Why Is An Alumni Program Important for Addiction Recovery?
- You create relationships with people who deeply understand addiction
- You take part in a sober support community
- You find fun outside of drugs or alcohol
- You are more likely to continue in your recovery
- You keep contact with the people who have changed your life for the better
Going through treatment is not easy, it’s difficult to just gather up the courage and enter into a treatment program. Your life was out of control and you decided to make a change. The emotional and mental changes that are happening are real and they’re intense. You’re learning about yourself, you’re learning about addiction/alcoholism. This isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park.
Remember that people have sat in the chairs in those same chairs that you’re sitting in and people will sit in them once you leave. You’re not the first person to get help for your addiction and you’re not the last.
Telling the Story
Thousands of people have gone through that stress and lived to tell their story. Some of those people who have graduated from a treatment facility can participate in the alumni program. Participating in a treatment alumni program allows past clients help out those who are currently clients in the facility that they graduated from. Here are the main benefits for anyone considering connecting with an alumni program.
1. You create relationships with people who deeply understand addiction.
Friendships develop between people in treatment together. A bond is almost instantly formed when addicts meet, having understood the pain and struggles that their addiction caused. Sometimes we share parts of ourselves we’ve never shared with anyone else before. These friendships can last a lifetime. Chances are people you were in treatment with will become part of your sober support group.
2. You take part in a sober support community.
Entering into a treatment alumni program you will become part of a community. Becoming part of a sober community is extremely beneficial for long-term recovery. You will be able to build a new social network of past clients who are now clean and sober. This will make your sober support group large and strong.
3. You find fun outside of drugs or alcohol.
Alumni programs typically offer different activities and types of social support for the members. Members of alumni groups will go to meetings, play sports together, go to picnics, dedicate time to help out at the center, speak with new clients, work on community building exercises and various other activities. People who have depended on drugs or alcohol to give us a sense of enjoyment at all times need to discover that fun is available and even more rewarding. Alumni programs help those in recovery build this skill.
4. You are more likely to continue in your recovery.
Addiction and alcoholism have no cure. It very important to have a level of extended care when leaving full-time treatment. Many facilities will suggest an alumni program for this reason. Graduates do extended care. Sometimes, when people leave treatment and return home they become complacent and stop working on their recovery. When someone stops working towards better themselves it can result in relapse. Beyond alumni programs, there are a few other common options. Some join an IOP program, others may join recovery fellowships like A.A or S.M.A.R.T Recovery. Doing something after graduating can be the difference between long-term recovery and relapse.
5. You keep contact with the people who have changed your life for the better.
Alumni programs are proven to play a positive role in the lives of recovering addicts and alcoholics, partly because it is easier for them to stay in contact with the people they met in treatment. Even when someone has support from loved ones some people may isolate themselves after residential treatment. When alumni members share their story, share their experience, and give hope, they connect in a way that helps each person build on their recovery and fully transition into society in a healthy way.
Are You or a Loved One Struggling?
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction now is the time to get help. At First Steps Recovery, we never give up on residents, we offer up individualized care plans designed around the specific needs of each individual and we will walk with you even after you have left our facility. Please call us today if you or a loved one are struggling: 1-844-489-0836.