After using drugs daily for 2½ months, Jessica Voracek, then 14, sank into a suicidal depression. “Everything started to slip away,” she said. Today, she travels to Washington, D.C., to talk with members of Congress about her journey back to sobriety and how the Safe Harbor Recovery Program in Minnesota helps young people stay off drugs, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Jessica among 30 students, parents, and staff representing nine high school and college programs in Minnesota. They will tell their stories to generate awareness of recovery-based school programs said Andy Finch of the Association of Recovery Schools. Minnesota U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, a recovering alcoholic, will join the delegation. The risk of drug relapses is lower in recovery schools compared with regular high schools, said Safe Harbor Director Frank Herman. In this alternative high school, students work on their math, history and reading, as well as their sobriety. Staff and students develop individual addiction-recovery plans. Staff specialists include chemical dependency and other counselors.