Michael Durchslag, P.E.A.S.E.’s director since 2007, began his career at the high school in 1995 as a social studies teacher. He credits peer connection as key to the academy’s success. “The opposite of addiction is not recovery. The opposite of addiction is connection,” Durchslag says. But the success of recovery high schools goes beyond the anecdotal: Well Being Trust’s 2019 “Pain in the Nation” report found that recovery high schools help students remain sober. Avoidance of alcohol and drugs by teens with substance-misuse issues increased to 56 percent in the 90 days after entering these types of high schools. In the 90 days prior to entering a recovery high school, this statistic was 20 percent. The report also showed that these schools help reduce school violence and increase educational attainment for teens with a past that includes substance misuse.