What is a Recovery High School

In short, recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders. Although each school operates differently depending on available community resources and state standards, each recovery high school shares the following goals:

  • Primary purpose is to educate students in recovery from substance use or co-occurring disorders;
  • Meet state requirements for awarding a secondary school diploma, i.e. school offers credits leading to a state-recognized high school diploma, and student is not just getting tutored or completing work from another school while there;
  • Intent that all students enrolled be in recovery and working a program of recovery from substance use or co-occurring disorders as determined by the student and the School;
  • Available to any student in recovery who meets state or district eligibility requirements for attendance, i.e., students do not have to go through a particular treatment program to enroll, and the school is not simply the academic component of a primary or extended-care treatment facility or therapeutic boarding school.

The staff of recovery high schools most often includes administrative staff, teachers, substance misuse counselors, and mental health professionals that each play a critical role in supporting their students. Additionally, recovery high schools provide support for families learning to how to live with, and provide support for, their teens entering into the recovery lifestyle.

What Is Recovery High School