Teen Challenge National Director Welcomes Faith-Based Debate

43 Years of Success has Proven Effectiveness of Oldest, Largest And

Most Successful Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program



Apr 05, 2001, 01:00 ET from Teen Challenge International

    REHRERSBURG, Pa., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- John Castellani is the first to
 admit that he's not an expert on constitutional law or federal statutes.  What
 he does know is how to get people off drugs and into productive lives.  John
 is the Executive Director of faith-based Teen Challenge International, the
 oldest, largest and most successful substance abuse prevention and treatment
 program in the world, with more than 350 centers worldwide.
     As a result of its widely-heralded success spanning more than 40 years,
 Teen Challenge International is the faith-based organization that is most
 often referenced by both sides of the debate over federal funding for such
 agencies.  However, John Castellani is far more comfortable dealing with
 hardcore drug addicts than he is with the media or the politicians in
 Washington.
     In a recent interview, Castellani stated, "The interest in helping faith-
 based organizations that is coming out of Washington is wonderful news."  He
 added, "Incarcerating a drug addict offers virtually no hope for a permanent
 cure.  And once released, the tendency towards renewed addiction and criminal
 activity is almost assured, along with an eventual return to prison.  With
 more than 50% of our 2,000,000 state and federal prison inmates serving time
 for drug related offenses, this is a $20 billion problem for American
 taxpayers each year."
     Castellani is thrilled about the new emphasis on faith-based organizations
 and is willing to offer all of Teen Challenge's resources to help wherever
 possible.  "We applaud the efforts of Dr. John Dilulio and his White House
 Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives."  He adds, "There is enough
 common ground shared between government, community and faith-based groups of
 every kind to motivate us to work together.  We will lose our window of
 opportunity if we continue to spend all of our time debating the uncommon
 ground."
     The focus of Teen Challenge is on solving the problem of drug addiction
 rather than on building an organization.  They are ready to share all that
 they have learned over the last 43 years with whoever can profit by it.  Given
 the undisputed success of Teen Challenge, this organization could be a
 valuable resource for other faith-based organizations ... especially start-
 ups.  According to John Castellani, it's going to take all of us working
 together to stop the epidemic of drug abuse in America.
     Castellani's world is a three-hour drive from Washington, D. C.  His
 office is in the Teen Challenge center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania, a hub of
 activity covering 300 acres in this rural community.  Its occupants and
 workers have been through the hell of drug addiction and all of the broken
 relationships and criminal activities that go with it ... but there's not a
 trace of it on their faces.  If there is any doubt about drug addiction being
 curable, a trip to Teen Challenge in Rehrersburg will erase that bias.
 Talking to any person in the program reveals amazing stories and every student
 is a walking miracle.
     "The difference," explains John Castellani, "is that Teen Challenge is a
 ministry for us rather than a job.  There is nothing mystical or magical about
 what we do.  The truths we preach are the same truths you will hear in your
 kid's Sunday school classes at your local church.  These simple, basic truths
 are profoundly important for those trapped in drug addiction."  He continued,
 "While our program is structured to teach responsibility and discipline, along
 with job skills and even GED completion, a personal relationship with Jesus
 Christ permeates everything we do ... and that is life changing ... forever.
 Take that away from Teen Challenge, and it will be no more successful than the
 typical drug rehab center with its low success rates."
     Teen Challenge would never jeopardize its effective combination of
 spiritual and material transformation in exchange for money.  The process that
 an addict goes through in the year-long residential program at Teen Challenge
 Centers across America has been refined over a 43-year period, ever since Rev.
 David Wilkerson founded the organization in 1958.  Telling drug addicts that
 God loves them and that he has a plan for their life is the key to a permanent
 release from drug addiction.
     Barry Meguiar, a businessman who sits on the U.S. board of directors for
 Teen Challenge International, along with an impressive array of people from
 the business and professional fields, offers additional insight.  Says Barry,
 "Teen Challenge is successful because it is a selfless organization that is
 focused on the personal needs of every addict it touches."  He adds, "The
 relationship between our staff members and the addicts we serve is amazing.
 To distract our Teen Challenge leaders from the wonderful work they are doing
 in order to respond to the debate now going on in Washington would be a tragic
 mistake."
     Meguiar adds, "Some of us who serve Teen Challenge, but are not on its
 payroll, are providing a bridge between Teen Challenge and those in
 Washington.  Fortunately, we have a wealth of talent from the fields of
 business, law and academia who are fully committed to Teen Challenge and the
 work it is doing.  We appreciate President Bush putting the spotlight on
 faith-based ministries and we are anxious to help Dr. Dilulio and the White
 House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in every way possible."
     For more information, please contact Leslie Kennedy at 1-800-854-8073,
 e-mail lkennedy@meguiars.com, or Kim Seguin/Kathy Jammal at 818-992-4353 or go
 to www.teenchallenge.com.
 
