Teen Challenge of Upper Cumberland Offers Hope to Those Suffering from Addiction

August 11, 2011
Dwayne Page
Tim McLauchlin

If you know of a teenager or adult battling drug or alcohol addiction, Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland could be the answer for that person.

Teen Challenge is a 12 to 15 month faith-based program which helps those with addictions by ministering to them.

In order to help support the program, the Buckner's Chapel United Methodist Church in Smithville is hosting a benefit yard sale on Saturday, August 13 from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and you're invited to participate.

Tim McLauchlin, Executive Director of Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland, said Teen Challenge has been helping change lives since 1958. "Teen Challenge is a fifty four year old ministry. It was started by David Wilkerson in Brooklyn New York in 1958 to help those who were struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. After about five or six years, they realized that if this program has this much success with teenagers then why can't it help adults? So now there are over 230 Teen Challenge Centers in the United States. Most of those centers also help adults and that's what we do. We help adults in the Upper Cumberland area who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. We are a long term faith based program that ministers to these individuals and helps them to learn to live a life free from drugs and alcohol and a life that is pleasing to God," said McLauchlin.

"We get a lot of people who come to us right off the street who have heard about us. They want help. They understand that its only through Christ that they can get true deliverance. We also get a lot of referrals through the courts and legal system. I visit a lot of individuals in jail who have written us letters saying they need long term help from more than just a thirty or sixty day program", according to McLauchlin.

"Teen Challenge is a discipleship program. It's a ministry. It's not outpatient. It's long term residential. Most Teen Challenge programs are twelve to fifteen months long. The people actually live there and go through a Bible school process where they learn to transform their minds to the things of God instead of the things of this world", said McLauchlin

"Teen Challenge is not a medication treatment program. For those who are looking for medication to get off medication, Teen Challenge is not for them. Teen Challenge is strictly faith based. We teach them that if you will rely on God and trust in him, He will deliver you from your addictions. As a former addict myself several years ago, there were several ways I tried to get off (substances) but it was only through Christ that I truly got deliverance," he added.

"Teen Challenge has an 87% success rate for those who are willing to commit to it. A lot of the courts work with us. They can order people to go to Teen Challenge but really you have to be willing to do it for twelve to fifteen months and if you do, 87% of those who go through the program never go back to a life of drugs and alcohol," said McLauchlin

"You live at the Teen Challenge program. They take care of your food and your clothing. Your whole day is filled with Bible studies and chapel worship time. There are chores you have to do during the day but your whole time is filled with studying the word in some form or fashion," he said.

"Because it is a faith based program, insurance companies will not cover it so we do try to get grants but most people do have to pay for it. But if you look at some of the standard programs out there, they run from $8,000 to $15,000 for a 90 to a 120 day program. Most Teen Challenge Centers can help people for less than $1,500 for a full twelve month program," according to McLauchlin.

"We have a lot of churches that support us monthly. We also do a lot of fund raising. This Saturday, August 13 we're going to be having a fund raiser yard sale at the Buckner's Chapel United Methodist Church on Highway 56 in Smithville from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and all proceeds from this yard sale will go directly to helping us fund the Teen Challenge Program in this area," said Mclauchlin.

If you have any questions about Teen Challenge you can find us on the web at www.teenchallengeuc.org or you can call toll free at 1-888-688-0470.

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