Ohio Valley Adult and Teen Challenge takes faith-based approach to fight drug addiction

Heroin Crisis

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are many types of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers that take on different approaches.

Ohio Valley Adult and Teen Challenge is founded on the belief that a strong relationship with God will lead to overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.

“Being a faith-based Christian organization, we truly, truly believe that through a relationship with Jesus Christ an individual can be set free from drugs and alcohol and become a positive, productive member of society,” said Robert J. Pavlich, also known as Pastor Bob, CEO of Ohio Valley Adult and Teen Challenge.

The Youngstown location on the north side houses more than 100 men.

“While a client is in our 30 days program, they will have individual counseling, group counseling, case management, they’ll have chapel, bible classes. We have fitness classes, four-man dormitories with their own individual bathrooms and showers in it and upon completion of the short-term 30 day program, the men have an opportunity to transition into our long-term Legacy Teen Challenge program,” Pavlich said.

Originally, there was only a one-year long-term program. But last year, the 30 days short-term program was created. Now, clients go through the short-term program first before entering into the one-year program.

The men are able to live in a Christian environment that focuses on rebuilding them in positive ways.

Pavlich said a person looking for help can be in the facility within an hour if need be. He says they have been seeing more and more come to them for rehabilitation due to an increase in drug use in the area, specifically opioid use.

“Last month was one of our highest intake months we ever had, the phone keeps ringing off the hook,” he said.

Markus McFolling graduated from the long-term program almost a year ago. He went to the Youngstown location in 2017 after struggling with drug addiction in California.

“I was so isolated in my thinking, I thought I was the only drug addict in the world. And coming into this program, I realized there were other people that struggled with the same issues,” he said.

He says he feels building his Christian faith is what led him to sobriety.

“I think that’s what differentiates Teen Challenge from a lot of other programs. That God dwells here, that was like the, what I called the ‘it factor’ that really helped me change who I am,” he said.

“I think also, one of the missing pieces is the void that so many times people are trying to fill is a void that’s inside of them, that we believe that Jesus Christ can fill,” Pavlich said.

The program is open to anyone 18 and older. The Youngstown location only serves men, but there is a location in Willard, Ohio that women can go to.

Pavlich said they do take medical insurance, as well as assist people in applying for insurance if they don’t have it. He said no person is turned away due to inability to pay.

You can find out more information on the program by calling 330-743-HOPE or visiting their website here.

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