The Vermont Teen Challenge, located about 40 miles from the Canadian border in Johnson, Vermont, was established in 2005 as part of the Teen Challenge of New England and New Jersey programs. This substance abuse treatment facility is for men only who are 18 and up. Teen Challenge is regarded as one of the most successful rehab programs in the country, offering faith-based treatment in a highly structured residential treatment environment.
Accommodations and Food
The Vermont Teen Challenge men’s campus stands on 10 acres that overlooks Vermont’s Green Mountains. The facility is a multi family home with up to 25 beds, and the clients share rooms that have dorm style sleeping arrangements. Several bathrooms, meeting rooms, classrooms and a chapel as big as a full-length basketball court.
The onsite kitchen and large dining room at the residence serves three meals a day from food that is either provided by private donors or through the generosity of local food banks or restaurants.
Treatment and Staff
Teen Challenge of Vermont is similar in treatment to the other Teen Challenge locations in that it offers a five phase program that is based on Christian values. There is no clinical treatment, and any incoming clients who are in need of detox prior to treatment should have already gone through that process prior to admittance.
The phases begin with simply admitting the problem with drugs and alcohol and participating in church services, which can sometimes equal up to six hours per day. This first step, referred to as “crisis intervention” requires that clients abstain from calling their families for at least two weeks while they acclimate to the schedule and treatment process.
Most of the treatment involves letting Christ into your life and giving yourself over to the process. Each phase in broken into three months with the entire program lasting about 15 months. As the clients move through the process they participate in mandatory church choir, relapse prevention, educational courses, character development and vocational training. At the 12-month mark the graduating clients begin to work towards an aftercare plan that for some may include staying at the facility for an additional six months in order to train to become and intern and counsel newer clients.
The staff are not trained clinically but are considered spiritual counselors, and many are active members of the church. Additionally a majority of the counselors are former clients themselves of the program.
The men participate in recreational outings within the area, like hiking or fishing. The clients and staff also host fundraisers and community events, like an annual golf tournament and outreach programs in the local schools.
There are a lot of different locations affiliated with Teen Challenge, which has more than 250 locations in the US. A majority of clients come to this particular facility and have the benefit of the lovely surroundings, which may contribute to the high success rates (about 80 percent) of graduates remaining sober.
Vermont Teen Challenge
1296 Collins Hill Rd
Johnson, VT 05656
Vermont Teen Challenge Cost: $200-$1,000 (30 days). Reach Vermont Teen Challenge by phone at (802) 635-7807. Find Vermont Teen Challenge on Facebook
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