An article in the December 1991 AAP News incorrectly identified Albert Pruitt, M.D., as chairman of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse. A second article incorrectly identified Kenneth Schonberg, M.D., as chairman of the AAP Committee on Adolescence. Drs. Pruitt and Schonberg are former chairmen of their respective committees. Roberta K. Beach, M.D., is chairwoman of the Committee on Adolescence. Manuel Schydlower, M.D., chairs the Committee on Substance Abuse.
Fifteen-year-old Heidi's sister introduced her to drugs. Heidi lived in a drugged world for five years — full of marijuana, alcohol, gas fumes, cocaine, speed and"crank," a form of speed. After completing her treatment, Heidi felt she wouldn't be able to stay sober if she returned to her public school, where she feels that she wouldn't be accepted or comfortable. "I know there's no way I would remain sober if I was at a normal mainstream school," Heidi said. "It isn't a place for me."
As with any treatment program, there are advantages and disadvantages to an alternative program like Sobriety High, which keeps recovering students comfortable in its fold until the students are able to return to the mainstream. "Clearly you have to give recovering adolescents the skills and whatever else they need so they can function in a society," says Albert Pruitt, M.D., FAAP, chairman of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse. "But something must be done with reentry. I don't see this as a long-term situation. It seems like a reasonable approach for those who no longer need inpatient care. But the disadvantage is that kids will always be labeled as Sobriety High students if they spend the remainder of their education there."