New recovery high school to open in downtown Frederick

I-270

The unique high school will offer counseling, addiction services to young adults on a path to recovery

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are about 192 overdose deaths each day.

Now, a new kind of recovery center is opening in Frederick, Maryland with the hopes of curbing that number in young adults.

According to a 2017 CDC Maryland High School Risk Behavior Study, 53 percent of students say they’ve tried alcohol and 13 percent say they’ve used pain medications without a doctor’s prescription.

In Frederick County, the number of drug overdoses is posted on a board off of MD-85. The number reads over 180.

“Every time you drive down [MD]-85 you see the overdose and death tally go higher and higher and higher. We just got tired of watching it happen when we know there’s a solution,” explained founder and president of the Phoenix Foundation of Maryland, John Edmonds.

Edmonds and the Phoenix Foundation of Maryland have partnered with the Ausherman Family Foundation to open a recovery high school in Frederick.

“What a recovery high school does is it enables a positive peer pressure environment. A kid that’s struggling isn’t going to be tempted, isn’t going to be put in that environment and it’s a huge deal with teens. Peer pressure is a reality,” Edmonds said.

The first-of-it’s-kind in the county, the school would be open to surrounding areas of the state. It will host between 20 and 40 students who have already completed recovery treatments. Beyond a standard high school curriculum, these students also receive addiction counseling and support.

Students will soon take their seats at the three-story building along East Church Street. The location is owned by the Ausherman Family Foundation and the non-profit has donated funding and is renting the space for just a hundred dollars a month. 

“Which is significantly less than you’d be able to get on the market rate, as well as about $150,000 we’ve committed to help them go through updating the building and fitting it out,” explained Ausherman Family Foundation Executive Director, Leigh Adams.

The main floor is currently occupied by staff with Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County. They’re sad to pack up, but staff say the new venture is worth it.

“A little shocked at first, but then understanding that this is a great use for the building,” said executive director for Habitat for Humanity for Frederick County, Ron Cramer.

The recovery high school is slated to open in fall 2020.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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