Billings Adult & Teen Challenge helps beat addiction

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BILLINGS – The Billings Adult & Teen Challenge kicked off in high ground in November 2020 and helps men overcome drug addiction.

Over the past two years, the program has had quite a bit of success.

“All my life I’ve struggled with addiction, meth and alcohol,” said Jason Santiago, a senior student in the program. “I have five kids myself. I just wanted to have a better life. I was just running from the law, I was running from myself, you know, I wasn’t living a good life.”

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

“I never had a personal relationship with Christ,” Santiago said. “And I’ve never had so many loving people around me who just encouraged me to be a better person. A better father.”

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

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

Adult & Teen Challenge is run through private donations and doesn’t turn away people who can’t pay or don’t have insurance.

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

He started getting help shortly before the house launched its first batch of Christmas trees in 2020.

He said the program helped him overcome his addiction.

“It’s not a fight,” Greer said. “It’s not a struggle. Sobriety is easy. The struggle is over and I owe it all to God and the defiance of teenagers.”

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

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

“Also give the next person a hand and show them how we did it,” Santiago said.

Billings Adult & Teen Challenge will soon be launching Trees For Hope and collecting trees to donate to families.

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

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

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

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