Local News


Clark County School District aims to start a recovery high school for young addicts

Posted at 12:00 AM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 17:51:55-04
There is a growing generation of addicts and they're getting younger and younger.
Now, the Clark County School District is working to open a recovery high school just for teens who want to live a sober life.
The goal is to save more lives here in the valley as it battles a heroin epidemic. The idea was inspired by a Houston recovery high school that's been around for 13 years.
"Today would have been my son's 25th birthday," said Joe Engle, the founder and president of There Is No Hero in Heroin Las Vegas. "He died six years ago of a heroin overdose."
Ever since his son's death, Engle made it his goal to help parents never have to go through what he had to.
"These aren't deviants of society," said CCSD's Assistant Chief Jeff Horn. "They aren't criminals. They are kids who for many of them are just lost and are dealing with a disease."
So what if we put all those kids together in one school to recover together and learn how to be sober together? That's what CCSD is in the process of doing right now.
"We would give them support, whether it is counseling, whether it is one on one work with students, whether it is wrap around services," said Horn.
It would be a small school, probably made up of just 100 or so kids. They would fit right into an unused building that already exists here in town.
The Houston recovery high school's journey was actually showcased in a documentary that aired Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
"It's a school of choice," said Sasha McLean, the CEO of the Houston recovery high school. "You have to want to come. So you don't have to do cartwheels. You don't have to be super excited about being there but you have to have some shred of willingness."
The proposed school comes as Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Steve Ross opens up for the first time about his own son who's dealing with addiction issues. Ross was among the community leaders at the documentary screening Wednesday.
According to Ross, his son, Shane, just hit rock bottom after letting his addiction get the best of him, prompting him to allegedly commit multiple robberies around Las Vegas.
"Recovery is for everybody," said Ross. "Not just the addict, but for the family members too. Our family is traumatized by this but we have our own recovery to go through."