As in any school in the country, the first day begins early in the morning, but at Mission High School it is different, as the first class of students at this Las Vegas (Nevada) school is a counseling session to Addictions to alcohol and drugs.
These youngsters from the ninth to the twelfth grade are the only students of the first school in the country who, thanks only to public funds, only attend students with problems of substance abuse.
Each of the counseling sessions of this center has been programmed and designed according to the needs of the students, as some are already in the process of rehabilitation, while others are about to enter a recovery program.
Danet Robaina, academic counselor at Mission High School, told Efe that every detail of this school has been carefully thought out and executed.
“It took nearly two years to make the idea of ??starting this school a reality. This is the work of several people who are involved in education, and who saw the need to support children who have some addiction,” he said.
That need would be supported by the figures released by the Clark County School District (CCSD). According to their statistics, in 2014 the rate of drug overdose in this region was more than 20 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Additionally, in 2012, 6.7% of residents 12 years of age or older in Las Vegas had problems with prescription drug abuse. In fact, at the national level the numbers continue to grow.
According to a recent report by the New York Times, in 2016 59,000 to 65,000 people died of drug overdose, while the previous year’s report on addictions by the Director General of Health indicates that only 10% of people who With substance abuse problems receiving treatment.
At Mission High School, Danet says, students will find not only support to begin or continue with that treatment, but a comprehensive support program that includes parental involvement and education, ongoing counseling, extracurricular activities geared toward managing Problems that can push them toward substance abuse.
“I decided to go to this school because I want to stay sober and at the same time get my diploma without losing the help I need to be able to do everything at the same time,” Khara Greenwell told EFE.
The 16-year-old says she has been living among addictions for three years.
“First it was the alcohol and then it got worse.The drugs took me to have problems with the law and I decided that that is not the person that I want to be.Thank you that this school exists now and that gives us the opportunity to be who really We can be, “he says.
Khara is one of nine students currently enrolled in Mission High School. Although the group is small by now, its leaders expect that by the end of the year there will be a hundred students.
“It has a bitter taste at the same time. Having 100 children here means that there are 100 children who have addiction problems, but at the same time it means that there are 100 children who can help, and that is our purpose,” says Barbara Collins , Director of the school.
In his opinion, with the “epidemic” that the country is living at the moment, it is “important” that every effort is made to help these young people and that this program can be “replicated” in other parts of the country.
Deaths from overdose of opiates continue to rise in the US, despite official efforts to halt the advance of what has become one of the biggest public health problems in the United States in recent years.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on 8 August, deaths from overdose with opiates, including analgesics, synthetic drugs and heroin, doubled between 2002 and 2015 in U.S.
In this situation, Collins says they work to identify more young people who need a place in their school and do it together with mental health and rehabilitation centers, among others.