Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge saves man’s life

Reid Markfort with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge

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Addiction comes in many forms for many people — men, women, even teens. But that’s where organizations like Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge step in to help people regain their freedom from addiction. For one man, who’s life experiences led him down a dark path… the organization helped him down the road to recovery.

Reid Markfort is the youngest of three and says that growing up he had a good childhood. As Reid got older it brought troubling changes, he says, “I just wanted to fit in, I started smoking weed in high school and drank on the weekends.” Reid lost a loved one at 18 years old — sparking the addiction spiral.

“One of my good friends passed away from drinking and driving. He crashed his bike into a tree, and he passed away and that really hit me hard,” says Reid.

A couple years later, Reid’s parent’s divorced, splitting what he thought was a loving, happy family. Then one day Reid and his siblings got a call that their father was in the hospital after he tried to commit suicide. A dark family secret was revealed by their father that would make Reid and siblings doubt everything.

“It completely wiped out who I was, everybody I thought I was. So, now I lost my identity, so who am I,” says Reid. Lost and confused the bottle took over.

“It was me waking up in the morning, my first thought is do I have enough money for booze? Am I going to be able to make it through the day? How am I going to get it?”

“I explain it, literally a prisoner in your own body. You must feed this monster otherwise you feel like garbage,” he said.

At 28 years old, Reid went to his first of five treatment facilities. But there was more bad news. This time, his sister.

“She was my best friend, I loved her dearly and her addiction eventually killed her, she passed away at 35.”

Reid relapsed, feeling himself losing his relationship with his children. But he says that’s when he made a change.

In 2019, at the age of 38 he found himself at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge.

Reid says the program wasn’t easy. The days spent in the program are intense. “You must be vulnerable, and you must share,” he said. “If you are not doing that, you are not changing. If your comfortable you’re not changing.”

Surrounded by people with similar experiences, Reid connected with someone 20 years younger.

“You can learn a lot from anybody. Young, old, race, it doesn’t matter. You can learn from anybody. I owe a lot to a 19-year-old kid that I thought I would never be abe to learn from,” says Reid.

Thirteen months later, Reid rose from the ashes and finished the program. He would heal his relationship with his father and children and he found love. Reid also earned his degree in chemical dependency.

That brings us to today. Reid works with Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge as a drug & alcohol counselor. He is hoping he can give back to save someone, like the program did for him.

“It is a lot of work while you are here. It’s not a 13-month vacation and if you’re willing to put in the work I promise you,” he says. “I promise you, your life will change.”

Reid is one of the many success stories from the program. Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending. According to Reid, there have been 16 men in Reid’s program who lost their addiction battles. Another passed last weekend.