Rebecca Bonner recently visited our class to discuss Bridgeway, the only recovery high school in the Philadelphia area. Bonner, the head of Bridgeway, opened the school in 2011 with the intention of intervening lower on the spectrum to prevent kids from developing substance use disorders

Having witnessed her daughter personally struggle with drug addiction, Bonner knows the importance of providing an academic and sober environment to minors. One thing that continues to prevent students from staying in recovery is their choice to return to their old high school, especially if they don’t have any recovery support.

“Most high schools are the kids’ pharmacy of choice,” said Bonner.

She recalled making this mistake when she allowed her daughter to return to her high school. After her return, she relapsed fairly quickly.

Though recovery high schools like Bridgeway can be fairly expensive, around $2,500 a month, most students are provided with financial aid. This is not hard to believe considering Bridgeway only enrolls between 10 and 12 students. Although Bonner admits that the small student size can be a bit claustrophobic at times, this intimacy allows for a more respectful and controlled environment to practice recovery.