Press Release

Richmond Establishes High School For Addiction Treatment
November 7, 2017
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Press Release

Press Release – McShin Academy

Virginia’s first Recovery High School, McShin Academy, to open at St. Joseph’s Villa Serving students grades 9 to 12 with substance use disorder

Richmond, VA – The Virginia Department of Health reports more than 1,400 people died of drug

overdoses in Virginia in 2016–a 38 percent increase from 2015. Two Richmond‐based nonprofits, the

McShin Foundation and St. Joseph’s Villa, are partnering to break the cycle of addiction in adolescents

by establishing the first recovery high school in Virginia.

McShin Academy, located on the Villa campus, is designed to help students recover from substance use

disorders while continuing their education in a small and nurturing environment.

“We have seen an alarming rise in opioid use and fatalities among teenagers,” said Honesty Liller, CEO of

the McShin Foundation. “There is an increased need to help teens recover while keeping them in school

and engaged in other activities.”

The McShin Foundation is Virginia’s leading Peer‐to‐Peer Recovery Community Organization. Students of

McShin Academy will receive guidance from McShin’s peer recovery coaches. St. Joseph’s Villa will

provide education services. The Villa currently operates four schools on its 82‐acre campus that address

students’ distinct academic and behavioral needs.

Nine out of ten people who meet the clinical criteria for substance use disorders began smoking,

drinking or using other drugs during adolescence, according to the National Center on Addiction and

Substance Abuse. While there are treatment facilities for drug and alcohol addiction, McShin Academy

will be the first place in Virginia to support students in recovery as they complete their high school


“There are not many schools in the country that operate a substance use recovery model,” said Cindy

Faison, COO of St. Joseph’s Villa. “It is a relatively new concept.”

McShin Academy will be housed in its own building and run separately from the Villa’s other schools. It

is funded by private tuition, with scholarship opportunities available through the McShin Foundation.

“St. Joseph’s Villa was founded to meet the most critical needs of vulnerable children and youth. Our


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