Teen Challenge - Men's Center-South Philosophy
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ABOUT TEEN CHALLENGE – MEN'S CENTER SOUTH
Three men's residential centers are operated by Alabama Teen Challenge (ATC), in Bay Minette, Selma, and Lincoln. The southern, Mobile-area campus in Bay Minette, Ala. is one of Alabama’s 19 long-term residential treatment facilities. It offers a 12-month program for adult males seeking Christian faith-based support for recovery from addiction. Medical detox services are not available on-site.
ATC is part of the global Teen Challenge organization founded in New York in 1958. The organization focuses on spiritual, social, and vocational teaching as an alternative to common substance use disorder treatment approaches. Teen Challenge has more than 1,300 outlets, including its Middle Georgia and New England-New Jersey facilities.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
The treatment process begins with a physical exam prior to admission to the Bay Minette facility. A written application form is posted on the ATC website, and clients with obligations in the court system can be accommodated with notice. Upon entering the program, participants agree to abide by house rules and submit to discipline.
The treatment process at ATC does not use clinical methods. Rather, clients pursue spiritual, social, mental, emotional, and physical wellness through strict adherence to a set of behavioral expectations and the studying of Christian assigned materials. The men study individually and in groups, participate in a community-serving work program, and attend church. All three are mandated at Teen Challenge.
Working in community projects provides clients with the opportunity to develop vocational skills, as well as to create connections in the community. Relatively few treatment facilities offer job training as it is only found in 38.6% of all U.S. facilities.
Topics addressed in the ATC curriculum include anger, self-love and self-acceptance, personal rights, and character. Anger management training is also incorporated into programming, A sample daily schedule published on the facility's website includes recreation and personal time as well as group prayer and study. The work program assigns clients to a variety of duties, such as cooking, lawn worker, and maintenance, both on-site and for others in the local community.
The staff at Teen Challenge have experience coordinating treatment options, as well as providing services for clients in rehab. Clergy and other religion-affiliated staff members may be on-hand to coordinate services. The two individuals polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing indicated that the level of staff training and experience was satisfactory. One rated this aspect of ATC three out of five stars, and the other gave five stars for staff qualifications.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
ATC has a highly structured environment with minimal facility provisions beyond housing, mentoring, and meals. Clients are asked to provide their own hygiene supplies and bedding. Communication with family members is limited to two phone calls per week, and visitation approved only after the first two months. No personal digital devices are allowed, nor is smoking. Clients are required to shave daily. Transportation to court dates must be supplied by family members. The residence does accommodate men using wheelchairs, and a local Fox affiliate profile of the facility from August 2016 reports that there are 25 beds available in Bay Minette.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The two loved ones polled by Rehabs.com provided generally favorable reviews about the Alabama Teen Challenge. Both awarded four out of five stars or higher for its meals, the facility's cleanliness and upkeep, and ATC's pricing or affordability. Both would recommend the program.
However, they offered split opinions of opportunities for family participation in the recovery process and the availability of choices in counseling approaches. One identified the program's basis in Christian faith as a strength but indicated limited contact with their loved one as a weakness. The second reviewer expressed a wish for clients not to be allowed to leave before completing the program.
The annual cost of services is $17,000, but clients are generally not expected to cover this themselves. A non-refundable $450 entrance fee is charged, and most clients obtain an undesignated amount of support from friends or family to contribute to ongoing costs. Teen Challenge is one of Alabama’s 78 facilities that offer a sliding fee scale for clients who have difficulty paying. Those with income available contribute 25 percent, up to a maximum level.
Published on September 2018
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