Adult & Teen Challenge graduates were selected from a nationwide sample comprised of adult non-adolescent male graduates of the three largest Adult & Teen Challenge programs: Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Riverside, California. While there is variation between these three centers, the curriculum, rules and general program structure between the sites are uniform.


The number of federal dollars appropriated for drug treatment has steadily climbed over the past 40 years, from $120 million in 1969, to $1.1 billion in 1974, to $3 billion in 1996. This dramatic rise in spending has occurred even though the current group of illicit drug users is half the size of the same group in 1979. Because of this mushrooming of funds in the face of a smaller target audience, in recent years the effectiveness and return on investment of these publicly funded treatment programs has repeatedly been called into question. How effective are these programs, and what kinds of criteria can be used to say a particular treatment is successful? The answers to those questions may surprise you.


1999 Northwestern study

1999 Northwestern review




Prodded by the challenge of Pennsylvania Drug Officials to try and prove their 70% cure rate guesstimate, Adult & Teen Challenge started seeking funds for a research project. Their efforts met with success at the federal level with the National Institute of Mental Health. The following study was launched to study the success, measured by five variables: drug free, no legal involvement, employed or pursuing education, a part of a family unit, and participating in church activities.

1976 Pennsylvania summary

1976 Pennsylvania study