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Billings Adult & Teen Challenge helps overcome drug addiction

Adult and Teen Challenge.jpg
Posted at 11:11 PM, Nov 16, 2022

BILLINGS - Billings Adult & Teen Challenge started in the Heights in November of 2020 and helps men overcome drug addictions.

In the past two years, the program has seen quite a few successes.

"All my life I struggle with addiction, methamphetamine and alcohol," said Jason Santiago, a senior student in the program. "I have five children of my own. I just wanted to have a better life. I was just running from the law, running from myself, you know, just not living a good life."

Santiago had a drug problem while growing up at Laurel. He has been working to overcome his addiction for the last 10 months in the program.

"I've never had a personal relationship with Christ," Santiago said. "And I've never had this many loving people around me and just nurturing me to become a better person. A better father."

The Billings program is part of Adult & Teen Challenge Pacific Northwest.

Others in the faith-based program have experienced similar challenges and successes.

Adult & Teen Challenge is run on private donations and does not turn away people who can not pay or do not have insurance.

Christopher Greer is the Outreach Coordinator for the Billings Adult and Teen Challenge.

He started receiving help shortly before the home ran its first Christmas tree lot in 2020.

He said the program helped him overcome addiction.

"It's not a fight," Greer said. "It's not a struggle. Sobriety is easy. The struggle is gone and I owe all that to God and the teen challenge."

Others at the home have also gone through rehabilitation, such as Pastor Randall Wilber, executive director of the Billings home, which he started.

"I knew that there were men in Montana, that if they had access to what I had access to, they could change, just like I did," Wilber said.

"Give the next person a hand up as well, and show them how we made it," Santiago said.

Billings Adult & Teen Challenge will soon start Trees For Hope, and is collecting trees to donate to families.

It will also sell trees with its soft opening on Nov. 22-23.

The lots will be at 24th Street West and Lewis Avenue and the Faith Chapel parking lot at 517 Shiloh Road.

Nationwide, there are 220 Adult & Teen Challenge residential programs.