The local ministry reports a relapse rate that is one-sixth the national average

May 3, 2022, Chattanooga, TN –Adult & Teen Challenge MidSouth (ATCM) recently released their outcomes report for the center. This is based on a survey of graduates of the faith-based program over the past four years. Within that time, faculty of the ministry spoke to forty-three graduates who reported on four questions including maintaining their recovery. The result is at least 86-percent are still living sober and substance-free1.

“This is an astounding result,” says Dr. David McNabb, president, ATCM, adding that for the past two years, the ministry has reported on research done at the national ATC level on ten centers, including the Chattanooga-based program. “That research showed a relapse rate across the ten ATC centers of twenty-two percent, which we believed to be well below the national average but this number specifically reflecting our graduates is nearly half the national ATC outcomes.”

The national relapse rate McNabb references is on traditional treatment programs.  “We’ve looked at a number of studies that estimate the relapse rate as high as 80%2,” says McNabb, adding, “No one knows this better than those who’ve gone through traditional treatment programs and failed, and their loved ones.”

He continues, “Adult & Teen Challenge MidSouth is not a traditional treatment program and our outcomes bear this out.” The difference he points to is the Gospel, daily study of God’s Word, and the staff who model the grace and character we are working to instill in our residents.

One of the challenges many recovery programs have in establishing outcomes is finding graduates but ATCM staff keep in close contact with graduates and/or family members. “When someone spends twelve months with us, they become very much like family,” says McNabb adding “Our graduates also stay in contact with one another and hold each other accountable.”

Nationwide, 7.7 percent of the U.S population is struggling with “substance abuse disorder” according to “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2019.” Researchers believe that percent may be as high as ten percent as a result of Covid-related mental health challenges. Locally, 2020 overdose rates remain high with a reported 432 in Hamilton County alone3.

“These outcomes establish ATCM as the leader in recovery from addiction for this region, and possibly the nation,” McNabb concludes.

Adult & Teen Challenge MidSouth is a faith-based, residential recovery program for men and women 18-50 struggling with addiction. Findings of our 2022 Outcomes Research confirm that ATC graduates are uniquely successful at finding and maintaining freedom from addiction. For more information, call 423.756-5558 or visit

  1. ATCM 2022 study of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 graduates. This study has a 95% confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.28%
  2. Smyth BP, Barry J, Keenan E, Ducray K. Lapse and relapse following inpatient treatment of opiate dependence. Ir Med J. 2010 Jun;103(6):176-9. PMID: 20669601.;
    • Brandon TH, Vidrine JI, Litvin EB. Relapse and relapse prevention. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2007;3:257–284. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.3.022806.091455.
    • Miller WR, Westerberg VS, Harris RJ, Tonigan JS. What predicts relapse? Prospective testing of antecedent models. Addiction. 1996;91(Suppl):S155–172.
  3. Despite A Drop In Overdose Deaths In 2020 In Hamilton County, Addiction Still A Challenge For Many | WVXU