“16 and Recovering”: Where Are They Now? Messages of Hope For Those Looking To Begin Their Own Recovery Journey

Students gather at graduation with Michelle
Image by MTV

If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs, hearing about another person’s path toward recovery can help them see that treatment works and can encourage them to seek help. While the recovery journey may be challenging, it is possible. Through treatment, people with drug addiction can recover and continue to lead healthy lives.

Feeling supported by friends, loved ones, and teachers is crucial to recovery for people who may be using drugs. This support should include open, non-judgmental conversations that focus on the person rather than their addiction. Reducing the stigma around addiction is critical to supporting people who use drugs as they may feel reluctant to seek treatment or ashamed to talk about their addiction with loved ones due to fear of judgement or blame. 

The recovery journeys of high school students Abbie, Faith, Joey, and Alba at the Northshore Recovery High School in Massachusetts were documented in the MTV reality docuseries, “16 and Recovering.” After the docuseries aired, MTV caught up with the students to hear about where they are since graduating. They share their honest thoughts on recovery and messages of hope for those looking to work toward recovery themselves.  

For teens experiencing addiction, you are not alone. If you or somebody you know needs help for mental health or drugs, there are places that can help. The helplines below are free and confidential; you won’t have to give your full name or your contact information.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline: Call 1-800-622-4357. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. 
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988. This isn’t only for people thinking about suicide. They’ll talk with you about all sorts of problems.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “connect” to 741741.