Community-driven treatment is a key element in recovery for addiction program participants. Recovery, which is a process, does not end after the treatment is complete. Alumni involvement is vital to a permanent recovery, providing the opportunity for everyone involved to experience continuous connection and recovery renewal.
WHY STAYING CONNECTED IS IMPORTANT
Relapse is a serious concern for most addicts. When you have completed your addiction treatment program, you are equipped with the tools necessary to stay sober but many temptations still await you. The end of treatment is not the end of recovery. One strategy that has been found to be most effective in providing the support you need to avoid temptations and relapses is continued connection with supportive people.
Your recovery is an ongoing process that will take many twists and turns. When you have a recovery support system, a group of family and friends that you can turn to and rely on, you are better able to manage potential snags in that process. A support system also helps keep you accountable. Staying connected with alumni of your recovery program provides a support group that more thoroughly understands what you’ve been through and where you are going.
WHO ARE ALUMNI?
Just as with an academic program, graduates of a treatment program are considered alumni. Recent graduates join with people who may have graduated years earlier to share experiences and to support each other in their continuing recovery. You can learn from others who have been through many of the same situations you have and who are probably facing the same temptations as you. The alumni group usually also includes a member of the treatment staff, which provides an additional connection to support you in your recovery.
HOW TO STAY CONNECTED AFTER TREATMENT
Alumni stay connected through in-person meetings and through online social media groups. An alumni event might involve a guest speaker or a special workshop designed just for those recovering from addiction. Annual celebrations are also a very important part of the alumni connection. Graduation anniversaries and other special occasions are often celebrated with fellow alumni, to emphasize the importance of such events in the recovery process.
Alumni can also participate in community service projects. Giving back to your community is a positive way to make a real difference for others and for yourself. Volunteering with your alumni group helps you to connect to the community to work toward making it a better place. Participating in community service projects has been shown to improve your mental and physical health, counteracting the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety that may potentially lead to a relapse.
Staying connecting requires you to participate. You will always be part of the alumni family after you complete your treatment program but you must take the steps necessary to join in the activities planned for the alumni group for it to be beneficial. It is up to you to reach out to fellow alumni, to attend meetings, to interact on the group’s social media pages, and to otherwise engage with the alumni group.
CONNECT IN PERSON AND ONLINE
To connect and stay connected, you can contact your recovery program’s alumni coordinator and visit the alumni group’s webpage to learn more about upcoming events. Then, reach out, sign up, and get involved. On social media, let the group know about your recovery milestones, including sober birthdays, personal achievements, and career highlights. Post comments. Upload photos. Respond to others’ comments.
In meetings or workshops, provide input and ask questions of others to stay engaged with your alumni group. Share your experiences and ask for support from others participating. Others will benefit from your stories, including your struggles and your victories. In addition, you will find that you reap more benefits from the alumni group if you actively participate in its activities.
CONNECTING FOR RECOVERY
Staying involved with program alumni after you’ve completed your treatment program is vital to your continued recovery. You may make new friends and you will always be considered part of the recovery family. When you connect with others who are also in recovery, you make one of the healthiest moves you can in your own recovery process.
Contact Gracie Powell, BRC Recovery’s Alumni Coordinator by phone at (866) 461-1759 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about staying connected after treatment. You can also stay connected with the latest events, weekly motivational emails, helpful tips, and industry trends for Mark Houston Recovery or BRC Recovery alumni by subscribing to updates. Through our alumni program, we keep alumni, families, and friends connected to one another and the BRC community.