How We’re Different
For nearly 60 years, the nationwide alcohol and substance abuse addiction recovery programs of Teen Challenge have provided long-term recovery for tens of thousands of individuals. We are part of the largest and longest continuously operated group of addiction recovery centers in the world, with over 200 centers in the U.S. and over 1,000 more centers worldwide.
In our licensed and accredited Addiction Treatment program called New Adventure Treatment Center, boys participate in rehab services and activities, including:
- Group therapy to address chemical health
- Individual chemical health assessments and therapy
- Individual mental and behavioral health assessments and therapy
- Medical appointments
- Wellness and fitness activities
- Family program participation
- Nutritional assessment
- Spiritual care
Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment program treatment services are based on science, evidence and our experience of what works best in helping teenager get sober and stay sober. Teen Challenge has pioneered the field’s leading approach to addiction treatment and we continue to evolve and advance the use of evidence-based treatments in order to provide our patients with the best opportunity for lifelong recovery from substance use disorder.
Patients receive individual, group, and/or family therapy as well as access to psychiatric/medical services and assistance with medication management. Therapy, skill-building, educational assessment, experiential activities, social/recreational activities, spirituality, etc. are part of the recover-focused interventions offered at this level of care.
We are a dual-diagnosis facility, so we incorporate trauma therapy, counseling for depression and anxiety, and other mental health services into the process or recovery and life change. To make the program more fulfilling and exciting for the boys, we incorporate adventure based learning activities, equine-assisted therapy, play therapy, and other creative interventions.
Moreover, our ultimate goal is to create life change in the boys in our care. Without life change, they 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 boy leaves our program, even when hard knocks hit.
Addicts typically start “using” or drinking out of a personal need to cover up some internal issues, such as a need for love, success, forgiveness, belonging, acceptance, a spiritual void, or a lack of life purpose. Many boys begin out of a need to “fit in” with their peers. The boy gets into drugs, huffing, gaming, pornography or alcohol and cannot break the addiction on his own. Chemicals can take hold and build a dependency in the boy’s body, taking away any ability for him to stop. The dependency becomes too powerful, and any attempt to get off of the chemicals can lead to painful and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Once invited in, these highly addictive chemical substances can entirely take over the individual, mentally or physically preventing them from stopping on their own.
Without a totally new mindset and life focus to fill the void, the boy will return to their addiction, again and again, ravaging their future relationships, trustworthiness, career, finances and their physical and mental health. The addiction will utterly destroy their future.
To unwrap the layers of addition, we take several steps, and these steps cannot be rushed. Once understood, it is clear why this entire process takes months to accomplish.
We focus our efforts on permanent recovery, no matter how long it takes. While the level of medical care provided in our addiction recovery program can be expensive, we work with insurance companies and community donations to help parents keep the out of pocket cost for that part of the program to a minimum.
We work on underlying person, rebuilding them up from the inside out. Boys learn to “own” their mistakes, solve them, and not repeat them. Along with our staff, peers in the program are a critical force in showing the way, because these individuals who have been in the program longer and naturally mentor and want to lift up the newer residents.
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. 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 boy 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.
Clients come to New Adventure with life-controlling issues, destructive habits, dysfunctional behaviors, and/or mental health challenges. We endeavor to help boys manage their own behaviors. The focus is not on controlling them, which invites power struggles, but on empowering them to themselves deal with life-controlling problems, form new habits, develop healthy functioning, and manage emotional issues.
We believe that boys can and should take responsibility for their actions and lives. They are not merely powerless victims of circumstances or disease. They can make positive choices even in difficult situations and despite traumatic histories. Boys can however become stuck in destructive habits and dysfunctional patterns. It is our job to help the boys break free of these unproductive patterns, develop new life skills, and learn to manage their own lives in a way that is healthy and productive.
It should be noted that our emphasis on empowerment does not negate the need for structure, rules, or even consequences to actions. These things are necessary and help provide a stable environment for clients. Ultimately, they are in place for the purpose/goal of empowering clients to manage their own lives, behaviors, and emotions. We endeavor to help boys acquire the skills necessary to lead healthy, fulfilled, productive lives.
