‘I’d be in a worse situation—or dead—if I weren’t here.’
The school year hadn’t started yet, but Harrison found himself in the principal’s office, with his mother sitting at his side. He’d been called in for a meeting on a warm September afternoon just before beginning his senior year of high school.
The 17-year-old’s heroin addiction had become so serious that his mom, Debbie, didn’t know what else to do. By then, he’d been in at least eight treatment programs, and had relapsed after leaving each one.
Harrison and Debbie hoped the calm, patient woman across the desk would be able to help. Susan Strong, the principal, was in charge of leading Rockdale Recovery High School, a brand new drug recovery school in Worcester. For Harrison and his mom, the school felt like their last chance.