The vision of Adult & Teen Challenge USA (ATCUSA) is to free all people from life-controlling issues through the power of Jesus Christ. Our core program (a faith-based long-term residential program for women, men, or adolescents) is offered in every ATCUSA organization in the United States. Recently, a new resolution was passed by our Board of Directors to ensure all ATCUSA organizations continue to offer this core program. With new accreditation standards in place, every ATCUSA organization must continue to operate our foundational long-term, faith-required programming which offers the hope found in Jesus Christ as the answer to all addictions.
Addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States with over 21 million Americans suffering in bondage (according to SAMHSA 2019 data). Eight out of ten people who call ATCUSA centers end up not being admitted into our long-term programs for a variety of reasons; although many give the length-of-stay requirement as the primary reason.
Therefore, over the last seventeen years a small number of ATCUSA organizations have expanded their programming to include short-term, licensed clinical programs in addition to keeping and maintaining the long-term core programming mentioned above. These additional programs enable these organizations to meet the needs of those with substance abuse disorder (addiction) who would never attend a twelve-month program. In doing so, we have been able to reach more people in addiction by exposing them to the gospel. The data proves it. The number of those with substance abuse who enter these short-term, licensed programs and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is significant and aligns with our evangelism goals. Over forty percent entering the short-term, licensed programs end up transferring into our long-term discipleship programs – a truly significant number.
We also are looking at thirty-day discipleship-focused programs that a few ATCUSA organizations have implemented, as well. This epidemic must be addressed through many strategic ministry channels including short-term and long-term residential programming, outpatient services, prevention, and non-residential programming.
The story of the Good Samaritan gives us a glimpse into the power of physically helping an individual who is in critical need. Note that in this story Jesus does not mention the Samaritan sharing the gospel as he helped the beaten man with healing oil, wine, and the provision of lodging to recover from his wounds. The point Jesus was making, after noting that two “religious” figures had previously walked past the beaten man, was that we should be engaging those who are hurting and provide physical solutions to their suffering. We believe additional programming meets some of our population’s needs – including deeper biblically-based clinical counseling for those suffering from traumatic events or other mental health concerns.
ATCUSA is poised to be used by God to deepen its impact across the United States and introduce hundreds of thousands more to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Committed staff stand ready to disciple those transformed to lead healthy, joy-filled lives fully engaged in their churches and communities. For over sixty years, ATCUSA has kept Christ at the center of everything we do. Our recently published resolution unequivocally affirms this commitment. Our prayer, as well as our active goal, is to free all people from life-controlling issues through the power of Jesus Christ. May the Lord continue to guide, direct, and use ATCUSA to this end and for His glory alone.