Road to Recovery

Funds raised for students in recovery at ND Adult and Teen Challenge

Road to Recovery

460 people from around the state came to support The North Dakota Adult and Teen Challenge.

This is the second Freedom Fundraiser Gala they’ve had this year. The money raised is to help students.

A huge benefit to being a part of the program is that no one gets turned away because of a lack of money. The program tonight included the Teen Challenge Freedom choir, personal testimonies from students and graduates and a keynote speaker.

The My Pillow Creator, Mike Lindell, came to North Dakota to share his own recovery story.

“Of all the organizations that help addiction, Teen Challenge is number one. And part of my story ties in with Teen Challenge. I was a crack cocaine addict, where I’m at now and, my hope and these graduates tonight, are other people’s hope,” said Lindell, creator of My Pillow.

Teen Challenge’s mission tonight was to tell the stories of people who have been set free from addiction. A recent study shows a 78 percent success rate of students who went through the program.

Another recent study conducted by the Center for Compassion at Evangel University said that 78 percent of graduates from Adult & Teen Challenge addiction recovery centers remain sober and substance-free post-graduation. The findings, announced just today, said 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 61-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. 74 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 percent. 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, said there’s 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

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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