Graduates Who Have Recovered From Addiction Share Their Testimonies
“I started using drugs when I was 15 yrs old. It progressed all through high school into my freshman year in college. I had good intentions to stay clean, but wrong choices always lead me back to my old ways. I was running from myself. Every attempt ended the same, jail or rehab. It became a vicious circle and I lost my family and everything in the process. I thought I would never get clean. I hated myself and thought I was better off dead. One day when the pain was too great for me to bear, I cried out to God and He led me to Teen Challenge in Fort Myers, FL. After entering the program, I felt the Lord’s presence and a strong sense of brotherhood. I started to learn what it meant to live a Christ-centered life. The relationship with my family is now restored beyond what I thought was possible. I now have a purpose and identity. Thank God for this program!
“Doing drugs and drinking alcohol was the relief to my pain of the loss of my father at twelve. He committed suicide, leaving me, my brother, my sister, and my mom. Losing him brought anger into my life. I didn’t know how to control the anger; therefore, I began to use drugs to ease the pain. Eventually, I began stealing in order to support my addiction. I was on a path of destruction. I put my family through a lot of hurt and pain. I came into Teen Challenge lost, broken, and ready to change. Since then, God has renewed my mind and my family relationships are healing. God gave me a second chance here. I give all honor and glory to God for what he’s done in my heart.”
“I was dropped off at Teen Challenge by my oldest brother brought, who told me, ‘Twenty-five other drug programs wouldn’t take you in because of your criminal record. Don’t mess up this chance. If you quit or run, you’ll be dead.’ The first few days of detox and entering Teen Challenge rehab center for men were brutal beyond description. I was so depressed from being homeless, friendless, and had no options except rehab. Today, I am whole again and can only say a special thank you and prayer for the Teen Challenge director who said ‘Yes’ while twenty-five other rehabs said ‘No’. ”
“I went through a divorce and turned to drinking. Before I knew it, I was smoking pot and crack cocaine. This only led me to a lonely dead-end road. I was gone two or three days at a time with no one knowing if I was dead or alive. I finally got to the point of stealing, lying, pawning things, and could not hold a job. I was having very suicidal thoughts. Since coming to Teen Challenge rehab center for men, God has restored to me a sound mind. I am looking forward now instead of seeing all my past failures. It has taken some time, but Teen Challenge have helped me with some of the areas of my life where I needed help… it made me strong where I was weak, gave me life where I was dead, and health where I was sick.”
“I was addicted to pain pills and alcohol. My life was going nowhere fast, landing me in jail and rehabs. I came to Teen Challenge rehab center and it opened my eyes and my heart up to Jesus Christ. Now I have a new outlook on life and living. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My future is looking bright and I’m happy to say, I am redeemed!”
“I had a good childhood when I was growing up. Unfortunately, I was an angry child and didn’t really follow the rules. I was in trouble a lot at school and had a hard time keeping friends. I started taking my mom’s psychiatric medication and it just went absolutely nuts from there. Life became a blur of parties, drinking, and drugs.
In college, I continued to drink and take drugs and was never able to settle down enough to focus on school. It was difficult to balance a job, school, and drugs all at once. I quit school and continued to work and do drugs. This went on all the way up until I got arrested for a DWI. While on probation, I continued to use drugs, and eventually I got caught. After getting out of jail, I went into rehab, and then found myself right back where I started. This time my life felt like it was at rock bottom. I found out about Fort Myers Teen Challenge and knew I had to go. Teen Challenge introduced me to Christ and my life is now changed, when nothing else was able to do that.”
“When I turned 18, I learned that I was the product of my mother being raped when she was 15 years old. My world fell apart. I started using drugs from marijuana to cocaine. I lost everything and got arrested twice in one year for theft. My parents kicked me out and I was living on my own. I heard about Teen Challenge Christian rehabs and at first, I was reluctant to come, but I had no choice. On my first day here I broke down and got on my knees and asked God to save me from this pain. I have never been as joyful as I am today. It is by the grace of God that I know I have a future and I finally have my loving family back, too.”
“My childhood was filled with sports, almost every sport that was offered. As a young boy, I attended church regularly. I took my first drink when I was 15 and cocaine when I was 17. Methamphetamines were also a part of my appetite. All of my fun became congruent with my drug habits. Then instead of drowning my sorrow, my drug habit began to drown my happiness. Before I knew it I was a complete mess, spiritually, mentally, and even physically. I had somehow skipped becoming a man. It was time to change.
My Aunt and Uncle knew that I wanted help. They referred me to Teen Challenge Christian rehab in Fort Myers. It was there that God restored me so completely that I feel better than ever. I have several job opportunities waiting for me. I consult with God about every problem I have. He is my hero. He has taken my mess and turned it into a message for others who have lost their way.”
“When I was 13 years old I woke up one morning and my mom had passed away from an aneurism. That was the day my world fell apart. My mom was my best friend, and now she was gone. That day I gave up on life and on myself. After my mom passed away I moved in with my dad, which meant I had to move to another town. By the age of 16, I was a full-blown alcoholic and addict and was in and out of jail. I was hurting! I couldn’t understand why I had to lose my mom. When I was 20 years old, I got into more legal trouble and was forced to come to Teen Challenge rehab center. God has done amazing things in my life since then. He has completely restored the trust and love back in my family and turned my world upside down. I actually like who I am becoming now. God has also put a desire in me to become a youth pastor and that is something I intend to pursue. God is and has done amazing in my life and I can’t wait to see what else He is going to do.”
“I remember one day when I woke up in a crack house with the electricity turned off and people crashed out everywhere and wondered how I got there. How in my journey through life, with all the talents I had, with all of the community support and all of the family love I had, how I could be at this place and think that it was normal?
Looking back, in college I went wild. I met a beautiful co-ed. We drank, we got into drugs, we dropped out of college together and we had an abortion together. When that relationship ended, I met a lovely lady and we drank and did drugs, but this lady decided to keep the resulting baby. I spent the next nine years drinking and drugging myself, moving from job to job and woman to woman. I went to a secular rehab and later moved into a transition home. My roommate was a close friend from rehab. He was a smart, sharp-looking 21-year-old kid who had gotten strung out on crack. Then one day I found him hanging from an exposed pipe by his twisted bedsheets. His suicide note told of his dark journey back into addiction and said that he was handling it the only way he knew how. That experience shocked me out of my temporary sobriety. I didn’t see any more hope, so I went back to drugs.
It took me another ten years to hit bottom, where I finally looked up to God. My mother encouraged me to enter Teen Challenge Fort Myers. I did and soon accepted Christ’s forgiveness. Finally, I had spiritual and physical restoration. I know that I’ve been forgiven, now God is using me to help give back to others what he has given back to me.”