Latest Blog Posts

Bridge Way: Philly’s First Recovery High School

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Rebecca Bonner watched her daughter’s pants size go from an 8 to a 2 within seven to eight weeks. Her daughter struggled with a substance use disorder, and was eventually admitted into rehab for five months during her freshman year of high school. She returned to school her sophomore year, but relapsed in ten months. Bonner said that it was difficult for her daughter to maintain sobriety in her...

Recovery High: The Bridge Way School

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I spent much of high school high. Wild Turkey Wednesdays marked a weekly ritual that saw my friends and I split a fifth of affordable—and uncomfortably warm—whiskey in the morning hours before first bell. For many of my friends, this behavior would prove merely a phase. For me, it was the tarmac to a 20-year odyssey of alcohol and drug abuse. Impossible hypotheticals are a reality in the...

Recovery High Schools: The Bridge Way School

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When Rebecca Bonner’s daughter was struggling with a substance use disorder, the closest recovery high school she could find was in Boston, a ways away from their home near Philadelphia. Instead of uprooting her entire family, Bonner thought of a different solution – opening her own recovery high school. Bonner opened the Bridge Way School in 2011 in Roxborough, which is a...

Journalists Elana Gordon and Morgan Zalot speak on covering addiction-related issues

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Elana Gordon, public health reporter for WHYY The Pulse, and Morgan Zalot, formerly of NBC 10 and reporter for the station’s Generation Addicted piece, discussed the challenges of reporting on addiction as the last class speakers for the semester. Both Gordon and Zalot noted the necessity of adding context to sensitive circumstances, using their narratives to respect language associated...

The Bridge Way School

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Schools is where many kids are first exposed to drugs and alcohol. Often time schools have there own household pharmacist — the common neighborhood drug dealer. Rebecca Bonner came to our class to discuss recovery schools and in particular the recovery high school she found in 2011 the Bridgeway school in Roxborough PA. The school will have anywhere between 10 to 12 student in an Academic...

The Bridge Way School: A Sanctuary

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Rebecca Bonner created The Bridge Way School after her daughter developed addiction problems her freshman year of high school. Her daughter went to rehab for five months and then went back to her local high school. Because it was the same environment as before, her daughter ended up relapsing within the first 10 months back at school. She debated just putting her daughter in another local high...

Recovery high schools: ‘peer pressure in the best way possible’

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Rebecca Bonner, the head of school at the Bridge Way School — a recovery high school — understands how difficult addiction can be for high school students. Bonner’s daughter was 14 years old during the height of her addiction. Bonner said that when he daughter was struggling, she tried to find a recovery high school for her to attend but the closest one was in Boston. There are also no...

The Bridge Way School: “The Best Kept Secret”

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by Danielle Nick While witnessing her teenage daughter struggle with addiction, Rebecca Bonner realized how big of a need there is for recovery high schools. Bonner searched relentlessly for a school to accommodate her daughter’s needs, but the closest recovery high school was in Boston. Everything the Bonner family knew was in Philadelphia, and moving to Boston was out of the question. In 2011...

The Value of Collegiate Recovery Programs

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Speakers Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell visited our class to show us how beneficial a collegiate recovery community is for students in college. Institutionalizing a recovery program, whether it is by creating recovery housing, a walk-in center, or club organization throughout all college campuses, is Ashford’s and Hatzell’s end game and goal. According to Ashford, there are 170 collegiate...

Recovery high schools provide the ‘best kind of peer pressure’ for students

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Recovery high schools are valuable necessities for students who are in recovery from substance use disorders. Rebecca Bonner realized this as clear as day when her daughter fell into opiates and discovered that the “local high school was her pharmacy of choice.” “I was literally watching her die before my eyes,” Bonner said. So the natural next step for her was to search...

Bridge Way School in Roxborough: a ‘sanctuary’

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For many kids, schools double as pharmacies — the place where they can buy and supply drugs. Rebecca Bonner knew she couldn’t send her daughter, who was beginning her recovery from substance use, back to her old school. But the closest recovery high school she could find was a five-hour car ride away in Boston. So, in 2011, Bonner founded The Bridge Way School, a recovery high school in...

Recovery high school may be ‘best kept secret in Philadelphia’

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Rebecca Bonner watched her daughter go from a size eight to a size two in just a few weeks when she was 14 years old, in the height of her substance use disorder — she still gets choked up remembering it today. “I was watching my daughter die before my eyes,” Bonner said. Then, Bonner struggled to find the right educational path for her daughter. Returning to her old high...

“Best kept secret in Philadelphia,” Rebecca Bonner on the recovery-minded Bridge Way High School

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Rebecca Bonner, has been with The Bridge Way School since its origins in 2011. For the past six years, the high school has addressed substance use disorder in a comprehensive way that involves built-in recovery supplements to the traditional learning environment. “There is a spectrum of substance use disorders [among high schoolers],” said Bonner, Executive Director of the Greater...

Collegiate Recovery

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Before todays visitors Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hazell, I didn’t know too much about collegiate recovery programs (CPR). Unfortunately Temple University does not offer collegiate recovery programs and that is something that I think could not only help further build the recovery community but also I think that it will help Temple continue to build diversity within its student population...

Learning recovery as a ‘young person’

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Robert Ashford, a master’s of social work candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and Jimmy Hatzell, a Penn State alumnus involved in the startup of the university’s collegiate recovery program said that Philadelphia has the largest prevalence of collegiate recovery communities, in terms of small groups and full-blown programs. “There is no other spot in the country that has...