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Community Talks Addiction, Recovery

January 31, 2019 10:26 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is challenging enough, but if you’re in high school, the road to recovery can be even more difficult.

“Maybe they go away to an in-patient treatment center when they come back when they re-enter their school system they are coming into close contact with many people they used with,” said Marian Holtorf, an educator at APEX Recovery School.

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Rochester Public Schools launched the program back in 2016.

“They go to class and they get special attention you know besides the schooling they also talk about their addictions and try to help them,” said Pat Kelly, a school resource officer at Mayo High School.

The program changed Julia Kaloumenos’s life.

“Us sobering recovering alcoholics and addicts need to be around other people who are also recovering,” she said.

With a small group of students, teens get the support and attention they need.

“They sat down with you one-on-one, got to know you, got to know your story and they really helped push me to graduate – the staff and the students, as well,” she said.

Holtorf said providing a safety net for students is a key part of their recovery.

“The reality is that addiction is an issue everywhere and when you think about addiction and drug abuse and use, the statistics say nationally that nine out of 10 addicts began using as an adolescent,” she said.

Kaloumenos said APEX is the reason she was able to graduate last June.

“This program is super crucial for students that are in recovery,” she said.

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