RECOVERY SCHOOLS FOR ADDICTED TEENS ON THE RISE

Source: Associated Press

BY BRYNA GODAR
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Preston Grundy started drinking at 14 to escape from his depression. He soon moved on to marijuana, Xanax, Adderall and cocaine, smoking pot when he woke each day and snorting pills in the bathroom between classes.

The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, teen went to treatment, but quickly relapsed upon returning to school, where he had constant access to drug dealers.

Now 18, Grundy has been clean for 17 months and will begin college this fall to study social work and chemical dependency counseling. He credits his switch to a recovery school, PEASE Academy in Minneapolis, which he attends with about 60 other teens trying to beat addiction and where he says he wouldn’t be able to find drugs if he tried.

“I needed a safer environment. I needed an environment where I could guarantee I wouldn’t be offered drugs,” Grundy said recently. He said without the school switch, he’d likely be “dead or in jail.”

PEASE Academy is one of about 36 recovery high schools nationwide that pair traditional classes with addiction support groups, drug testing and a community of peers committed to recovery. Though such schools have been around since 1979, they have become an increasingly popular option amid the spike in U.S. opioid abuse, with seven new ones planning to open in five states – Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and Washington.

“There’s something nationally going on with the movement,” said Kristen Harper, executive director of the Association of Recovery Schools. “We’ve got the attention.”

More at: Associated Press