"I was at Teen Challenge in Nashville, and I can honestly say that I left because I felt as if I were part of an infomercial for Teen Challenge to receive money. We were guests at many churches in and around the area and each time we were all herded to the front of the church and without choice and whether or not we were okay yet we were to tell our story of how the program had completely changed our lives, even if we had only been there for two days. I can understand the God part of it because I do know that he is the only one that can completely heal us of our addictions, but come on....once you get out of there you need to have been taught the skills to live in the real world and not the world of teen challenge where each and every move you make is monitored and punished. You cannot force someone that has no Christian background to stand up in a church and praise God and beg for money to help others like themselves if they haven't even gotten the help they need yet. It is like Bible College and Military Bootcamp all rolled into one and for someone who may not even know who they are yet it can be so overwhelming. I do know it helps some people, because I have seen it, but I also know that it can drive some people right back to the world they came from because if you feel that it is not the place for you and discuss leaving with them you are given the third degree and told by EVERYONE you come on contact with on your way out that you are making the worst mistake of your life and that you will never make it. You will die if you leave there because Satan will attack you so hard that you cannot possibly survive. That IS NOT what an addict who is really trying to get better needs to hear. You cannot scare someone into getting sober. It is a hard thing to do in the first place and to me compassion and love go a lot farther than bullying someone into becoming a "Robot " for the sake of Teen Challenges survival as a program. Let time be the proof, when many who have been helped simply let others know that Teen Challenge may be what they need, because it helped them. If you have more people dropping out of the program then staying and "Graduating" then there is obviously a problem."
Friday Mar 23, 2007