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David Semanco | Discovery Behavioral Health

Discovery Behavioral Health Inc., an expanding network of evidence-based mental health, substance use and eating disorder treatment centers, appointed David Semanco as program director of New Life Addiction Counseling & Mental Health Services in Pasadena.

Semanco is a Master Addiction Counselor specializing in the application of complementary therapies to enhance the addiction treatment and recovery process. He transitioned into the addiction treatment field in 2002 following successful careers in information technology and music. He continues to incorporate technology and music into clinical practice as evidenced by his work with neurofeedback and music therapy.

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Semanco says his journey to the behavioral health profession began in the 1980s when a professor lent him his “newfangled Apple personal computer” to complete his Master’s degree thesis. Realizing he had a knack for conveying complex information into layman’s term, he soon found himself helping academic colleagues learn the nascent field of computer science. Eventually, he earned another Master’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Addiction Treatment

Samanco has worked in hospital, residential and outpatient settings, providing direct care and developing programs for adolescents and adults. Over the past two decades he’s seen a major shift in the public’s perception of substance use disorder.

Known for his ability to create and nurture strong yet compassionate multidisciplinary clinical teams, he is the 2020 recipient of William “Bill” Callahan Award by the Association of Addiction Professions (NAADAC) for sustained mission to increase awareness of addiction and advocacy for prevention, treatment and recovery support at the national level.