Recovery School

The best news to be heard in Rhode Island regarding substance abuse is that a special high school has just opened that is designed to help recovering addicts. Anchor Learning Academy has a pretty small class right now, but a very large mandate: to assist young people who have come clean from drugs with getting their high school diplomas and learning to manage their lives as well.

With the horrendous rise in drug addiction, particularly with prescription drug abuse but also continuing with heroin, cocaine, etc. communities are questioning what can be done. Throwing people into jail has rarely helped the individual involved, although it has removed people from the streets. Drug Courts, on the other hand, have been instrumental in helping people to stay off of drugs and rebuild their lives. Anything that can get people the help that they need is a step in the right direction. Our state has the highest rate of drug usage among students – 13-17% who admit trying or using drugs. With the opening of Anchor Learning Academy, our state joins ten others who have begun these special high schools.

One of the major benefits is being able to attend school without facing the temptations of drugs. According to the Academy, ninety percent of students returning from substance abuse treatment report that they were offered drugs on their first day back in school, and about fifty percent of them ended up giving in to the temptation within the first 90 days.

Once the students complete their school work, they will receive their diplomas from their home high school.

It’s a bold and necessary step and hopefully more students will be able to enroll and receive their education. Acquiring the skills they need in a drug-free environment can help them to build confidence and re-define who they are and what their real goals in life are, and take steps to reach those goals.

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