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The Experience

Our Christian Addiction Treatment Experience

For 60 years, Teen Challenge’s substance abuse treatment for adult men has provided a proven long-term and permanent recovery from addictions. We are part of the largest and longest continuously operated group of addiction treatment centers in the world, with over 200 centers in the U.S. and 1,300 centers worldwide.

Our Christian rehab is an affordable addiction treatment program for men, age 18 and older.  This year-long residential program provides peer-to-peer, group, and individual counseling, parenting classes, spiritual inspiration, relapse prevention, anger management, drug and alcohol education, recreational opportunities, and vocational rehabilitation. 

Our rehab center is single-gender and a safe, clean, healthy environment, providing addiction recovery and recovery. Our caring staff is well-trained, most having come through a similar addiction recovery program themselves.  Each individual in our care is treated with compassion and respect.  Those seeking help must follow our proven plan and be ready to commit to a full year of recovery and life skills training. 

At our Christian rehab center, we create life change, for, without life change, addicts and alcoholics will go right back to their addiction after a few days, weeks, or months.  Anyone can go through detox and get off alcohol or drugs for a short while, especially in a highly monitored environment. Our goal is to provide long-term recovery and lifetime avoidance of addictive substances, once the individual leaves our Teen Challenge Florida rehab program, even when hard knocks hit.

Teen Challenge FloridaCalling addiction a “disease” is short-sighted and only deals with the symptoms of a deeper problem.  While it is obvious that drugs and alcohol do affect the brain and actions once they are introduced, and those brain changes make it much harder for the addict to get off the substance, the addiction is actually precipitated by deeper personal issues.  Addicts typically start “using” out of a personal need to cover up internal issues, such as a need for love, success, forgiveness, belonging, acceptance, a spiritual void, or a lack of life purpose.  The addict fills such voids in their life with drugs or alcohol, which provide a temporary cover-up to the mental anguish.  However, the substances will take hold and build a dependency, taking away the addict’s ability to stop on their own. The dependency becomes too powerful.  Attempts to get off the substance can lead to painful and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. 

Once invited in, these substances can and often do entirely take over the individual and their mindset, mentally or physically preventing them from stopping on their own. The cost of maintaining a habit can sometimes cause the addict to turn to theft (even from their own family) or selling drugs, and that can lead to jail sentences. Usually, the substances are needed in higher and higher quantities or more frequently to achieve the same effect, until the addict overdoses or otherwise destroys their own body.

Without a totally new mindset and life focus to fill the void, the addict will return to their addiction again, and again, ravaging their relationships, trustworthiness, career, finances, and physical and mental health. The addiction will utterly destroy them.

So, to unwrap the layers of addition, we take several steps, and these steps cannot be rushed.  Once you understand them, you will see why it takes up to a year to accomplish.  Typical high-cost, short-term rehabs for men are quite convincing that they can solve additions in a much shorter period of time. They are a joke in the media — we often hear of celebrities attending one after another and never solving their addiction.  That is because their life issues have not been dealt with. 

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Have you wondered why the drug rehab industry generally keeps their term short? First, because it is more palatable to the addict or their family for the problem to be “fixed” quicker.  Secondly, because most insurance programs will only participate in the first 90 days.  So, the expensive rehabs make the most money by having a revolving door.  On the contrary, we are nonprofit, to keep costs low, and we don’t take insurance. We focus our efforts on permanent recovery, no matter how long it takes, not on profits, insurance, and repeat customers.  We keep the cost for the individual or their family to a minimum, seeking most of our operational funding from donations from the community.  That support gives us enough time to work with each addict to totally transform their lives, for good.  And that is why Teen Challenge Tallahassee addiction treatment program is so successful.

Why These Steps Can Take A Full Year

The first step is to detox and purge the substances and their immediate control over the addicted individual, which alone can take weeks or even months in a highly monitored and daily tested environment.  Withdrawal can be an anguishing, difficult, and sometimes dangerous experience.  After that period, real change cannot happen from a few days or weeks of counseling — it happens day in and day out, over many months, as the individual lives in an environment where their lies, negatives motivations, and improper actions are constantly challenged.  It happens as they make mistakes, are called out for those mistakes by the staff or other peers in the program, helping them to gradually learn to think and act differently.  As in building any healthy habit, repetition is the key to long-term success, so it becomes natural and automatic.

We work on an underlying person, rebuilding them up from the inside out.  The addict learns to “own” their mistakes and works to solve them.  Peers in the program are a critical force in showing them the way (another reason why the long-term aspect is so powerful is that individuals who have been in the program longer naturally mentor and lift up the newer intakes). 

