This summer, Melvin Matos did something that he once thought he would never do: graduate from high school. He’d started drinking at 14 and quickly moved on to pills and pot. By the time he turned 16, Matos could see where his life was heading: Some of his buddies already had died because of drugs and drink.
After a stint in rehab, Matos enrolled at the William J. Ostiguy High School in Boston, one of five public “recovery high schools” in Massachusetts. There, in addition to his academic classes, he participated in group therapy and 12-step meetings, submitted to regular drug tests and formed friendships with kids facing struggles similar to his.
This fall, Matos is enrolling in a local community college and planning to pursue his dreams of a pro baseball career. He is convinced that if he hadn’t gone to Ostiguy, he’d still be using alcohol and drugs.
An estimated 1.3 million 12-to-17-year-olds have a substance abuse disorder.
Youths between 12 and 19 account for nearly 12 percent of admissions to publicly funded rehab facilities, and about half of all students who return to traditional schools after treatment relapse within a year. Teens who relapse are less likely to stay in school.
Continue Reading The Original Publication By: Teresa Wiltz @The Washington