As the Program Manager at Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley, Greg Squibbs manages and coordinates day clients and staff, approves work assignments and oversees policies and procedures for the organization. “I make sure all of the moving parts are functioning properly each day,” Greg, 40, said. He plays a critical role in the organization.
“Greg is such a vital member of the team,” said the Rev. Robert J. Pavlich II, ATCOV’s chief executive officer. “He operates daily with integrity, honesty and a heart for the men in this program. He is truly an example of what a personal relationship with Jesus can do in a man’s life.”
Greg’s been the program manager for about five years. Before that he worked for a few years, in various roles at the center. Like many on the ATCOV staff, Greg came to the facility as a client. He abused opiates for more than 10 years. After completing the program, he worked for a year as an intern. He didn’t expect to stay after his internship.
“At first, I thought it was more of a transitional thing,” he said. He found his calling though and stayed. Besides being the program manager, Greg is also a chemical dependency counselor. “I love my job,” he said. “I get to come to work every day and help individuals that are struggling with addiction issues and share my story with them and hopefully help them.”
His substance abuse started through peer pressure. While in high school, he hung out with older kids, drinking and smoking marijuana. A shoulder injury when he was working for a beverage company led to an addiction to prescription painkillers and Greg then moved onto opiates. He lost his job and the trust of his family. Then he broke into his landlord’s home and earned a felony charge.
He was all alone. Greg had enough. He wanted to change his life and knew he needed help. He tried calling several rehabilitation centers, but they wanted money or insurance. Greg had neither. He found Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley in 2012 and was accepted without having to pay. “I had two nickels to rub together and a garbage bag full of clothes,” Greg explained.
At first, the faith-based idea freaked him out a bit. But he found it a balanced program that nurtures mind, body and spirit. Through ATCOV, he developed a relationship with God. He got sober and his outlook changed. He describes himself before ATCOV as a negative person. “Now I’m a glass-half-full type of person,” Greg said. “People always tell me, ‘You’re so positive.’” The shift happened quickly. “I found peace in the program,” he said. That started by getting to the root of what led him to substance abuse. He had to find out who Greg was.
Once he realized he didn’t need alcohol and drugs, he started to see his fellow clients in the program experiencing restoration with their loved ones and they began getting new employment opportunities. His eyes started to open more fully. “I was like, wow, God is real because God is moving in these people’s lives and their stories are similar to mine,” Greg said.
Two years into his sobriety, he met his wife, Laura, at church and they married about six years ago. She’s a recovering addict and a drug treatment counselor at Hope Counseling and Addiction Services. His relationship with his mother and father is better than ever and he’s earned back their trust. “I’ve got a beautiful family and a beautiful little dog,” Greg said. “Most people don’t think that’s a big deal. Most people take it for granted, but I’m very, very thankful. I’m so grateful.”