarly, difficulties with making appointments were repeatedly mentioned. In a representative positive review, though, one former client wrote, "I love this place. I have coming to it for 3 weeks now and they have helped me get on track with my mental health. Super friendly staff and a safe environment!"


At the time of this writing, the three loved ones polled by Rehabs.com provided mostly positive reviews. The loved ones provided four- and maximum five-star ratings for the facility’s treatment effectiveness.

They rated the center highest for the staff’s level of training and experience with a four-star ratings and two five-star ratings. Yet, two of these individuals rated the center just two out of five stars for its exercise and leisure options. Overall, all three indicated that to varying degrees, they would recommend this treatment facility to others.


On Indeed, the facility earned 3.2 out of five stars from 16 reviews. [3] Former and current employees liked their co-workers but felt unsupported by management and thought their pay was too low.


According to the center’s website, there’s an $85 fee for an initial assessment. The facility accepts insurance, including Medicaid (accepted at 49.7 percent of Georgia treatment centers), Medicare Part B, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Heath Care. Additionally, on-site financial counselors can help incoming residents identify all available financial resources.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/pg/Advantage-Behavioral-Health-Systems-104060476344091/reviews/
[2] GoogleReviews
[3] https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Advantage-Behavioral-Health/reviews

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