How These Christian Rehab Centers are Different
The Adult & Teen Challenge centers across the country are holistic, long-term Christian residential addiction treatment centers. They work with each addicted or alcoholic individual for a minimum of one year. They focus on abstinence and recovery, while also providing a spiritual focus designed to repair the individual’s behavior and motivations in life. Most of the centers are led by individuals who have come through addiction themselves. Intake is not automatic, since each center’s intake team determines who to take into its population based on how motivated the person is to get help.
WHAT DO THEY CHARGE? Most Adult & Teen Challenge centers charge very little for adults to attend. Some of the better equipped and staffed centers may charge up to $2500/mo. for everything, including room and board, but some individuals are taken in for much less, or even come free. Adult & Teen Challenge programs are supported by the community and recoup only a small part of their operational cost from the fees charged to the individual resident. The community and local businesses are very grateful and generous due to the success rate of these programs, transforming those who were once enslaved by addiction into vibrant, productive and peaceful individuals who care for and serve others.
DO THEY TAKE INSURANCE? Some Adult & Teen Challenge programs work with insurance, but that is the exception. Individuals should call the center near them to determine if insurance can be used for some or all of the fees. In some cases, the individual’s own insurance will cover their own medical expenses, including detox and drug testing, while in the program.
WHERE DO THEY START? Adult & Teen Challenge believes that most addictions start out of an individual’s need to cover up pain, or to temporarily liberate themselves from anxiety over a particular longing or need in their life. Such longings could include a need for love, success, forgiveness, belonging, or acceptance. Most addicts have a spiritual void and a lack of life purpose. Drugs or alcohol provide temporary relief for the mental anguish they are feeling as a result. Without filling the void and dealing with the underlying emotional issues and longings, the addict will go right back to their addiction after a few days, weeks or months. Even if an addict wants to quit, the chemical dependency makes it very difficult and painful for them to stop on their own. Withdrawal from chemical dependency can often lead to very painful symptoms, including life-threatening seizures, so a period of detox under medical care is first required.
Adult & Teen Challenge believes that addictions are usually triggered by deep-felt issue and a spiritual void, so unless those issues are dealt with, getting the individual off the substance they are addicted to is just a short-term solution. Any addict can go through detox and get off alcohol or drugs for a short time, especially in a highly monitored environment. The goal of Adult & Teen Challenge is to provide long-term recovery and training, to bring about lifetime avoidance of addictive substances once the individual leaves their rehab facility, even when hard knocks hit.
Change happens step by step, day in and day out, at Adult & Teen Challenge as the individual lives in a high accountable environment where their lies, negatives motivations, and improper actions are constantly challenged by their peers. Addicts have an uncanny sense of knowing when another addict or alcoholic is about to fall out of the program. So, rubbing shoulders with such people every day keeps the new residents accountable for their actions. As they make mistakes (and they will) they are called out for it, with an attitude of love and concern.
For Adult & Teen Challenge, time is their greatest asset, along with the wise counsel of their seasoned staff and the powerful life-changing ministry of the Holy Spirit on the minds and souls of these individuals. Residents learn to think and act differently, but good habits are not formed overnight — they take many months to master. Repetition is the key, and that takes time. Avoidance becomes more natural and automatic to residents as they gradually learn to “own” their mistakes, solve them, and not repeat them again.
To unwrap the layers of addiction, the Adult & Teen Challenge program includes several steps, each taking months to accomplish. These steps cannot be rushed. Many rehabs try to convince individuals that they can solve additions in a much shorter period of time. Such rehabs are a joke in the media due to their ineffectiveness. We often hear of celebrities attending one rehab after another, never solving their addiction. That is because their life issues have not been dealt with.
Short-term rehabs of a few weeks or even a few months may seem more palatable to the addict, employer, and the family, but they are usually a revolving door, never leading to complete recovery. Insurance plans only participate in the first 90 days, so that is why typical rehabs try to keep their term within that time parameter. However, this requires addicts to come back again and again, with relapses in-between, each resetting the clock, so they have to start all over again. They rarely achieve full recovery as a result. Such a revolving door wreaks havoc on the individual and their loved ones, who become devastated financially and emotionally in the process. This roller-coaster existence is devastating for everyone involved.
