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Adult and Teen Challenge Addiction recovery program serves men ages 18 and older

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Staff and students at the Adult and Teen Challenge Estacada location stand outside of their new facility.  The program focuses on addiction recovery.

The facility in Estacada that once housed Grace Place Senior Living has a new mission and 17 new residents.

A men's center for the Pacific Northwest Adult and Teen Challenge has taken up residence in the building at 380 N.W. Sixth Ave.

Adult and Teen Challenge USA was founded by David Wilkerson in 1958 and is a mission of the Assemblies of God Church. The addiction recovery program has 240 locations in the United States, and 1,000 residential and outpatient programs around the world, serving youths, women and women with children. Adult and Teen Challenge also offers non-residential assistance with individual and group sessions. The Estacada facility serves men 18 and older.

"We offer an environment for those who are serious about getting their life back on track," said Terry VanAntwerp, executive director of the Estacada location.

Most of the staff members of the Adult and Teen Challenge in Estacada are also graduates of the program.

"They're giving away what's been given to them," VanAntwerp added.

Participants in the Adult and Teen Challenge receive a Christian-based curriculum that focuses on relapse prevention.

Each day at the facility includes personal devotion time and classes. Attendees also help out at the program's thrift store on 82nd Avenue in Portland and in the future, VanAntwerp hopes to connect participants with local businesses, as well. The evenings typically include group sessions and chapel. Counseling is also available.

While classes focus on recovery principles and relapse prevention, instruction is also provided to learn an awareness of cognitive thinking patterns.

"Because it's a year long, we have a higher success rate than most programs," VanwAntwerp said. "We release someone sober and with a heart for people."

After the initial curriculum, many students stay on for an additional year as interns and receive leadership training.

VanAntwerp noted that the Adult and Teen Challenge program often has a close-knit atmosphere.

"People become like a big family. We do all of the cooking and cleaning," he said.

VanAntwerp added that one of the most valuable elements of Adult and Teen Challenge is "the God factor."

"That's useful for this process," he said. "Without a power greater than ourselves, it's very difficult to recover."

VanAntwerp added that it's important for people to know that Adult and Teen Challenge is "not a jail."

"It's a voluntary program, and people come because they want help," he said.

VanAntwerp also noted that the group hopes to become involved in the Estacada community.

"Our goal is to be a lighthouse in our community," he said. "We want to support the community, and we want to serve the community."

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