Harmony Academy Helps Teens Stay in School, Recovery


LAKE OSWEGO — Oregon recently celebrated the state’s first recovery high school, Harmony Academy. A public charter school in the Lake Oswego School District, Harmony Academy allows adolescents in recovery to learn in a supportive environment alongside classmates, mentors and educators with lived experience. 

Harmony Academy was made possible in part with the help of more than $400,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The school is available to any high school student with substance use disorder in the Portland tri-county area. The Oregon Recovery High School Initiative aims to expand so that teens in other parts of the state can access these supports.

“We know that addiction is not a moral failing,” said Harmony Academy co-founder and chair, Tony Mann. “It’s a chronic condition of the brain, for which there is a solution. Harmony Academy is that kind of solution for adolescents.”

Recovery high schools first started in Houston, Texas. The successful model is now operating in a handful of states across the country. Research has shown that youth who have received substance use disorder treatment and enrolled in a recovery high school are more likely to graduate and more likely to maintain recovery than their peers who returned to their community high schools.

“With this first of a kind recovery school, young Oregonians in the metropolitan area have a safe environment to work on their recovery while also being successful at school,” OHA director Patrick Allen said. “OHA is excited to be able to be a part of this effort.”

About Author

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is the state agency at the forefront of lowering and containing costs, improving quality and increasing access to health care in order to improve the lifelong health of Oregonians. OHA includes most of the state's health care programs, including Public Health and the Oregon Health Plan.

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