Understanding The Sober High School Movement

August 4, 2017Diana Lengerson

High school is a dangerous time for some 2.3 million students who’ve tried drugs. This accounts for children age 12-17. This critical period of development can spell disaster for those who experiment with drugs. While not all high school students who try drugs will become addicted, for a frighteningly high number of these children, life can become unbearable before they even enter the adult world. In an effort to curb this sober high school programs have sprung up around the country to combat the devastation of drug abuse among the young.

What are what are sober highschools?

The idea that there is a learning environment where sobriety is a priority might at first strike some as “too specific.’ For those students who have already experienced the horrors of drug abuse, though, this is often the only type of learning environment where learning is even possible. When students begin to succumb to the horrors of drug abuse, they quickly learn that success is impossible. Drugs can completely take over the life of a student. Our-aproach is to give students a new life to turn to when this happens.

When a high school student experiments with drugs, disastrous things can happen, the most disastrous of which is full blown addiction. Grades suffer, they may get into legal trouble, and eventually they may even be expelled from school altogether. This can greatly reduce the chances that a student will ever attend college or find gainful employment. Sober schools fix this by monitoring students closely to ensure that sobriety is a vital part of the learning experience.

The state determines which students meet the criteria to enter one of these high schools. First and foremost, every single student in these schools must maintain sobriety. They will be exposed to 12-step meetings, be encouraged to stand by their sobriety and help others celebrate their own sobriety, and most of all, they will be given a number of extracurricular activities, all of them revolving around sober activities.

One of the best parts of sober high schools is that students are allowed to continue living at home while attending these schools. This additional measure of freedom often gives the students a sense of pride. They are like normal high school students but have committed to staying sober in their high school environment. This can often save a young student from the horrors of drug addiction and most importantly they can get back on the right track to a quality education.

Appreciating the mission of the sober environment

Education is a vital part of a child’s future success. When drugs enter the picture, so many students fall behind in school and never recover, not educationally or mentally. These high schools are revolutionizing the way drug addiction is treated among the young. Instead of being sent off to a treatment center where they must live in-house and away from parents, this type of high school program allows the students to maintain the normalcy of regular high school just with many more restrictions placed on activity.

Students will of course be exposed to the recovery program of many 12-step groups and other types of treatment, such as individual counseling, but they will do so in a normal high school environment. All of the students share the common experience of trying to stay away from drugs and grow up in a more normal way, without letting drugs completely destroy a life before it even begins.

As more students are exposed to drugs as time goes by, the option of the sober high school becomes even more appealing than it ever has been. Thankfully these schools are a nurturing and “normal” environment compared to being shipped off away for treatment and being without the loving support of family and well-known friends. Qualifying for a sober school is the first step for a student who might need this type of learning environment. You can contact these schools to inquire about their requirements or get state guidelines for the requirements of the school.

Most importantly, children who enter these types of schools need to be well aware of the rules. These schools do an enormous amount of good for their students and of course expect students to follow a greater number of rules than regular high school students. Make sure that a child meets all of the requirements and is aware of the type of behavior that is expected in these schools. It is a privilege to be able to recover in one of these learning environments.

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