When someone enters treatment for an addiction, they might begin their recovery journey feeling isolated. However, they quickly realize that they are not alone and that they are supported by caring staff members, as well as others who are making the same difficult journey out of addiction.
Effective addiction treatment facilities can foster the growth of a strong alumni group by nurturing a sense of community among patients and staff members. This communal feeling can extend far beyond initial intensive addiction therapy. Alumni groups can provide ongoing support for each other as well as encouragement for people who are just beginning addiction treatment.
Promoting Alumni Groups
The most effective addiction treatment facilities understand that the recovery process is lifelong and that many people will relapse after they leave rehab. To help prevent relapse and to encourage recovering individuals to support one another, the most effective addiction treatment facilities are promoting the creation of alumni groups.
These alumni groups may meet regularly at coffee shops, parks or community centers to provide ongoing support and share in each other’s lives.1 Many treatment facilities will host alumni groups and encourage them to participate in special programs that pair recovering individuals with people who are new to recovery.
Many people feel lonely upon entry to a treatment facility. They may have become disconnected from their friends and even family. An alumni group can provide the sense of community that people need to feel cared for and supported.
It often happens that recovering individuals must leave behind friends and acquaintances who negatively affect their recovery journey. Leaving one’s social group is difficult, but alumni groups help people make new friendships.
Effective addiction treatment facilities help individuals make sober friends. During the recovery process, group therapy sessions allow people to share their stories and to learn from each other. As people share their lives, new friendships are able to blossom. The alumni groups help to nurture these friendships by providing a venue and ongoing programs for people to continue sharing their lives.
Effective Addiction Treatment Facilities Offer Ongoing Support
People who suffer from addiction understand that the disease is lifelong. The only way to manage this condition is to stay focused on sobriety. Effective addiction treatment facilities give people the tools they need to manage their triggers and ward off relapse, but avoiding drugs and alcohol can be difficult in the early months and years after treatment. Life happen—and life can get messy—which can cause many to struggle to maintain their recovery. Alumni groups, however, can stick together in order to help each other when life gets tough. This ongoing support is one of the most valuable ways that an alumni group can foster long-term sobriety.2
The most effective addiction treatment facilities recognize that the recovery process invariably requires ongoing support and friendship. By promoting alumni groups, these treatment centers encourage recovering individuals to watch out for each other and to help one another in the months and years following treatment. By building caring communities among graduated members, treatment centers demonstrate that continued support greatly deters relapse.