Adult & Teen Challenge centers focus on permanent recovery, no matter how long it takes, and they care for the resident’s entire needs throughout that period of time. They have 60 years of experience that has proven that true recovery takes a minimum of one year. They make this possible for the individual or their family by seeking most of their operational funding from donations from within the community. Community support gives these centers enough time to work with each addict to totally transform their life, for good. And that is why Adult & Teen Challenge programs are so successful.
The addict has already failed, again and again, on many levels in their life. They may have already gone to numerous rehabs before, all without success. So, they know they cannot change on their own. They have feelings of inadequacy, and guilt for repeated past failures. That’s why, from the very start, Adult & Teen Challenge emphasizes a reliance on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
None of us can change our own hearts — we need to cry out to our Maker and put the hard work on His shoulders. At this critical juncture in the addict’s life, they are ready to seek a higher power to help them. Christ and the Holy Spirit therefore become a constant companion, bringing them peace, fulfillment, purpose, kindness, truthfulness and a desire to be clean and to do what is right. As the addict gains a clearer mind, free from the influence of drugs or alcohol, an overwhelming sense of failure comes over them for all of the hurt and damage they have done. But once they realize that God will accept them as they are, and forgive them unconditionally, a whole new window opens up to them. When they accept Christ, they again feel worthy of moving on in life, because the Creator of the Universe has forgiven them and has taken a huge burden off their shoulders.
A deep desire then wells up within them to seek the forgiveness of others, and to serve others. That is a critical step forward. They gain strength and build a burning desire to seek the forgiveness of others in their life that they have harmed (which often is just about everyone they know). Surprisingly to them, others who see the change in their demeanor and attitudes are relieved and more than happy to forgive them, and that’s a huge relief to the former addict.
If there is one thing that is common to all addicts it is that they have become the best of liars — they lie to friends, employers, family and even to themselves. Moreover, they are blame-shifters, never taking responsibility for their own actions. These are not easy habits to break. Introducing Christ into their life also means introducing truth, where truth had become lost to them. Truth and transparency become a pivotal focus from this point forward, often taught by the staff through “tough love” tactics, but always approached with acceptance, understanding and care. Eventually, the addict or alcoholic realizes that the only way to live is to put away their constant lies and approach life from the truth, with the help of Jesus Christ.
After several months, residents in Adult & Teen Challenge are clean from drugs and alcohol, straight with God, and curbing their lying to themselves and others. But they still need a new path forward and a plan or they could fall right back into their old ways. They are need a few months to exercise and practice their new way of living. The program, therefore, shifts toward introducing new positive elements into their life, including community service, compassion, vocation and a strong work ethic.
There is still a partial void in the former addict’s life having to do with their future and their purpose in life. So, more time here also helps them build a plan for their future and the first steps toward that. Confidence, poise and a healthy vocation are developed by gradually moving them outside of the protected, drug-free environment of the Adult & Teen Challenge center. Service work to the community is introduced to each resident to teach humility. It is fulfilling to them to produce something each day, no matter how simple or menial. The work is initially done in groups, with each member of the group watching out for the others, all the while testing their own resolve to stay clean and to hold each other accountable. Menial work gradually shifts to more fulfilling vocational work for the individual to move into after graduating the program, if they had none previously.
Adult & Teen Challenge helps residents get launched into a new vocation with educational assistance and with strong connections in the community. They work hard to ensure the resident is involved in a strong church with a spiritual family that will hold them accountable and provide ongoing motivation, truth, and guidance.
Adult & Teen Challenge programs are supported by the community and recoup only a small part of their cost from the tuition that is charged. We have nearly 60 years of evidence that this model works, so the community gets behind us. We are very successful at transforming individuals who were once enslaved by addiction into vibrant, productive and peaceful individuals who care for others. The community is therefore very grateful!
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- 92% of Adult & Teen Challenge graduates reported good to excellent health a year later.
- 86% of Adult & Teen Challenge graduates reported they were drug-free a year later.
- 72% of Adult & Teen Challenge graduates continued their education upon completion of the program.
- 75% of Adult & Teen Challenge graduates were employed a year later, with 73% being fully self-supporting.