Teen Challenge of Maine was established in 2007 and is under the umbrella of the Teen Challenge of New England and New Jersey organization. This men’s only residential substance abuse treatment facility is located just east of Augusta in a town called Winthrop, Maine. It offers faith-based treatment to clients who are 18 and up. The long-term programs focus on education through the teachings of the Bible.
Accommodations and Food
The Maine campus of Teen Challenge is situated on 180 acres on a working farm that overlooks the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The clients reside in a two story, six-bedroom home with each bedroom being double occupancy. There are five bathrooms that are shared amongst the men in this spacious home that is about 4,300 square feet.
The food is included with the stay and is mainly provided by donations or state programs. There are staff members that prepare the meals for the clients daily.
Treatment and Staff
The programs at Teen Challenge rely on Christian values as a way of showing clients that they can be free of drugs and alcohol. There are daily group sessions that focus on Bible study and drug and alcohol education. While in treatment, the clients are basically always on the grounds and aren’t allowed to bring cell phones or computers with them so they can get acclimated to the schedule and details of daily life at the farm. While it isn’t a requirement for all the clients attending Teen Challenge to be Christians before starting the program, the foundation does request that an open mind is maintained throughout the 15-month stay.
Incoming clients must be free from drugs and alcohol before coming to the facility, so those who are in need of detox beforehand have to take care of that on their own. This isn’t a clinical program, it’s strictly faith based, so while those with a co-occurring condition aren’t turned away, there isn’t any access to a psychiatrist through Teen Challenge, and medication management services aren’t provided. The behavior modification method includes relapse prevention and addressing the root of the addiction before moving on to mending relationships and starting to move on with their lives. Teen Challenge emphasizes the need to separate oneself from the poor decisions that have been made in the past, to heal emotional traumas through prayer, and give yourself over the God.
During the year-long or more stay clients participate in daily church services, including taking part in the church choir, receive spiritual counseling, volunteer at local food banks or outreach programs through schools, and develop an aftercare plan. Many of the staff members are Christian counselors or former clients of Teen Challenge who have remained in the program for an extended amount of time in order to train for a position.
The house is on a working farm known as the Teen Challenge Mountain View Farm with chickens and cows, and the clients are responsible for maintaining the land while in the program. Chopping and stacking wood, landscaping and other duties are included as well.
Teen Challenge views addiction differently than most treatment facilities. Rather than seeing it as a disease it’s regarded as a problem that can be solved with spiritual guidance. It’s not for everybody, but it does have a very high success rate and is currently operating in over 250 locations throughout the United States.
Maine Teen Challenge
11 Hudson Ln
Winthrop, ME 04364
Maine Teen Challenge Cost: $750-$3,400 (30 days). Reach Maine Teen Challenge by phone at 207-377-2801. Find Maine Teen Challenge on Facebook
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