Saturday, July 8, 2017

When Kids Struggle With Addiction, 'Recovery Schools' Offer Needed Support : NPR Ed : NPR

When Kids Struggle With Addiction, 'Recovery Schools' Offer Needed Support : NPR Ed : NPR:

When Kids Struggle With Addiction, 'Recovery Schools' Offer Needed Support

School For The Young And Addicted


When young people struggle through addiction or substance abuse, there's also the question of school. Getting behind academically can be detrimental to learning and future success, but traditional school can be tough for kids whose peer groups use drugs or alcohol and where treatment resources can be limited.
Research shows that students in recovery schools, designed to meet both academic and therapeutic needs, have better sobriety levels — and usually better grades, than students with addiction who remain in regular class settings. Across the country, there are just a few dozen so-called recovery schools. In Wisconsin, there is just one, with room for about 15 students.
Horizon High School sits in a strip mall on the outskirts of Madison, down the street from Target and Pick'n Save.
It's been open for 12 years and more than 150 kids have passed through the doors, at one point or another.
"At the beginning, when I first got introduced to the idea of coming here, I thought it was going to be intense, and I didn't like that idea," says Des, who's 15 and just finished her first year at Horizon. "But it's not bad, because it's a small, comfortable environment."
We aren't using Des' last name to protect her privacy. She started drinking back in middle school when, she says, her mom was in and out of jail on drug charges, which meant Des moved between guardians, neighborhoods and schools, a lot.
Des says constant uprooting led her to depression and anxiety, and she turned to alcohol, which became an addiction. After rehab and a halfway house, she says she hopes this is her last stop in recovery.
At Horizon, she gets a kind of support she didn't see at other schools. "I got in-school When Kids Struggle With Addiction, 'Recovery Schools' Offer Needed Support : NPR Ed : NPR:

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