High school can be a tumultuous time. Socially, students work to find themselves and fit into emerging social groups. They are exploring new interests and seriously considering what avenues they might want to pursue after they graduate.
For some students, the unfortunate reality is that they are more focused on the here and now since drugs and alcohol have become very prominent in their lives. Fortunately, recovery high schools help students who are struggling with addiction become strong and capable adults free from substance misuse.
The Struggle With Teen Addiction
Teen addiction is complex, and it can grow from the same roots as adult addiction. Undiagnosed learning challenges, mental health concerns, trauma and peer environments play a role in teen addiction just as they would with adult addiction. The physical and mental health impacts of teen addiction can stay with these students for the rest of their lives.
Academic Elements in Recovery Programs
For adults who are in recovery, the ultimate goal may be to return to their work or home life. For teens, the goal is to have them move through academics as they would if they were in their regular high school. This is why many recovery programs offer programs such as educational assessment, onsite classrooms, tutoring, and prep for the ACT, SAT, GED and college. Skill-building workshops focus on improving non-academic knowledge as well, such as students’ communication skills.
What Is a Recovery High School?
Your work, living and learning environments make a difference when you are trying to get and stay sober. For adults, sober housing offers a place to live that supports efforts to embrace a sober lifestyle. For students, there are recovery schools. The immersive environment of a recovery school can make the difference between short-term success and long-term sobriety.
Speaking to WOSU, Jennifer Belemu, one of the organizers, stresses the importance of finding a safe and sober environment when teens are in recovery, stating:
“They would come into the treatment center, they would get clean and sober, they would get their lives back in order, and then we would send them back out to the same school and the same environment that they came from, and it was a set-up for failure.”
Recovery 101: The Experience of Other States
Other states have also embraced the role of academic support in addiction recovery. There are approximately 50 recovery schools across the country. They are not large, but what they provide is a positive environment where all of a teen’s peers are aiming for the same goal that he or she is: sobriety. At a recovery high school, graduation rates are higher, leading to a stronger future for students who may also struggle with mental health challenges.
One challenge that these schools face is lack of funding. They tend to be private, although some states have helped fund recovery schools — including Tennessee, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. However, the cost pales in comparison to the needs of a struggling student throughout his or her life. You cannot put a price on having a productive, substance-free life, and for high school students who are just starting relationships and careers, investing in recovery is the best avenue for ongoing success.
At The Recovery Village Columbus, we are focused on the success of adults looking to recoup their lives from the horrors of substance use disorder. Our treatment programs will help you move into a life in which sobriety and mental and physical health are part of your everyday routine. Contact The Recovery Village Columbus to learn about admission today.