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Neosho Teen Challenge Drug Rehabilitation Graduation Ceremony

Today, seven men celebrate completion of a four month drug rehabilitation program.
NEOSHO, MO.--- Today, seven men celebrate completion of a four month drug rehabilitation program. The men come from various different backgrounds, but four months ago, they were all battling some form of an addiction. The faith based substance abuse program is bettering the lives of these men, while providing structure, spiritual growth, and most importantly, hope. 

"It's exciting to be able to wake up everyday and live for God," said Geoffrey Burris, Former Addict. 

Geoffrey Burris, 24, was addicted to heroine and was no stranger to the law, but now he says his life has taken a 180 degree turn.

"There is a better way. You don't have to live in drugs and alcohol. You don't have to wake up sick. You know if you are struggling, give Teen Challenge a call. I'm not trying to promote it or anything, but it saved my life," said Burris. 

For six other men with similar stories, today marked the completion of phase one of a 14 month program. Andy Bangilder has graduated from Teen Challenge, and now he's back as a staff member to help other men struggling with addiction.

"I think coming back here and really being in God's will and serving the Lord, and helping these guys get their life back on track has really made me find happiness. It benefits me just as much, you know. I get just as much out of it from these guys as they get from me," said Andy Bangilder. Former Addict. 

At Teen Challenge, the men live in a structured environment studying Christianity, gaining work experience, and taking other courses designed to prepare them for life after an addiction.

"Our purpose is to give you the tools you need to live a successful life. The tools they need as a drug addict are no different than the tools I need because we all struggle with challenges and difficulties in life," said Rev. Jim Lowans, Executive Director.

With a documented success rate of a whopping 86%, these men are on their way to a better life. The facility is preparing to give some other men a fighting second chance.

"I've been selling myself short through my whole life. So I know that there's something better than drugs and alcohol out there. And you know, getting in the Bible and praying and just seeking God and what his will is opposed to mine," said Burris. 

The men will now move on to phase two of the program. They will spend the next 10 months studying and working to improve their lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. For more information on the program, click here

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