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University High School
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University High School
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About University High School


Our student are courageously seeking a transformed life.  Without programs like UHS, over 75% of teens cannot retain sustained sobriety.  Joining us and invest in their journey.  There are many ways to support the life-saving work of University High School.  Our heroes support this transformational work through the following programs.

  • Families Helping Families 
  • Incremental Giving
  • The Honor Program

Join us and help save a young life today!

About UHS

University High School in Austin, Texas is one of 36 recovery high schools in the United States and one of five in Texas. Recovery schools create a specially designed learning and social environment for high school students working a program of recovery from a substance use disorder. They are both life-changing and life-saving.

A report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University (2011) found the following: Of high school students who have ever smoked a cigarette, had a drink of alcohol or used other drugs, 19.4 percent have a clinical substance use disorder, as do 33.3 percent of current users. Since the time of that study, the situation has worsened with the opioid epidemic, the flood of highly addictive—but not yet illegal—designer drugs from China, and the explosion of drug use among the high school population. According to researcher Dr. Andrew Finch at Vanderbilt University, more than 70% of adolescents who return to their communities after treatment relapse within six months to a year. On the other hand, if they attend a recovery school, only about 30% relapse during that time frame. Unfortunately, addiction is similar to some forms of cancer in the sense that relapse is often part of long-term recovery.



University High School is unique in creating a wrap-around recovery system that consists of multiple components:

·    World-class academics through the University of Texas Charter School System, which provides all of the academics for the school, including its superintendent, principal, and teachers. Instruction is provided through online courses, small seminars led by certified teachers, and tutorial assistance when needed.

·    Recovery support through UHS, a non-profit organization, and its trained counselors who work with the students to help them develop coping tools and life skills essential to maintaining recovery. The school’s “recovery culture" is one in which mutual caring, support, and love among the students empower them to face their addiction, make the necessary life changes, and discover the meaning of true friendships, genuine caring, and mature self-accountability. UHS addresses multiple life domains (home, school, and community), to meet a student’s social, emotional, educational, spiritual, and cultural needs.

·    An alternative peer group, which all students are required to attend, provides peer support for adolescent recovery through process group meetings and social activities at such high-risk times as after school and on weekends. These groups generally meet three times a week and offer Friday and Saturday socials through which students can make lasting friendships with sober adolescent peers.

·    A unique affiliation with the University of Texas at Austin that ensures cutting-edge, evidence-based practices at UHS, mentorship of UHS students by UT students through the University of Texas Center for Students in Recovery, and highly capable interns from UT. UHS also works with several other UT departments, including Undergraduate Studies, Department of Education, Department of Nursing, School of Pharmacology, and Dell Medical School.

·    A unique educational and social experience—one that is challenging and supportive, disciplined and creative, safe and exciting.   

University High School is developing a national model for the formation of recovery schools across the nation to address the tragic problem of adolescent addiction in an effective manner. Your support is greatly appreciated.