 

SOURCE Teen Challenge International
    REHRERSBURG, Pa., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- John Castellani is the first to
 admit that he's not an expert on constitutional law or federal statutes.  What
 he does know is how to get people off drugs and into productive lives.  John
 is the Executive Director of faith-based Teen Challenge International, the
 oldest, largest and most successful substance abuse prevention and treatment
 program in the world, with more than 350 centers worldwide.
     As a result of its widely-heralded success spanning more than 40 years,
 Teen Challenge International is the faith-based organization that is most
 often referenced by both sides of the debate over federal funding for such
 agencies.  However, John Castellani is far more comfortable dealing with
 hardcore drug addicts than he is with the media or the politicians in
 Washington.
     In a recent interview, Castellani stated, "The interest in helping faith-
 based organizations that is coming out of Washington is wonderful news."  He
 added, "Incarcerating a drug addict offers virtually no hope for a permanent
 cure.  And once released, the tendency towards renewed addiction and criminal
 activity is almost assured, along with an eventual return to prison.  With
 more than 50% of our 2,000,000 state and federal prison inmates serving time
 for drug related offenses, this is a $20 billion problem for American
 taxpayers each year."
     Castellani is thrilled about the new emphasis on faith-based organizations
 and is willing to offer all of Teen Challenge's resources to help wherever
 possible.  "We applaud the efforts of Dr. John Dilulio and his White House
 Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives."  He adds, "There is enough
 common ground shared between government, community and faith-based groups of
 every kind to motivate us to work together.  We will lose our window of
 opportunity if we continue to spend all of our time debating the uncommon
 ground."
     The focus of Teen Challenge is on solving the problem of drug addiction
 rather than on building an organization.  They are ready to share all that
 they have learned over the last 43 years with whoever can profit by it.  Given
 the undisputed success of Teen Challenge, this organization could be a
 valuable resource for other faith-based organizations ... especially start-
 ups.  According to John Castellani, it's going to take all of us working
 together to stop the epidemic of drug abuse in America.
     Castellani's world is a three-hour drive from Washington, D. C.  His
 office is in the Teen Challenge center in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania, a hub of
 activity covering 300 acres in this rural community.  Its occupants and
 workers have been through the hell of drug addiction and all of the broken
 relationships and criminal activities that go with it ... but there's not a
 trace of it on their faces.  If there is any doubt about drug addiction being
 curable, a trip to Teen Challenge in Rehrersburg will erase that bias.
 Talking to any person in the program reveals amazing stories and every student
 is a walking miracle.
     "The difference," explains John Castellani, "is that Teen Challenge is a
 ministry for us rather than a job.  There is nothing mystical or magical about
 what we do.  The truths we preach are the same truths you will hear in your
 kid's Sunday school classes at your local church.  These simple, basic truths
 are profoundly important for those trapped in drug addiction."  He continued,
 "While our program is structured to teach responsibility and discipline, along
 with job skills and even GED completion, a personal relationship with Jesus
 Christ permeates everything we do ... and that is life changing ... forever.
 Take that away from Teen Challenge, and it will be no more successful than the
 typical drug rehab center with its low success rates."
     Teen Challenge would never jeopardize its effective combination of
 spiritual and material transformation in exchange for money.  The process that
 an addict goes through in the year-long residential program at Teen Challenge
 Centers across America has been refined over a 43-year period, ever since Rev.
 David Wilkerson founded the organization in 1958.  Telling drug addicts that
 God loves them and that he has a plan for their life is the key to a permanent
 release from drug addiction.
     Barry Meguiar, a businessman who sits on the U.S. board of directors for
 Teen Challenge International, along with an impressive array of people from
 the business and professional fields, offers additional insight.  Says Barry,
 "Teen Challenge is successful because it is a selfless organization that is
 focused on the personal needs of every addict it touches."  He adds, "The
 relationship between our staff members and the addicts we serve is amazing.
 To distract our Teen Challenge leaders from the wonderful work they are doing
 in order to respond to the debate now going on in Washington would be a tragic
 mistake."
     Meguiar adds, "Some of us who serve Teen Challenge, but are not on its
 payroll, are providing a bridge between Teen Challenge and those in
 Washington.  Fortunately, we have a wealth of talent from the fields of
 business, law and academia who are fully committed to Teen Challenge and the
 work it is doing.  We appreciate President Bush putting the spotlight on
 faith-based ministries and we are anxious to help Dr. Dilulio and the White
 House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in every way possible."
     For more information, please contact Leslie Kennedy at 1-800-854-8073,
 e-mail lkennedy@meguiars.com, or Kim Seguin/Kathy Jammal at 818-992-4353 or go
 to www.teenchallenge.com.
 
 SOURCE  Teen Challenge International