Adventure-Based Learning and Therapy
Boys here experience therapy-based, indoor and outdoor activities and physical training. Outdoors, we go camping, backpacking, rappelling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and spelunking (rock climbing and cave exploration). We also have a certified ROPES COURSE on our property. Students learn the importance of teamwork, goals, and perseverance. They develop better communication skills and improve their ability to work cooperatively with others. Our staff are professionally trained and equipped to offer this effective tool.
The ropes course allows the boy to meet a number of goals by focusing on positive achievements and confronting personal fears and anxieties. Some of the therapeutic achievements they will experience while participating in our ropes course include positive risk-taking, improved self-confidence, expanding comfort zones, improved leadership skills, overcoming fears, and an overall increase of personal and team development.
The course is designed, built, maintained, and operated by our own ropes course experts using state of the art safety equipment. Everyone can participate in the ropes course, no matter how physically fit or athletic they are.
An Active Recreational and Physical Activity Program is Important for Recovery
Students here in Step 2 of the program take part in many different kinds of recreational activities. Students participate in many off-campus activities. They go to concerts and conferences, visit theme parks, go rock climbing, bowl, ice skate, and do many other activities.
A variety of activities are offered on campus as well. Students regularly play basketball in our gymnasium, use our weight lifting equipment, play Frisbee golf, play flag football, or use our low ropes/adventure-based training course, etc. We are also an official affiliate of CrossFit Training.
The goal of equine therapy is to help the boy develop needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.
Equine therapy also provides an innovative milieu in which the therapist and the patient can identify and address a range of emotional and behavioral challenges. Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the client in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.
What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?
Studies have indicated that equine therapy has been successful in helping clients show marked improvements in the following areas:
• Emotional awareness
• Stress tolerance
• Impulse control
• Problem-solving skills
• Social responsibility
• Interpersonal relationships
Many of the benefits of equine therapy are likely due to the nature of the animals with which the patient and equine therapist are interacting. Horses are typically non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and are highly effective at mirroring attitudes and behaviors of the humans with whom they are working.
While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique and effective opportunity to note their tendency to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and actions. These realizations provide excellent bases for discussion and processing both during and after the equine therapy experience.
Equine therapy has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for teens who are being treated for substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, learning differences, ADD/ADHD, grief/loss, trauma, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, bipolar, depression and related conditions.
New Adventure Treatment Center is the First Step Addiction Treatment Program of Teen Challenge Adventure Ranch
Change Doesn’t Really Sink in Unless it is Lived
Residents in our program get clean from drugs and alcohol, straight with God, and curb their lying to themselves and others. But they still need a new path forward and a plan or they could fall right back into their old ways. The boarding school part of the program helps the boys learn new ways to think and act, without addictive substances.
- Heart Change
Our program helps boys recover from addiction by changing their hearts and minds. We accept individuals from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
- Personal Growth
We help the addict grow as a person and build a new life, free of addiction. Our team helps mentor boys in their actions and future decisions.
We teach humility, care, and trustworthiness. We help build character and prepare kids for a solid educational and vocational future.
TEEN PROGRAM TESTIMONIES (BOYS AND PARENTS)
“Our son just completed the program on 7/1/17. We can’t begin to express how grateful we are for New Adventure and how it has impacted not only our son’s life but ours as well. He began there as an addict who was defiant and angry. He left as a kind, thoughtful young man with a purpose of pursuing God. We knew that only with God’s help would he be able to turn his life around, so we searched for a Christ-centered treatment facility. The love for God and the focus that was placed on God at New Adventure by the staff was far greater than what we could have imagined. We felt the genuineness of God’s love through each staff member. We give God the glory and pray for His blessings and protection on all of you. We thank you and the entire staff at New Adventure for the difference you have made in our son’s life.”
— Parents of New Adventure Resident
Reid started doing drugs at age 13. It didn’t take long for things to start to fall apart in his life. By age 16, things were so bad with his family and day to day life, that his parents started looking into New Adventure Treatment Center. The first day Reid was supposed to be here, he locked himself in his grandparents’ home and refused to come out. Although several hours late, this family refused to give up and they finally reached New Adventure Treatment Center. Reid completed New Adventure Treatment Center in August of 2015. Before coming to the program, everything in his life was a complete wreck. God has restored it all back to Reid! He has a great relationship with his parents, and is serving Christ wholeheartedly. Reid joined YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Kansas City after graduating. He is now overseas serving on a mission trip. After his time serving in this ministry, he plans to continue in training and become a missionary to the country of Greece.
