Nationwide study confirms Adult & Teen Challenge program success

Ozark, MO – October 2019 - A recent study conducted by the Center for Compassion at Evangel University confirms that an astonishing 78% of graduates from Adult & Teen Challenge addiction recovery centers remain sober and substance free post-graduation! The findings, announced just today, confirms anecdotal evidence that Teen Challenge graduates are uniquely successful at finding and maintaining freedom from addiction.

Adult & Teen Challenge president, Gary Blackard, had this to say of the results “As an organization with a sixty-one year history of working with people struggling with addiction - we’ve always known that our programs were successful, especially when compared to other research in this area. As a faith-based and Christ-Centered program – we see miracles of people finding freedom from addiction every day. This study confirms that there is something radically different happening at Adult & Teen Challenge. It is truly gratifying to see hard data that validate our work and ministry.”

Respondents to the survey were between 8 and 20 months post completion from an ATC program. Seventy-four centers participated in the study, and their staff contacted 968 former graduates. After eliminating responses that were either incomplete or did not meet the inclusion criteria, 340 participants were retained in the study, resulting in a response rate of 35%. Significant findings of the report include:

  • 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 ATC’s definition of sobriety reported a greater connection with God as compared to those who were categorized as non-sober.

Dr. Donna Washburn, Director of the Center for Compassion at Evangel University and lead researcher, cites another positive outcome; "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". 

This study is the first, among many more to come, to quantify the work being done by Adult & Teen Challenge centers nationwide.

The study is available online at TeenChallengeUSA.org/studies.