-The last statistically significant evaluation of the Teen Challenge program was in 1975, which was done by The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago. They developed the survey instrument, located survey participants, conducted the personal interviews, and obtained a urine sample to test for drugs. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded the first year of the study. The evaluation came from a sample of Pennsylvania Teen Challenge graduates from 1968!
-A total of 186 persons, divided into 3 groups, were interviewed for this project:
- P1=70 people (students that entered Brooklyn Teen Challenge, but dropped out and never attended the Rehrersburg program.)
- P2=52 people (students that completed the Brooklyn program who later dropped out of the Rehrersburg program.)
- P3=64 people (graduates of the Rehrersburg Training Center program.)
So, if 43 graduates remained marijuana and heroin-free 7 years after this survey, what about the other 21 graduates and the remaining 143 people who dropped out of the program? Also, the test results do not indicate whether the graduates tested positive for other drugs such as alcohol, other narcotics or nicotine!
This study suggested that Teen Challenge had a success rate of 86%. But Bill McColl, executive director of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, dismisses both the statistic and the study. He states that the study was done too long ago and conducted with an extraordinarily small sample group. This leads us to believe that this study has almost no statistical validity. I tend to side with his opinion.