Levine Family Recovery High Scholarship
Getting clean and sober is challenging at any age. Young people returning to their friends after treatment say it's especially hard for them.
Brian, 17, is enrolled in a sober high school. He says it's been key to his staying clean and sober. "I got out [of treatment], and I started out hanging out with my old friends," Brian says, "and I went right back to what I was doing."
Now, surrounded by friends in recovery, he sees himself in a new light. "I feel smarter," Brian says. "I feel like I achieve things. I look at some of my old friends I used to hang out with. They come over and they're high, and they're just laughing at everything, stumbling all over the place. To them, they're having a good time. To me, they're just stupid, and that's not what I want to be."
Laura is a graduate of a sober high school too. She began to use alcohol and marijuana in sixth grade. "I was curious about it," she says. But she quickly got addicted.
Eventually, life became unbearable and Laura went into rehab. Her thinking gradually cleared, and she wanted to stay clean. But she also wanted to be like other kids in her old school. "Nobody understood where I was coming from," she says. "I felt so different. I was miserable."
Then Laura read about Sobriety High. She applied and was accepted. Laura says the school helped regain the experience she'd lost when she was using. "I got a good education," she says, "and I made good friends."
Dr. Herb Levine was a high school superintendent when his son, Joel, got addicted to the powerful prescription painkiller, OxyContin. After five years of turmoil and two attempts at rehab, Joel got clean. Dr. Levine helped establish Recovery High Schools in Massachusetts.
The Levine family has started The Levine Family Recovery High School Scholarship Fund to support young people, like Laura and Brian, graduating from Recovery High Schools.
"What addiction did to our family was gut wrenching," says Dr. Levine. "Young people in recovery need every possible structure to support their continuing sobriety. We started this fund because we want to do something for kids working their way out of addiction."
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