Teen Challenge centers across the United States are as varied as
the people they serve. From the streets of Brooklyn, New York, to
the coast of California, Teen Challenge centers are reaching the
addicted of America. From the green areas of the Pacific Northwest
to the arid landscape of Midland, Texas, Teen Challenge staff are
daily helping hurting youth and adults find hope for their future.
Providing care for adult males, adult females, adolescent males
and adolescent females, Teen Challenge has a range of programs for
those demonstrating a need for intensive help with life-controlling
problems. In addition, non-residential and prevention programs are
Most Teen Challenge programs are structured into two phases, the
Induction phase and the Training phase. In the Induction phase,
3-5 months in duration, the participant is encouraged to deal with
issues related to everyday living. Typically, the Teen Challenge
curriculum, Group Studies for New Christians, is required. These
studies cover many of the basic issues regarding discipleship, basic
Christian living, and character development. Personal Studies for
New Christians contracts may also be utilized for specific issues
to that individual.
The Training phase, normally 6-10 months in addition to the Induction
phase, involves more in-depth Bible study and practical Christian
living from a Biblical view. The teaching is basic to every Christian
and is not sectarian in nature. There is more variety as to what
materials will be used during this phase. Classes involve personal
money management, books of the Bible studies, and devotional materials
for personal Christian living. The goal of these classes is to provide
the participant with all the necessary elements to live a godly
Christian lifestyle without the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Literacy,
GED, and Adult Basic Education are also offered at many Teen Challenge
Training phases to supplement and enhance the vocational and educational
opportunities of the participants.
Adolescent Teen Challenge centers provide the necessary recovery
program, but also meet the need for education in the students’
lives. Many young people arrive at Teen Challenge struggling or
behind in their education. Most graduate high school in a Teen Challenge
As drug addiction increases in family settings, the need for the
entire family to receive help has risen. Teen Challenge now has
two has two centers allowing both husbands and wives to enter recovery
Many Teen Challenge facilities offer school and church group prevention
drug information programs for all ages, after school programs, and
community restoration projects. The meetings and presentations that
Teen Challenge conducts to inform young people and adults about
the prevention and effects of drug and alcohol abuse are another
important outreach. Each year, Teen Challenge conducts thousands
of presentations in churches, schools and prisons to over 1,000,000
In anticipation of a student graduating, an aftercare plan is developed
to achieve long-term goals. This plan might include continuing education,
a re-entry house, internship at a Teen Challenge, going home to
family responsibilities, or other opportunities as they present
themselves. Teen Challenge programs rely on pastors, churches, individuals,
and the graduates themselves to assist in follow up and aftercare.
If a student experiences difficulties after graduation, reentry
into a program of “restoration” is available.
Educational content provided to students is based on the Bible
and written for the purpose of Christian discipleship. Students
work with staff to relate the educational content to their individual
situation. The primary goal of this guidance is not to simply stop
the addiction and related deviant behavior, but to develop a whole
new way of living - - one free from compulsive destructive behavior.
After years of masking emotions with substance abuse, students
abruptly experience drives, fears, and pain that strike at full
force and at any time. Teen Challenge provides an atmosphere of
support, protection, and encouragement, and, when needed, firm confrontation.
The pain that previously allowed drugs to be so satisfying is now
used as motivation for change.
Teen Challenge has recognized the need for facilities where a mother
can take her children throughout the duration of the program. Teen
Challenge now has two facilities for mothers and children. Here,
mothers can rest assured that their children are being cared for
while they study and learn new life-skills to be prepared to raise
their own children drug free.