— Written by New Adventure Staff
“Peter was doing all manner of drugs, angry and depressed. He was put on suicide watch on one occasion and attempted to destroy himself with an overdose another time. In late January 2013, Peter tested positive for opiates and THC. The following Monday we left him at the New Challenge Treatment center in Morrow, Arkansas. This was one of the more difficult things that we have ever done as parents. But in the long run, the best thing we could have ever done for our son. He had a major turn-around two months into the program and was willing to take responsibility for what he had done and make the necessary changes. Shortly after this he spontaneously wrapped his arms around his father and told him, ‘Thank you for putting me in New Adventure Treatment Center, it saved my life.’ We honestly did not think we would ever hear those words from his mouth, or ever get a hug from him. Today, Peter is attending classes at the local Community College and getting prepared to attend an outdoor leadership training school in preparation for international work. We love having him home and enjoy every day with our son who is almost literally ‘returned to life.’ We are convinced that he would not be where he is today without his time at New Adventure Treatment Center.”
— Brian and Louise H. (parents)
“Okay, so a year ago on this day is when my life changed. The drugs, the partying, the turning up completely stopped. After I arrived at New Adventure Treatment Center, I started adapting to it and saw the love that the staff had for the students and thought this Christianity thing was legit, so I gave it a chance and said Yes. That’s all that God needed for me to do before he came into my life and all the years of searching for this empty void in my heart was finally filled. He saved me. New Adventure Treatment Center saved my life and if I didn’t go there I don’t know where I would be today. Thank the Lord I had a bold Mom and Step-dad who really wanted the best for me and cared about me so much to make this hard decision to send their kid here. I just want to thank God and my parents for saving my life and giving me a new hope and motivation and being drug free.”
“We needed help for our addicted son. We tried everything we knew to do to no avail. The schools kicked him out, wanting nothing to do with him. His anger and aggression were dominating our home and our lives. We lived in fear of him and for him every moment of the day and night. We knew we couldn’t do it without God’s help – but things were getting worse. Our first call to New Adventure Treatment Center rekindled the hope we had that our son could overcome, that God had a plan. Turns out that plan was for us to bring our son to Arkansas – twelve hours away. The entire staff, through the Holy Spirit, ministered to our son over the next eleven months. The Reconnect Weekends helped restore our relationship with our son and helped us prepare to have him reunite with the rest of the family. We now have our son back, the son who was always there – just hidden beneath all the yuck that consumed his life (and ours). The programming works because of the willingness of these special people who allow themselves to be used by God to impact the lives of troubled boys and hurting families. It is a true blessing to have found New Adventure Treatment Center. They will always be a part of our lives.”
— Todd L. (parent)
“My son was struggling and spiraling down into the pit no matter how much love and support I tried to give him. He would try one thing after another, trying to make himself feel better about himself and looking to all the wrong people to connect to. I remember something I would say to him over and over again. I would say, ‘I feel as though I am the only one trying to get you better! You need to begin to try harder than me.’ What I didn’t understand was I could talk and talk, try the same thing over and over, then end up worse than before. At New Adventure Treatment Center, my son has found wonderful, Christian mentors, advisers, confidants. He has been put in a place where change and growing deeper in his relationship with the Lord is encouraged and fully available to him. I have told many people that if my son uses this time God has given to him, it will be the greatest time in his life and we will look back on this knowing that God has caused all things to work for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God is bringing peace to my son and our home where there has been chaos, comfort where there was much strife.”
