Teen Challenge USA, is a member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). In response to a 2011 national poll, which rated drug abuse and childhood obesity as the top health concerns for our nation’s youth CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean stated, “This new survey confirms that substance abuse can and does have a major impact on children and youth. …Americans are now waking up to the fact that this is a major public health concern that requires our immediate attention.” He expressed CADCA’s hope that our nation’s lawmakers make the prevention and reduction of drug abuse a top national priority.
In February, I once again met with President Obama’s National Drug Czar. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), expressed again his high respect for Teen Challenge’s prevention and recovery programs. At the CADCA National Forum Director Kerlikowske reported that “Every dollar invested in prevention programs can save up to $10 in treatment costs.”
I spoke with the new DEA Director Michele Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. She “really applauds the efforts Teen Challenge is making.”
“National 2011 Sheriff of the Year” Paul Babeu, whom I have met with several times, strongly endorses the ministry of Teen Challenge. View his endorsement (taped live at a Teen Challenge banquet in Casa Grande, Arizona) on TC USA website teenchallengeusa.org. I attended a Special Recognition Dinner in honor of Arizona Pinal County Sheriff Babeu as the national 2011 Sheriff of the Year.
I participated in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Recovery Month Planning Partner Meetings of which Teen Challenge USA is an official member and I will be representing Teen Challenge nationally at the September National Recovery Month Kickoff events in Washington D.C. on September 7th and 8th. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is hosting the Recovery Month Kickoff at the National Press Club and a Luncheon will be held at the Washington Court Hotel.
Visit the SAMHSA website www.recoverymonth.gov/About-Recovery-Month.aspx for more information about September National Recovery Month activities. Teen Challenge Centers across the nation are encouraged to list any September recovery events they will be participating in or conducting separately. (Click on “Community Events” and “Post an Event”) Also, our choirs have been welcomed to participate in National Recovery Month events across the nation
I met with Eric Akers, Deputy Chief of the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration and Sigrid Melus, Senior Prevention Manager, to discuss the possibility of the DEA’;s endorsement of Teen Challenge USA’s Stay Sharp Drug Prevention program. Funding for DEA’s prevention efforts has been cut recently. Teen Challenge has an opportunity now to partner with the DEA to keep heightened awareness in the public schools across our nation regarding the effects of drug abuse.
Wisconsin’s First Lady, Tonette Walker, visited the Home of Hope Women and Children’s Teen Challenge Center in Casa Grande, Arizona. Mrs. Walker, wife of Governor Scott Walker, strongly believes that programs like this are needed in every state across America. She and staff from Teen Challenge programs in Wisconsin talked at length about starting a similar center in Wisconsin. They also toured the Greater Phoenix Teen Challenge Men’s Center.