Finding the right group of people to connect with after completing an addiction treatment program can be one of the best ways to maintain a strong and lasting recovery. Connecting with like-minded people, however, can be difficult if you don’t know how to start or where to look. Luckily, alumni programs can help you connect with others who are recovering from addiction. Alumni programs can also help you prevent relapse, learn about valuable resources, serve others, and keep up with and take part in sober social events.
Graduating From An Addiction Treatment Program
In many ways, graduating from a rehabilitation program is like graduating from college and leaving one chapter of life to begin another. The entire transition can be full of emotions, ranging from anxiety and nervousness to hope and pride to excitement and unbridled joy. Even though graduating from an addiction treatment program is a wonderful accomplishment, changing your way of life, thinking, and behaving can be extremely challenging and, at times, stressful. The process can also be isolating and lonely. Alumni programs can help ease these difficulties by connecting you with fellow addiction recovery graduates.
What Are Alumni Programs and How Do They Work?
Addiction recovery alumni programs are safe spaces where new and former graduates can connect through the ups and downs of addiction recovery. In addition to creating a sense of community, alumni programs can help people in active recovery:
- Connect with others socially
- Participate in community volunteering activities
- Host local sober events
- Learn about valuable resources such as continued education, legal help, and educational and financial assistance
Alumni programs work by encouraging and allowing former recovery clients to stay connected with rehabilitation staff members and other people who have completed addiction treatment programs. Most people in addiction recovery alumni programs stay connected through a variety of activities that can include:
- 12-step meetings
- Social outings
- Sporting events
- Weekend retreats
- Arts and crafts
- Barbeques and cook-outs
- Addiction related speaking events
The ultimate goal of alumni program events is to help people maintain their sobriety by providing a safe place to give and receive advice and encouragement while having fun. Although different, these activities allow like-minded individuals to come together and connect in a sober environment. The idea is to build healthy, long-lasting relationships.
Recovering from addiction can be challenging. Fortunately, having a supportive network of people who have been through similar experiences can help make the process less lonely and easier to face. In fact, many people find value in rehabilitation alumni programs because of these very reasons. When affirming words, skills, and therapeutic techniques seem to fail, relationships built by alumni programs can help provide individuals with the support they need to continue moving forward in their recovery. In most programs, the alumni director leads and facilitates this support by following up with individuals in the program via text, phone, or email.
Why Are Alumni Programs Important During Addiction Recovery?
Addiction recovery alumni programs are essential because overcoming substance abuse and changing how you think and behave can be challenging. Transitioning back into everyday society can also be stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, alumni programs have many benefits that help ease the process and smooth the transition.
Some of the most valuable benefits of alumni programs in the addiction recovery process include:
Remaining connected with your recovery community
Recovering from addiction can be lonely. Having people who have been where you’ve been and understand you can help combat loneliness and decrease feelings of isolation. In an alumni program, you’re encouraged to mingle and spend time with people who have walked the path of recovery before you. As a result, you have the opportunity to learn from their challenges and successes. Even though every alumni program is different, most help you stay connected with your recovery community by hosting events, weekly meetings, weekend retreats, and nationwide gatherings.
Alumni programs are also a good way to give back to others. Some alumni programs give graduates the opportunity to visit local high schools and colleges and speak to students about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and self-medication. Sharing your experiences, ups and downs, and accomplishments with others can help empower them and yourself.
Decreasing the likelihood of relapse
Approximately 40% to 60% of individuals in recovery relapse. Often, relapse begins with isolation and losing touch with your recovery community and support network. Participating in weekend retreats, competing in friendly sporting events, and spending time with like-minded people can help you cherish the sober life you’re creating. Enjoying those types of events can also help you value the principles that helped you recover — honesty, connection, empathy, healthy boundaries, self-care, forgiveness, and love for yourself and others. Consistently spending time with others can also help encourage accountability.
Access to valuable resources
Alumni programs provide a variety of informative and valuable educational materials, including:
- Direct contact information for doctors, therapists, and mental health counselors
- Employment assistance programs and contact information
- Information about continuing education programs
- Access to a database of alumni who can help mentor you or act as your sober sponsor
Empowering Individuals To Have A Long & Lasting Recovery
Addiction recovery can be a challenging process, but it is possible to overcome addiction and build a new life. Alumni programs offer recovering individuals the support they need to stay sober and remain empowered. These programs also provide an opportunity for alumni to give back and help others who are struggling with addiction. Alumni programs can also help prevent relapse and that is our mission here at Meta Addiction Treatment. We want to help empower you to have a long and lasting recovery. Our alumni program can help do that.
Contact us today to learn more about our aftercare and alumni programs.