Mission High School to help students struggling with sobriety

LAS VEGAS - There's money headed to the state of Nevada that will help the state fight the opioid epidemic. Nevada has already received more than $8 million in grants, but the battle to destroy the opioid epidemic, by enacting new laws will get a $1.2 million boost.

The first publicly-funded campus in the nation geared toward helping kids struggling with sobriety opens Monday.  The recovery high school for students battling drug and alcohol addiction is set to open on Monday.

Mission High School's campus in downtown Las Vegas is the first publicly-funded campus like this in the nation.

"I couldn't go a day without doing drugs," said Maria Vasquez, a Mission High School student.

Maria, just 14, will soon start her freshman year at Mission High School.  According to Maria, she started using drugs in 6th grade to numb the pain of getting bullied.

She said she never had a hard time buying pills.
 
"Drugs are so easy to get for children our age," Maria said. "I could go to school with $5 and walk out with like three Xanax."

Back in May, the Clark County School District approved the plans for Mission High School which didn't give faculty and staff much time to prepare for the first day of class.
   
Teachers have only had a few days to put their classrooms together, but delaying the opening of Mission High School just wasn't an option.

"There's a lot of responsibility that comes with this," said Barbara Collins, principal at Mission High School.

Collins admitted to being a little afraid about leading the country's first one-of-a-kind school, but she says the community support has been fundamental.

"This is our computer lab that has been so generously donated," Collins said as she gave 8 News NOW a tour of the campus. "This area is kind of our quad."


   
Durin the tour, Collins also pointed out all the improvements they've been able to do at the school this month alone.

"Everything has literally started hitting the ground running in August," said Collins.

The school is starting off small with just six teachers.  Daniel Moore says working with students in recovery is personal.

"I lost my mother in law to a prescription pill overdose," Moore said.

Moore is so passionate about his work at Mission High he scaled back his duties as an Army Guard Reserve to dedicate more time to the school and its students.

"All kids deserve good instruction in school, and the only way for me to know that's happening is to be here doing it," Moore said.

"I'm going to finally get better in life," Maria said. "I'm going to become someone in life."

Mission High School will enroll up to 100 students.

For families interested in enrolling your child in Mission High School go here.


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