If you or a loved one has just completed inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment for addiction, you may be aware of a community of alumni you can join post-treatment through the program you graduated from. In long-term recovery, alumni support is as strategically important as support for inpatient residents. This is because even after the detox treatment stops, recovery is ongoing. There are many ways an alumni program can play a positive role in a recovering individual’s life after detox treatment.
How Long Does Full Recovery Take?
Recovering from the influence of substance addiction is a lifelong journey. It is about healing yourself and reconnecting to the world in a healthy way. If you have used drugs or alcohol with addictive patterns before, there is always the risk of re-engaging with substances and relapse no matter how long or strong your recovery seems to be. As someone in recovery, do not underestimate the presence of triggers in the real world. Recovery is not over when treatment ends or you reach a certain milestone in sobriety.
Full recovery depends on surrounding yourself with the right group of people post-treatment. When you stay at a treatment center, are surrounded by informed people, and have been counseled by professional therapists on relationship skills, you get the benefit of a reshaped perspective on what meaningful and healthy relationships look like. In the real world, it can be all too easy to fall back in with a crowd that uses or abuses drugs and alcohol. An alumnus needs to consciously make decisions to remember what they’ve learned in treatment, reduce such contacts, and find a more recovery-friendly group.
There will never come a time when your recovery is finished. You must stay on guard and continue the good practices that have kept you sober. Occupying this space of continual recovery is easier when you surround yourself with people who can sympathize and empathize with your situation, such as co-recoverers and family members who keep you accountable. Don’t fall prey to the mentality that “all is good now” and the urge to return to normal. Falling back on old habits and patterns in life deters full recovery.
Is Completing Detox Treatment the Finish Line?
Reaching sobriety in a controlled environment is only the starting line. The real, hard work begins when you complete detox treatment and return to your life. This transition can be debilitating without support. As a recovering individual, recognize your vulnerability to triggers and gather as much support and accountability as possible.
One difference between treatment and real life is that the former is a highly controlled environment that makes it easy to detox and engage in healthy activities. Once that kind of monitoring and control is lifted, you must continually make choices that keep you on the straight and narrow. This is when an alumni program can be highly beneficial.
What Does An Alumni Program Do?
Many treatment facilities offer alumni programs as a way of reaching out to program graduates so they can stay connected to their resources. Alumni programs are meant to be a safe, recovery-oriented space where you can socialize, engage in community services, participate in local events, and re-educate yourself on recovery-related issues through shared resources.
It is up to you to choose whether to stay connected through an alumni program. You can expect to build long-term relationships with a group of sober friends and share updates about recovery progress or just life in general. Some programs may plan outings and events for alumni to hang out and have fun together. Well-designed fun activities and enriching teambuilding experiences can inspire you to cherish a sense of community.
How Can I Contribute to Alumni Programs?
If you want to stay connected but also hope to contribute, that is great news! It shows how you value community service, which is a good indicator of the overall health of an individual. Contributing to an alumni program is like being a sponsor at a 12-step group meeting. You can help others who are relatively new on the path of recovery by sharing your story and experiences. Your active listening alone can be a great asset to the program.
You can also help organize some local events and reach out to graduates from the same treatment facility. Explain to those who hesitate to join the alumni program about its many benefits. The fact is, people need to connect with a social network that will support their recovery. What an alumni program offers is a group of sober friends who share similar concerns in life and encourage each other toward the same goal. An alumni program does not need to take over your life, because these are people with healthy ideas about relationship boundaries.
After addiction treatment, stay connected with an alumni program at your facility. Alumni support is incredibly important to ongoing recovery from addiction. These programs are crucial for helping people maintain sobriety, develop socialization skills, and nurture a positive outlook on life. At Laguna Shores Recovery, we value alumni programs because we have seen how effective they can be in helping people. They are an important support system for our graduates to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling sober lives. If you partner with us on the journey towards recovery, we can connect you with various support groups and alumni programs in your local area. From there, you can make the proper connections and sober networks to use as support and as an avenue to support others. Alumni programs are great for meeting like-minded sober individuals who can empathize with you more than anyone. Call us today at (866) 906-3203 to find out about our treatment programs and alumni groups.