A couple hours before lunch, 15-year-old Owen Rockenbach was perched on a beanbag mattress on the floor, notebook in his lap, talking about depression with a clinical psychologist.
It’s just another day at Ridgecrest Academy, which is definitely not just another high school.
“The teacher picked up Chinese food for the kids for lunch the other day. They’re a little spoiled when it comes to food,” director Rebecca Rosenblatt said, smiling.
Ridgecrest Academy – opened in 2014 – is Nashville’s only “recovery high school,” a school that serves teens struggling with using drugs and alcohol.
And the school is struggling to stay open, even though teens in Tennessee and elsewhere are abusing pain pills and heroin in record numbers.
Ridgecrest, with its $25,000 annual tuition, has just two students right now. They started with four, but two are back in treatment.
Such are the struggles for recovery high schools. Most people in recovery relapse soon after getting clean or sober, and teens relapse more than any others battling addiction, experts say.
Read the full story in The Tennessean.