COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A faith-based organization, based out of Columbus, is bringing something new to the city to show people that recovery from drug addiction is possible.
There’s urgency in Georgia which saw more than a thousand opioid-related overdose deaths last year.
Teen Challenge Southeast is opening a 90-Day addiction recovery program, the first-ever - at that length - in the U.S. It will be in Columbus and serve women throughout Georgia and nationwide. Nearly 5 million females over age 12 have a substance abuse disorder.
This will also be the first time Teen Challenge will be able to accept private insurance or Medicaid for rehab. Their 12-month program has a high success rate, but the goal in offering the new 90-day option is to put recovery in reach to more addicts.
“A lot of times, people can’t come for the full 12 months because it takes so much time out of their lives, especially with mothers that are coming to our program, they actually may need to leave their children for an extended period of time," said Brice Maddock, president and CEO of Teen Challenge Southeast.
In the next month, Teen Challenge plans to open the 90-day treatment facility for women, ages 18 and up, a more affordable option for those dealing with opioid abuse and much more.
With the shorter rehab, the non-profit will focus even more on “aftercare” with a “community of accountability and encouragement.”
September is also National Recovery Month, and Teen Challenge Southeast has been getting the word out by putting “Faces of Recovery” videos on Facebook.
Organizers of the campaign say it’s to raise awareness about the need for rehab and the success of their 12-month residential programs, but also to celebrate former drug addicts who have overcome through Teen Challenge.
That includes Shannon McDonald, who started using drugs at 11 years old.
“My addiction progressed over 20 years. I was addicted to every substance there was. I eventually lost everything, all my children, everyone. That’s when I started smoking crack cocaine and shooting IV heroin," said McDonald, who’s been clean almost three years and is now on staff at Teen Challenge.
“It’s very encouraging and inspiring to see those that have come out of addiction that are going through recovery, to be able to inspire others that are in the same situation," Maddock added.