I thought this story was pretty amazing: According to the Casper Journal, there’s going to be a new high school in Casper, Wyo., where kids with addiction can work on getting their diplomas and their sobriety at the same time.
The high school’s name is REACH—which stands for Recovery, Education, Accountability, Community, and Hope. The treatment program, facilitated by an addictions specialist that’s a member of the school’s faculty, is part of the regular curriculum.
The district founded Reach High after determining that fully 7 percent of high-school age kids in the district demonstrated addiction problems. Which is pretty much par for the course—I’ve read varying reports that say addiction shows up in, what, 7-10 percent of the general population? The program is designed to offer a limited number of kids a social setting that supports their recovery and prepares them to return to the regular high school so more kids can enroll behind them and benefit from the program.
An amazing thing about this high school is that it’s smack dab in the middle of nowhere. I have a friend in recovery who used to live in rural Wyoming, near Casper, who I met from the forum Opiate Detox Recovery, and she says it can be damned hard to get to meetings out there. She used to drive two hours one way to get to a meeting. So this program meets the kids where they are.
And then—which reminded me of the parents of addicted kids who read this blog—I found out: there are other sober high schools across the country, with names like Central Freedom Recovery School and Serenity High (a name I particularly like, playing as it does on both words—”serenity” and “high”), according to the Association of Recovery Schools. And the same website gives details of recovery-support services at colleges and universities across the country.
Though one must say, now that the kids are arriving in my own back yard in droves and ready to knock themselves out playing Beer Pong and sniffing Adderall, that with only 15 such programs listed, that’s not enough by a long shot.
The sober high school that’s about 30 minutes away from me will take, apparently on the home district’s bill, any kid who’s referred by their public high school—though the website says “private tuition is also available,” so if you can’t get a referral you can pay on your own. Kids usually have to stay sober for certain length of time and demonstrate they’re committed to recovery before they’re admitted.
There are also Sober Dorms at various universities…
What a great option for the kids. Has anyone had experience with any of these?