“I grew up in a good home, but in high school, I started hanging around people who smoked pot. I started identifying with that crowd when people tried to figure out who they were. When I was 17 years old, I was in a terrible car accident. Due to my injury, I was prescribed some pain medication. I liked that…too much…so I became addicted to it. Then when I couldn’t get the meds any longer, I found heroin, which was cheaper and easier to find on the street. So, I fell into a 5-year heroin addiction. When I was younger, I had goals and dreams. It’s amazing how the goals and dreams go out the window when you get into this stuff. At a low point in my life, I called Adult & Teen Challenge. I had tried everything else, and nothing else worked. Since coming here, God has restored my life and my family.”
“I was raised in a Christian home…. active in youth camps and helping in the community. My parents got divorced, but I still had a good relationship with my father and mother. When I was 13 years old, I woke up one morning and my mom passed away from an aneurysm. That was the day my world fell apart. My mom was my best friend, and now she was gone. That day I gave up on life and myself. After my mom passed away, I moved in with my dad, which meant I had to move to another town and change schools. By age 15, I had made new friends and started doing drugs to fill the void. Within a year, I was a full-blown alcoholic and an addict and was in and out of jail. I was hurting! I couldn’t understand why I had to lose my mom. When I was 20 years old, I got into more trouble and was allowed to come to Adult & Teen Challenge or go to jail. Since being here, God has done amazing things in my life. He has completely restored the trust and love back in my family and turned my world upside down. I like who I’m becoming now. I can talk to my family without hiding my identity and feelings. God has also put a desire in me to become a youth pastor, which I intend to pursue.”
“I grew up in a great home where I was taught right from wrong. On the outside, my life looked great; I made good grades and excelled in golf. I was even offered a scholarship to play golf in college, but my life had gone into a spiral by then. In my junior year of high school, I began experimenting with marijuana and alcohol. I soon started experimenting with other drugs, and by my senior year, I was addicted. Near the end of my senior year, I was caught with drugs in my possession, and that cost me my scholarship. I began using even heavier, trying any drug I could get my hands on. Then, one day I tried oxycontin, and I was overtaken. The oxycontin and Xanax had me bound with no hope. For three years, I continued to use it rampantly. I was in and out of rehab and psychiatric facilities and had acquired numerous legal charges. My family was fed up with me, and I slept in my truck. I was dependent on the drugs physically. My addiction was destroying my life, but nothing was stopping me. Through all the madness and drugs, my mother never ceased praying for me. Then in an intervention, I agreed to try the Adult & Teen Challenge, which was the best decision I ever made. The Lord has freed me from the bondage in which I was so tightly wrapped, and that emptiness I once felt is gone. Because of God and His love, I am a new man, full of joy and hope.”
“God used Adult & Teen Challenge to save and change my life! I grew up in a loving, Christian, big Italian family. At the age of sixteen, my parents divorced. I stopped caring and turned to alcohol and drugs. It was the only thing that made me feel better. High school drinking parties turned into sinking into alleys, smoking crack, and jamming a needle full of heroin in any vein that still worked. I tried to stop using it by working hard and being positive, but instead, I committed crimes to support my addiction. In 2011, I came to Adult & Teen Challenge. Since then, I learned so much about God and myself. I have truly been transformed by the power of Christ and His love. Upon completing the program, I returned to work at Adult & Teen Challenge, helping other young men find the same freedom and life transformation I have found.”
“My father was my hero, but he introduced me to smoking pot. Drinking and drug use soon became my focus in life. By the age of 23, I had married and had two children. I soon began using cocaine and spent less time with my family, eventually divorcing. Then, I started using OxyContin with my dad, who had suffered from an injury and was taking it for pain management. When I suffered a serious injury myself, the prescribed pain medication only sent me deeper into addiction. A year later, I walked into my dad’s house, where he had a 12-gauge shotgun and wanted to end his life. I pleaded with him to stop, but he took his life while I was helpless to stop him. Addiction had stolen everything from me. I was quickly engulfed in depression and total despair. After being incarcerated in a mental institution, I hit rock bottom. Two weeks later, I was arrested for a crime I did not commit and sent to prison. I contacted my uncle to see if he could get me help. He got me out of jail and into an Adult & Teen Challenge program. Since then, God has blessed me beyond belief. I am completely free from the bondage of addiction. I have joy in my heart, and God is restoring the lost years with my family.”
“I started using drugs when I was 15 yrs old. It progressed all through high school into my first year in college. I began selling and using all types of drugs and was caught after spending several months in jail. I was released on house arrest. I was living in Florida when I decided that life on supervision wasn’t for me, so I packed up and ran to California. My life on the run became so wild. Everything revolved around buying and selling drugs. I distributed drugs from Tijuana to San Diego to LA to fund my new lifestyle. The money quickly consumed me, and evil ruled my life. This continued for a couple of years until I was arrested for drug trafficking. When I finished prison, I went home to stay with my parents. I had good intentions to keep clean, but a few wrong choices led me back to my old ways. I started moving around again, from Wilmington, NC, Atlanta, GA, Palm Beach, FL, and Jacksonville, FL. I was running from myself. Every attempt ended the same, jail or rehab. It became a vicious circle. I thought I would never get clean. I hated myself and thought I was better off dead. One day when the pain was too great for me to bear, I cried out to God and sought out the Adult & Teen Challenge. After entering the program, I felt The Lord’s presence and a strong sense of brotherhood. I started to learn what it meant to live a Christ-centered life. The relationship with my family I now restored beyond what I thought was possible. I now have a purpose and identity. Thank God for this program!
“Doing drugs and drinking alcohol was the relief to my pain of the loss of my father at twelve. He committed suicide, leaving me, my brother, my sister, and my mom. Losing him brought anger into my life. I didn’t know how to control my anger, so I began using drugs to ease the pain. Eventually, I started stealing to support my addiction. I was on a path of destruction and spent seven and five months in prison. I put my family through a lot of hurt and pain. God blessed me in 2013 when I was in court on a probation violation. The judge allowed me to get help from Adult & Teen Challenge instead of jail. I came in lost, broken, and ready to change. Since then, God has renewed my mind, and my family relationships are healing. God gave me a second chance here. I give all honor and glory to God for what he’s done in my heart.
“I was dropped off at Adult & Teen Challenge by my oldest brother, who told me, ’25 Drug Programs wouldn’t take you in because of your record. Don’t mess up this chance. If you quit or run, you’ll be dead.’ The first few days of my rehab experience were brutal beyond description. I was depressed from being homeless and friendless and had no options except rehab. Today, I am whole again and can only say a special thank you and prayer for the Adult & Teen Challenge director who said ‘Yes’ while 25 other rehabs said ‘No.'”