Turning Pages, Transforming Lives

Turning Pages, Transforming Lives

The Transformative Role of GEDS in Healing from Substance Use Disorders

The journey to recovery from substance use disorder is often fraught with numerous challenges. Often one of these challenges is the absence of a high school diploma. Many individuals grappling with addiction have been hindered by trauma, instability, and exposure to drugs and alcohol, all of which prevented them from attaining a formal education. These individuals have likely confronted obstacles such as addicted parents, lack of parental support, physical and sexual abuse, or even homelessness—circumstances that propelled them down a dark path.
Nevertheless, irrespective of the trauma they have endured, there is a beacon of hope available to aid them in rebuilding their lives during recovery. This entails helping them achieve what was taken from them—an education. Every Monday night, a group of participants at our organization gather to discuss homework questions and provide support as they prepare to eventually take the test to obtain their General Equivalency Diploma (GED) credential. Our class is comprised of individuals of all ages, and we firmly believe that everyone has the right to an education. Obtaining a GED offers our participants a multitude of benefits, enabling them to strive for greater success in their lives.

Opening Doors of Opportunity

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, individuals with a GED earn approximately $9,000 more per year than those without a high school diploma. Additionally, the unemployment rate for those lacking a high school diploma is nearly double that of individuals with a GED. Acquiring a GED equips individuals with better job opportunities, increased earning potential, and a heightened sense of accomplishment and self-worth. For those in addiction recovery, it is a crucial stepping stone toward building a stable and successful future.

Our GED class is led by our dedicated staff member, Nicole, who is passionate about addressing the unique needs of each participant in the classroom. She explains that every student takes a pretest, allowing them to identify and focus on the areas in which they require the most assistance and improvement. The GED test comprises five subjects: language arts reading, language arts writing, social studies, math, and science. Healing House has been fortunate enough to have the support of three volunteers who provide tutoring to participants in areas where they require additional help, ensuring they stay on track.

Building Confidence

Surprisingly, the biggest challenge faced by participants in the Healing House GED class is not the daunting math equations or essay requirements. Instead, Nicole reveals that self-doubt is the most common obstacle encountered in her classroom. Many students believe that they cannot possibly attain their GED after being out of school for an extended period. Nicole emphasizes that a significant aspect of her role is nurturing self-confidence and instilling the belief that individuals can accomplish anything they set their minds to, regardless of their past experiences.

At Healing House, we firmly believe that individuals in recovery have the power to achieve remarkable feats. Often, we fail to recognize the toll that years of substance use disorder can take on a person’s confidence and self-esteem.

Our GED class currently has 22 enrolled participants. In just one year, two individuals have already graduated with their GED, and four more are poised to follow suit in the coming months.

By empowering individuals in recovery to reclaim their education, we are not only offering them a second chance but also providing them with the tools they need to thrive in society. With each GED diploma earned, lives are forever changed, opening up doors to brighter futures filled with limitless possibilities.