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Albany Adult and Teen Challenge battles addiction, one person at a time

Drug abuse costs the United States more than $120 billion per year in lost productivity according to The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC). Businesses shoulder the burden in many ways including employee absenteeism due to increased incarceration, premature mortality, hospitalization and participation in treatment programs. The business community has great interest in stemming the tide of addiction locally, in our state and nation. Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk is lucky to have a charity right in town that helps people find healing from drugs and other forms of addiction, like gambling. Albany Adult and Teen Challenge's Program Director, Victor Harris, spoke to the business community about the recovery program he runs at our breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 23 at Finke Equipment.

Victor Harris talks about addiction's toll on business .

Victor gave a passionate presentation about addiction and the help Adult and Teen Challenge gave him as a recovering addict. He spoke about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and how it leads to use of street drugs like heroin. The cost of inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment can be extremely expensive, but Albany Adult and Teen Challenge will never turn someone away if the patient or his/her family can't afford the suggested fees (just $500 for intake and $450 per month vs thousands at other for-profit facilities). "If you have a heart that is seeking help, we will find a bed for you in our program," Victor said. Adult and Teen Challenge is the largest recovery program in the world with 1,400 centers in 125 countries. It got its start in 1958 in Brooklyn, NY and has a better than average success rate of helping its graduates turn their lives around thanks to what Victor described as "the Jesus factor." The Christian charity is known for its community service work. Al Collins owner of Collins & Son, a local fuel and trucking company, thanked Victor for sending a crew to help bring in hay at his farm this past summer. Rebecca Flach from Hope Full Life Center thanked Victor and Albany Adult and Teen Challenge for sending a crew of students to help unload thousands of pounds of food each week at Helping Harvest, the food assistance program she runs. "Albany Adult and Teen Challenge is not just an asset for the addiction recovery work they do, but for the community service work they do locally and all over the Capital Region," she said. To learn more about Albany Adult and Teen Challenge visit http://www.albanytc.org/.

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