Deliverance = Reliance on a Higher Power

The addict has failed again and again, on many levels.  They know they cannot change on their own, due to their own feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and repeated past failures.  So from the very start, a reliance on a “higher power” is emphasized.  Our Christian rehab believes in the life-changing effect that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can have on an addict’s life.  They cannot change their own hearts — they need to cry out to their Maker and put the hard work on His shoulders.  Christ and the Holy Spirit become their constant companion, bringing them peace, fulfillment, purpose, kindness, truthfulness, and a desire to do good.  

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At first, the addict feels unforgivable; like a huge failure for all of the hurt and damage, they have done. But once they realize that Jesus Christ will accept them as they are, and forgive them unconditionally, a whole new window opens up to them.  They again feel worthy of moving on — worthy of being forgiven —  because the Creator of the Universe has forgiven them and has taken a huge burden off their shoulders.  A deep desire wells up within them to also seek the forgiveness of others, and that is a critical step forward.  Through Christ, they gain the strength and a burning desire to seek the forgiveness of others in their life that they have harmed.  Surprisingly to them, others who see the change in their demeanor and attitudes are more than happy to forgive them, and that’s a huge relief.

Reintroducing Truth To the Addict’s Life

If there is one thing that is common to all addicts it is that they have become the best of liars — to friends, employers, family, and even to themselves.  Moreover, they are blame-shifters, never taking responsibility for their own actions. Introducing Christ into their life also means introducing truth, where truth had become lost to them. Former addicts can see through the lies of new intakes, so they are a very effective tool of the program to hold the newer peers accountable.  Truth and transparency become a pivotal focus from this point forward, often taught with tough love, but always approached with acceptance, understanding, and care.  Eventually, the addict realizes that the only way to live is to put away their constant lies and approach life from the truth, with the help of Christ.

Change Doesn’t Really Sink in Unless it is Lived

While temporarily clean from drugs, straight with God, and after curbing their lying to themselves and others, they still need a new path forward and a plan or they could fall right back into their old ways.  The program, therefore, shifts toward introducing new elements into their life, including humility, compassion, vocation, and a strong work ethic.  There is still a partial void in the former addict’s life having to do with their future. So, several months of hard work need to happen.  Confidence, poise, and a healthy vocation must be built.   The addict is assigned work while gradually moving outside of the protected, drug-free environment in our facility. Such service work to the community teaches the residents humility and yet it is fulfilling to them to produce something each day, no matter how menial.  The work is initially done in groups, with each member of the group watching out for the others, all the while testing their own resolve to stay clean and to hold each other accountable.  Menial work gradually shifts to a focus on finding a fulfilling vocation that the former addict can successfully move into after graduating if they had none previously.  We help them get launched in that new vocation.  

How Does Our Rehab For Men Charge So Little?

Teen Challenge adult rehabs are supported by the community and recoup only a small part of their cost from the tuition that is charged.  We have 50 years of evidence that this model works, so the community gets behind us.  We are very successful at transforming individuals who were once enslaved by addiction into vibrant, productive, and peaceful individuals who care for others.  The community is therefore very grateful!  

In an Teen Challenge Outcomes Study by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

  • 92% of graduates reported good to excellent health a year later.
  • 86% reported they were drug-free a year later.
  • 72% of the graduates continued their education upon completion of the program. 
  • 75% of the graduates were employed a year later, with 73% being fully self-supported by earning their own salary. 

Compare these numbers with statistics of most other short-term addiction treatment rehabs, which are typically in the single digits!

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    Legal Trouble?

    Our men’s rehab does accept individuals who have been in trouble with the law or are in jail. Courts have allowed addicts time here in lieu of jail because they know how effective our addiction treatment program can be to completely change hearts and lives.

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    Personal Growth

    Our Christian rehab for men helps the addict sprout new leaves and grow a new life, free of addiction and the pain that led them to their addiction.  We are all about planting the seeds of new life and helping the individual grow into a new creature in Christ.

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    Vocationally Focused

    Our Teen Challenge Tallahassee program teaches humility, care, trustworthiness, and the traits of a good worker.  We help the former addict find a new vocation and rebuild their future.  Having a strong future plan keeps the individual excited about life and self-supporting.

What Tallahassee Men’s Rehab Past Residents Say

“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 addiction rehab in Tallahassee. 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 Christian rehab 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 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 in to Tallahassee 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 addiction rehab 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 Adult & Teen Challenge were brutal beyond description. I was so depressed from being homeless, friendless, and no options except rehab. Today, I am whole again and can only say a special thank you and prayer for the Teen Challenge Tallahassee 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, God has restored to me a sound mind. I am looking forward now instead of seeing all my past failure. It has taken some time, but Teen Challenge has helped me with some of the areas of my life where I needed help… it made me strong where I was weak, given 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 addiction treatment program in Tallahassee 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! .”


“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 substance abuse treatment in Tallahassee and at first, I was reluctant to come, but I had no choice. 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.”


“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 Christian rehab in Tallahassee. 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.”


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