Making Recovery Schools Possible

Making Recovery Schools Possible

For most of my adult life I have worked with youth in one way or another, on the ball field, the basketball court, and the classroom. During that time, I have seen the impact that drug and alcohol use has on these youths. The problem is getting worse and our kids are in trouble.

  1. One of the city’s largest treatment centers provided treatment services to 1,687 juveniles in its 2013-14 fiscal year. Once treatment is complete, these teens generally return to public school.
  2. A program for first time offenders of the substance use policy in our schools handles approximately 500 students and families each year. The recidivism rate post-treatment is believed to be in excess of 50%.
  3. Of the approximately 4,000 adolescent arrests made by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 2014, over 51% admitted to recent drug and/or alcohol use.

A line must be drawn! With your help we will give these families an alternative.

Beginning in the fall of 2016 we will open a school that will provide these teens and their families the support they need to not only recovery from the impacts of their drug and alcohol use but also graduate. The mission of The Academy is to offer a strong academic program to students in grades 9–12 who are in recovery from substance abuse and/or addiction that allows them to focus on learning in an environment in which sobriety is required and supported. We believe that a sober school that incorporates 12-step principles is a key component on the continuum of treatment and recovery management.

“In the United States, 80% of student’s relapse from recovery upon returning to their high school after having primary treatment for substance abuse.”

Students who return to their high school after leaving to deal with substance abuse issues often find that getting thrown back in with old friends quickly leads to relapse. Around the country, a small number of recovery high schools offer a safe and sober alternative for students struggling to avoid falling back into old harmful routines.

Recovery schools are a unique intervention that can help students sustain their abstinence, which in many cases can save their lives,” says Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education. “Throwing kids in recovery back into their old high schools is setting them up to fail, so we need to look for alternatives for them. We do a lot of primary prevention in this country, but the further you go down the spectrum of prevention, treatment and recovery, the less help there is.

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