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New Recovery High School Is Making Headlines

Unfortunately, we have entered a brand new era with the country’s crippling opioid crisis and as such, new aggressive measures are being taken to combat it. Whether it’s the way that law enforcement has evolved or programs enacted amongst the hardest hit communities, we applaud any and all efforts to make a dent. Ohio happens to have the worst addiction statistics and is at the forefront of these movements. So much so, that they have opened up one of the nation’s first Recovery High Schools.

As of right now, only a few dozen recovery high schools exist and the one that is gaining the most prominence resides in Columbus. Named Heartland, it only houses five students; but gives them a lot of added attention.

Everyone enrolled in Heartland has struggled with substance abuse at some point in their young life. Despite only being between the ages of 14-18, each have already gone through a treatment program and are now receiving extra support from the faculty.

The staff at Heartland not only includes teachers. There are also recovery coaches, health officials and peer volunteers for one-on-one conversations.

The goal of a school like this is to completely remove temptation from the lives of its students. Those who have already gone through treatment at a young age are especially vulnerable and could easily fall back into the trappings of addiction if drugs or alcohol were readily available.

Heartland’s clinical director, Paige Stewart, spoke out openly about that and believes her school has a much better chance for setting these students up for success.

“When you go back to your school of origin, you’re around the same people you used with before, the same people who might be dealing to you,” Stewart told the website “You’re around the same stressors. And now you have extra stressors, because now you’re that kid who comes back to school that’s been to rehab, so there’s stigma there.”

Heartland aims to avoid all of that and so far, they have seen positive results from their students. Stewart also emphasized that the intimacy and smaller classroom sizes help attendees focus and receive better grades.

It all sounds very encouraging to us and we are hopeful that more schools like Heartland began appearing throughout the west coast. Teenage years are often when habits begin solidifying and getting ahead of that curve could lead to real success in bringing down this crisis.