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Wellspring to open high school for teens struggling with addiction

Posted at 11:59 AM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 11:59:16-04

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Wellspring Lutheran Services will launch Michigan’s first public recovery high school in January 2021, Wellspring Academy.

The school will support teens who struggle with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol by helping them with their sobriety as they earn their high school diploma. The Michigan Department of Education estimates that nearly 2,000 students in southeast Michigan leave or are kicked out of school for drug and/or alcohol use each year.

“Students who have made a commitment to sobriety, and have begun the tough journey of recovery, don’t stand a chance if they’re forced back to their school of origin simply because they don’t have a choice,” says Wellspring president and CEO David Gehm. “In fact, we know that 70% of those students will relapse within six months.”

According to the National Association of Recovery High Schools, there are fewer than 40 recovery high schools in the U.S. The closest recovery high school to Michigan is in Columbus, OH. Wellspring Academy will be located at 28000 W. 9 Mile Road in Farmington Hills and have the capacity to serve up to 120 students in grades 9-12 from southeast Michigan and surrounding areas.

“The need is great and the time is now,” says Sean de Dour, chief operating officer for Flint-based Wellspring. “We don’t have the luxury of hoping that this drug epidemic will sort itself out. Kids are dying. Overdose rates are at an all-time high and we have a team of experts with lived experience who want to step in and help change the trajectory for students and families in Michigan."

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