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Recovery schools prove successful in helping students stay sober

12-06 | By Rachael

Recovery schools prove successful in helping students stay sober

The recovery high school movement has received unprecedented attention and credibility in the United States. As a result, such recovery schools have mushroomed across the country, with the total reaching 31 high schools in 10 states.

With the unbelievable surge in substance abuse treatment among youngsters, the demand for continuing care has also massively increased. These factors played a pivotal role in accelerating the recovery movement.

Evidence about the effectiveness of recovery schools and continuing care after treatment may be not enough, yet this movement has been instrumental in spreading awareness about the importance of providing structured support post-treatment to teens— who suffered from substance abuse in school. As a result, more states and foundations are coming forward to fund such schools.

According to the 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF), approximately 4.8 percent of 12th graders reported non-medical use of prescription medications. After alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, prescription medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are the most frequently abused drugs by 12th graders. Instead of declining, the rate of abuse of the above-mentioned substances has been steadily rising.

Unfortunately, insurance companies also provide less coverage for adolescents who need rehab for opioid addiction in comparison to alcohol. In this scenario, recovery schools are doing an excellent service to teens battling substance addiction.

Though it is widely agreed that adolescents with substance use disorder (SUD) have similar issues as experienced by adults, they require treatment and post-treatment interventions designed specifically according to their needs. This is where the concept of recovery high schools has helped adolescents.

Although most of them cater to the privileged class, there are many who are now opening their doors to the disadvantaged section of the youth—those coming from economically weaker backgrounds with limited or no health insurance. The recovery high schools are designed to provide support to students recovering from substance abuse.

Modus Operandi of recovery schools

Students of such schools are generally segregated from the students of other programs. For this, their daily schedules, such as in classes, lunch, travel to home, etc., are drawn up to prevent or minimize interaction with non-recovery students.

Even their routes to and from the school building are sometimes designed to prevent interaction with other students from a different program or school. Moreover, the classrooms of recovery school students are divided from other classrooms by a wall or  doorway. Mostly, these classrooms are located on different floors to divide recovery from non-recovery students.

However, the facilities and staff might work on a shared basis with another program or school. Furthermore, recovery schools usually share space with a business or non-profit organizations, such as a church or an alcohol and drug treatment facility. Although the median capacity is stated to be 35, the enrollments in such schools are usually between 12 and 25 students due to the changes made on a weekly or daily basis.

Recovery high schools provide hope for a better future

Before the emergence of recovery schools, parents did not have many options for their child struggling with drug addiction. Private treatment was the only route available to them. However, it was not easy to access facilities and medical practitioners as the waiting period extends three to six months. After receiving the treatment, the children have to head back to the previous school where they face the same environment and challenges.

Therefore, they remain susceptible to swerve back into the same vicious cycle of substance abuse for which they had received treatment. For such students, recovery high schools provide hope. Research shows that young people recovering from addiction do better at such special schools where the culture of ‘positive peer pressure’ helps them to stay sober.

If you or your loved one is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, contact the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors for information about the state-of-the-art substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-300-5857 or chat online with our representatives for further information about the evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado.


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