— Paul (parent)
“My youngest son was involved in drugs quite heavily; he was cooking meth as well as shooting up and abusing prescription pills, beginning at the age of 14. Ultimately he ended up running away and was subsequently found and detained in juvenile jail. I decided that I could not give him the help he needed, and as hard as it was to admit to myself. I chose to send him to New Adventure Treatment Center. Taking him there was what I considered to be the hardest thing I had ever done. Today, he is not the same boy. I will not say that he is the same person he was before he started using drugs either, because he is so much more now. I used to say thank you profusely to all of the staff at New Adventure Treatment Center for helping him overcome everything, but he has been gone from New Adventure for over a year now and he continues to grow personally as well as spiritually and the New Adventure staff is no longer there. I have come to the conclusion that what New Adventure staff did…saved my child from what was sure to be him being dead or in jail by his 18th Birthday. He turns 19 in exactly one week and I can hardly believe it…for many years I have heard the phrase “All things are possible through Christ”. Now when I hear this or say it myself, I actually believe it. There will never be any words that can express my gratitude to each and every staff member at New Adventure Treatment Center for having the patience to slowly (and I’m sure at times, it was painful for them, because my boy is a very headstrong young man) lead my son back from the dark depths he found himself to be in. But somehow through their leadership and believing, they did!!!! For this, I thank God every day for leading me to New Adventure Treatment Center of Northwest Arkansas!!!”
— Shelli O. (Parent)
Joe was adopted at age two by loving parents who sought to raise him with Christian values, but that didn’t stop him from turning to drugs and delinquency. He was in the 7th grade when he started using drugs. It was at this point that his life started going downhill quickly. As his drug use continued, he grew more and more out of control and frequently ran away from home. Even a near death accident was not enough to cause him to change his life. His drug usage and running away continued. Joe’s parents asked that he be sent to New Adventure Treatment Center. The court order was given and Joe was brought to New Adventure Treatment Center. It took a while for Joe to embrace New Adventure Treatment Center’s help. In fact, he ran away his very first week in the program. Joe tells the story of sitting in the chapel about a week after he was returned to New Adventure Treatment Center. Conviction was heavy on his heart and he knew that something had to change. By the end of that chapel, he was pouring out his heart to God with tears coming down his cheeks. Although Joe’s journey has been filled with difficulty and struggles, he openly shares that God is the only option worth choosing for his life. He knows that he no longer wants the destructive life of drugs that he once had. He wants to follow God with all of his heart. God has done a transforming work in Joe’s life. With God’s help he has learned greater patience and self-control. He has recently began playing the guitar and is already leading public worship and singing praises to God. After completing New Adventure Treatment Center, Joe re-entered public school and has joined the soccer team. He continues a drug-free and full life. This young man’s life has been forever changed by God’s incredible grace.
— Written by New Adventure Staff
Why does God want anything to do with me?” That was the question that Eric struggled with when he thought about all of the things he had done. Eric began using marijuana and pills in middle school. He eventually progressed to the point that he was taking drugs intravenously. His parents placed him in various detox programs and psychiatric facilities in an effort to get him off of drugs. Even though Eric’s dad was a police officer, they were at a loss as far as what to do for their son. Eventually, they made the choice to place Eric at New Adventure Treatment Center. Eric had a difficult beginning at New Adventure Treatment Center. He struggled in this way for the first 3 months of the program. One day, while Eric was sitting in his room, he realized that he was sick of the way he was living. He was tired of hurting his family and of constantly getting into trouble. From that point on, he started going to the chapel services at New Adventure Treatment Center with a different attitude. He started listening to what the speakers were saying, and he began feeling God’s Spirit pulling on his heart. He was done doing things his way. He explains that his way “was stupid.” Eric says that he is now much less selfish. He is hungry to serve and really appreciated the opportunity to help the tornado victims in Joplin, MO. God has done a great work in Eric’s life. Eric says that if he hadn’t come to New Adventure Treatment Center and found the Lord that he would either be in prison or dead today. He is thankful for this new chance at life and especially for his new relationship with God.
— Written by New Adventure Staff
“It was the best decision we have made in our entire life. Our son’s life was saved from destruction on this earth and for eternity. The education was the finest he could have gotten anywhere. He became a self-disciplined student with motivated study habits and finished with a 3.9 GPA. He now has the desire and compassion to serve in his community and church, as well as tutoring and mentoring younger kids.”
— Parent of Former Student
“We had tried everything we could think of for our troubled son — tough love, Christian counseling, traditional church activities, and homeschooling. But all were to no avail. The program taught John self-control, physical work and teamwork, leadership skills and integrity. John received love, discipline, forgiveness, and persistent mentoring from dedicated staff members. It was a God-send for our broken family…restoring our relationship with our son. It is a place of hope, a place of love, and a place of renewal.”
— Parent of Former Student
“New Adventure Treatment Center saved my son and my whole family in the process. I will praise God every day for your work.”
— Parent of Former Student