School For Recovering Teen Addicts To Open In Colorado Springs

Colorado’s first high school for teens recovering from addictions will open early next year in Colorado Springs.

The Landmark Community School will include academics but students will also have an addiction counselor, and attend classes on coping skills and other social-emotional issues.

"A lot of these students have anxiety or depression," said Leslie Patterson, the school's program director. "Those aren’t going to go away. And so how do you manage those on a regular basis? And what are some coping skills to deal with the feelings that are coming up?"

When teens finish up a drug or alcohol treatment program, Patterson said they often go back to their original high school. Up to 80 percent of those students will relapse "fairly quickly," Patterson said.

"Because they are back in with the same people places and things where they were using," she said.

The recovery school will be costlier than a regular school, with half the funding coming from grants and foundations.

The school, which has been two years in the making, will start with 20 students but is expected to double in size. Plans are also underway for a similar school in Denver run by a different organization.