County Panel Hears Presentation On ‘Teen Challenge’ Program

From Potter County Today

kurttarkingtonMembers of the Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) last week heard a presentation on Teen Challenge, which is a faith-based residential treatment program for individuals ages 18 to 32 who are suffering from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Kurt Tarkington (shown),  director of the Teen Challenge induction center in Western New York, addressed many misconceptions about the program. He emphasized that Teen Challenge accepts no government funds or insurance payments. Those who are accepted pay a fee of $750 for the 14-month alternative rehabilitation program. Fund-raisers, volunteers and work assignments for the residents help to keep the organization financially solvent, Tarkington explained.

Teen Challenge’s mission is: “To provide youth, adults and families with an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.”

Tarkington emphasized that Teen Challenge will only be effective for those who have a sincere interest in recovering through a Christian-based treatment plan. On many occasions, he added, parents or other loved ones who are concerned about an individual will encourage Teen Challenge as an option, but unless the person is open to it, he is not likely to be accepted. Those who require psychotropic medication to treat mental health problems are also not accepted, Tarkington said.

The center he manages in Buffalo has a 24-resident capacity for a four-month induction period. The remaining 10 months are spent at the Teen Challenge center in Rehrersburg, Pa. Average resident’s age is 32.

Judge Stephen Minor and District Attorney Andy Watson pointed out that alternative treatment programs for individuals with addiction problems are welcome and Teen Challenge is one to consider for some who enter the county’s criminal justice system.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.


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