History and Mission
In the fall of 2014, inspired by the film ANONYMOUS PEOPLE, a group of Washingtonians within the recovery community recognized the need for safe educational options for students beginning their journey in recovery alcohol and substance use disorders. Investigating the need for recovery education in the Washington area, the group made three initial findings: First, treatment facilities for adolescents in the District were limited, slightly more available in suburbs. Most of the treatment is publicly funded and directed to severe illness. Second, there are no secondary schools in the area that offer safe harbor to protect a recovery life-style and provide a quality education. Third, the District’s Alternative High School, though well managed and sensitive to recovery needs, specifically outreaches to older students who missed their original graduation opportunities and get a second chance – usually at ages 18-22. The group met with officials of the national Association for Recovery Schools and visited a recovery school in Philadelphia to help determine the local opportunity and goals.
The Mission of the Alliance for Recovery Education is to establish a state recognized educational institution for students with substance use
disorders within the greater Washington metropolitan area. Our commitment is to uphold the standards of successful recovery education by providing academic services and recovery assistance for students committed to being abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and achieving credits toward a high school and/or college diploma, while working with a program of recovery. We work to assure young people better knowledge of addiction risk and disease. We particularly work to create and sustain safe and supportive educational environments to allow those afflicted and affected by addiction to grow into productive and satisfying adulthood. Alliance for Recovery Education in Greater Washington (AREGW) members investigate possibilities within the public school systems, charter structures, or private school options to provide this sustaining support in early recovery.