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    Inside the Specialized 'Recovery' High School Designed Just for Teens With Addiction
    Posted on 01/25/2019
     Student Marques Martinez talks about he is grateful for during a class gathering on Dec. 13, 2018.By Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News January 23, 2019

    SEATTLE — It’s the last class period of the day. The students lean back on couches and take turns describing the most important day of their lives: the day they became sober.

    For Marques Martinez, that date was Nov. 15, 2016. Until then, he had used OxyContin, Xanax and nearly every other drug he could get his hands on, he said. He had been suspended from school for selling drugs. “I knew what I was doing was bad,” he said. “But I didn’t think there was another way.”

    Two years ago, Martinez’s parents sent him to an in-patient treatment center and then enrolled him in this unusual high school, Interagency at Queen Anne, or IQA. Martinez, 17, learned about the school from an alumnus and knew it might be his last option. He was skeptical at first, but he knew one thing immediately: “I felt safe here.”

    The Seattle public school campus, known as a recovery school, is designed for students learning to lead lives of sobriety while they earn their diplomas. The roughly 20 students attend classes in math, language arts and physical education, and they complete other courses online. They meet regularly with a counselor and attend daily support group meetings based on Alcoholics Anonymous programs.

    Recent research shows that recovery schools — also known as sober schools — help keep their students off drugs and in class.