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Marisa is a Adult Teen Challenge success story.

Survey finds success for graduates of Adult and Teen Challenge addiction program

A landmark survey confirms the success of the faith-based Adult and Teen Challenge USA addiction recovery program. 

The survey coordinated a measured the effectiveness of the Adult and Teen Challenge program by assessing the well-being of graduates one year following program completion. It was coordinated through Evangel University’s Center for Compassion.

It found that 78% of graduates from Adult and Teen Challenge centers remained sober and substance-free following graduation.

READ: Addiction programs finding success nationwide

Dr. Donna Washburn, director of the Center for Compassion, said one of the center’s goals is to help non-profit organizations tell their stories of compassion work through collected data.

“We look to partner with organizations who are making an impact in their communities and assist them in social science research, something they often do not have the expertise or resources to do on their own,” Washburn said.

Marisa’s Teen Challenge success story:

This study is the first to quantify the work done by Adult and Teen Challenge USA centers nationwide using empirical social science research.

The survey

Respondents were asked questions on topics that included current addictions, new legal problems, the pursuit of continued education or training, ongoing recovery efforts, and quality of relationships with family.

A total of 74 Teen Challenge centers participated in the study and 340 program graduates fully completed the survey.

Significant survey findings included:

• 78% of graduates remained sober and substance-free following graduation

• 92.9% reported no new legal problems post-graduation

• 25.9% have enrolled in new education or training

• 91% reported improved quality of relationships with family members

• Respondents who met Adult and Teen Challenge’s definition of sobriety – 100% abstinence from the use of substance (alcohol, street or prescription drugs such as opioids used for non-medical reasons, and legalized marijuana), excluding the use of nicotine – reported a greater connection to God as compared to those who were categorized as non-sober.

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Dr. Heather Kelly, chair of EU’s Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences; Dr. Christine Arnzen, coordinator of EU counseling programs; and Dr. Donna Washburn, director of EU’s Center for Compassion. // PHOTO BY Paul K. Logsdon

“Individuals responding to this survey overwhelmingly indicated holistic improvement across multiple health indicators, from sobriety to relational and spiritual dimensions, following their recovery through Adult and Teen Challenge centers.” Washburn said.

The survey was requested by Gary Blackard, president and CEO of Adult and Teen Challenge USA.

Contracted researchers included Washburn, Dr. Heather Kelly, chair of Evangel’s Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences, and Dr. Christine Arnzen, coordinator of Evangel’s counseling programs.

Full survey results are available online at teenchallengeusa.org/studies.

–Metro Voice Staff