Harris County’s Recovery School Will Help Students With Addiction

Harris County will open its first recovery high school, which will take in students who have fallen victim to substance abuse.
Published: August 31, 2018

Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) will open Fortis Academy, a public recovery high school for students who need a place to fight their addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Many schools like this exist around the country, however, most are private. Harris County’s recovery school, located in Houston, will be one of the few public schools, reports Houston Public Media.

Fortis Academy is funded from property taxes and money from the school districts sending their students to the school.

Superintendent James Colbert hopes the school will allow students from low-income backgrounds to have access to a resource normally not available to them.

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Over the past five years, roughly 10,500 recorded incidents involved some type of drug interaction with kids in Harris County, reports KHOU.

Kids are in serious danger when it comes to substance abuse. The Center of Addiction says that nine out of ten addicts begin using before they turn 18.

Dr. Anthony Moten, principal of Fortis, believes a school like this is needed. He knows the pressures these students face at their old high schools that will make recovery difficult.

Eight out of 10 students who return to their previous schools relapse within a year, according to recovery.org.

The recovery school will be available to students who have previously completed a rehabilitation program and are serious about their sobriety.

Students will have readily available drug counselors on campus and admit to both scheduled and random drug tests.

The school’s approach to a failed drug test may not always result in punishment.

“When children experience a relapse, we are going to blanket them with therapeutic services,” Moten explained.

Students will be taught that their past does not define their future, a valued philosophy at Fortis Academy.

The school will provide a culinary arts program, rope course and science labs to prepare students for after graduation.

“We are dealing with kids who deserve an opportunity to fulfill their dreams and if their dreams are not big enough, we need to help them enlarge those dreams.”

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