The world of addiction recovery is vast. It is constantly growing by the help of those who have gone through treatment and now maintain their own sobriety and help others heal. Addiction is a chronic disease for which there is no cure. This means that the disease will last a lifetime with treatments available to help manage it, but it can never be cured. This is unfortunate because many rehab programs typically last three to nine months.
After rehab, many recovered addicts join alumni networks to engage in discussions and activities with other sober-minded people that can provide support over a lifetime through their connection. However, alumni networks are extremely important to other aspects of addiction recovery, such as transitioning from rehab to normal life, reducing relapse rates and long-term substance abuse, and helping get others to rehab for their addictions. Here is an explanation as to why alumni support is crucial to addiction recovery.
Transition From Rehab to Normal Life
Alumni networks are extremely helpful in aiding those who are just out of rehab transition smoothly back into their normal, everyday lives. When a person completes rehab after a few months, they often feel nervous, anxious, and excited to return to the outside world. The next steps can be overwhelming as they may not know what their options are or if they will be okay on their own outside of rehab. Alumni support helps with this by providing various activities, events, and sober resources for those just out of rehab.
Another factor to note is that many alumni programs can help connect an individual to a sober or transitional living option that can serve as a barrier between rehab and everyday life. These homes allow recovering addicts to put their new coping mechanisms to use in a semi-structured and supportive environment. Here, residents and alumni can join together to encourage each other in sobriety and provide support when needed.
Use Your Coping Skills
In rehab, you learn a variety of coping tools and skills to use to deal with relapse triggers that may appear in your sobriety. However, it can be difficult to know how to implement them outside of rehab on your own. Alumni networks and programs provide a space for recovering addicts to practice their new skills in order to form them into a habit. Through meetings, sober events, sessions, and workshops, individuals are able to put coping skills to work to see how they can help their sobriety in daily life.
Available Addiction Resources and Education
Many alumni groups have a wealth of resources and educational workshops to help teach both recovering addicts and their families all about the disease. This is an extremely important part of recovery because it gives addicts and their loved ones the proper tools to cope with addiction and suggestions on treatment, recovery, and transitioning back into daily sober life. These resources help prevent relapses and help family members and friends provide the proper support as their loved one recovers.
Reduction of Long-Term Substance Abuse
Because addiction is a chronic disease with no cure, relapse rates are unfortunately high. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these rates have reached as high as 40-60%. There is no way to measure the effectiveness of rehab programs and facilities in the long term, especially since rehab completion statistics are different everywhere. However, alumni programs have helped with reducing long-term substance abuse, and there is evidence to prove it.
According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, a combination of treatment, long-term housing, and alumni services helps improve stability and reduces both substance use and psychiatric symptoms. Through the programs’ various resources, education, and ongoing support, there are greater numbers of sober individuals and a reduction in ongoing psychiatric symptoms.
When you are going through recovery, it is vital that you are not alone. Isolation is a common trigger for relapse; finding support through common interests, beliefs, and activities can help greatly. Alumni networks help a lot in this area because they bring sober people together to enjoy sober activities, events, and workshops in a safe place. Many lifelong friendships are made through alumni programs, helping recovering addicts receive the proper support and love they need to maintain their sobriety for the long term.
Alumni Programs Get More People Sober
The chances are that many recovering addicts know other individuals that need help recovering from addiction. Through connections and old friendship circles, alumni networks are notorious for getting more people in the doors of rehab centers. By telling their stories, people are able to inspire others by proving recovery is possible. Referrals are one of the greatest ways alumni can help others get clean.
Alumni support is incredibly important to ongoing sobriety. Through various resources and events, these programs save a lot of lives by providing the proper support and fellowship for those that have struggled and are continuing to live their lives in sobriety. At Northstar Transitions, we value alumni programs very much because we see how successful they can be. We want all of our clients to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling sober lives. Alumni networks are crucial to make this happen. 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 lean on for support and to give back to. Alumni programs are great for meeting likeminded sober individuals like yourself, and they can empathize with you more than anyone. For more information, call us today at (303) 558-6400. Get connected with a group and find your home today!