After going through addiction treatment and living life independently, it is still a good idea to stay connected to other sober individuals, especially those that went to the same treatment facility as you. This is where alumni networks come in. Many facilities have these extensive networks that help past patients stay in contact with one another throughout their recovery journeys. These programs can serve as support systems, friendship connections, and more to help your recovery over the years.
Alumni networks put out various programs and activities to keep these individuals in touch. By finding them and engaging with them, you can boost your overall recovery and sober support system for years to come.
Benefits of an Alumni Network
Alumni networks are great options for those in recovery because they keep you connected to individuals that went through the same treatment facility as you. This means that they not only understand the experiences you had but their healing journey was also shaped by the same facility and staff members as yours. There is a multitude of other benefits as well that are worth considering when you want to join an alumni network, such as:
- Connection: Alumni networks allow individuals that went to the same treatment facility to stay connected. Staying connected means that you can contact individuals you met in treatment and those that came before or after you. This connection allows bonds to be made and strengthened over time, giving you the support you need to continue working towards a lifetime of recovery.
- Community: The majority of these networks are already established, meaning you will be joining a community that already has various activities, meet-ups, forums, and more. There are usually numerous members for you to meet and connect with to help you form your own sober community with these individuals.
- Empathy: Again, it is essential to be close to those that understand what you have gone through. Addiction is a complex issue, and only those that have experienced it themselves will be able to truly empathize with you. An alumni network can provide you with the opportunity to ask for honest advice from individuals that have been where you are, thus allowing you to push forward on the bad days and celebrate the good days.
- Freedom: Alumni networks give you the freedom to choose how you participate. Unlike some support groups, you can choose the frequency of events you attend without guilt or pressure from other members. Having the freedom of choice means that you can participate in every meeting or only go once a month if it suits you. No matter your choice, you will always have the community there for you for support, connection, and friendship.
- Relapse Prevention: Numerous factors can contribute to relapse, and it can be overwhelming to cope with them on your own. Alumni networks are great for relapse prevention because not only are they full of individuals that have faced addiction before, but they often have various resources to connect you with when you are struggling. These include hotlines, treatment centers, and more. The resources provided by an alumni network mean that you can feel safe when you are a part of the network because you know you have individuals and resources to lean on when you are struggling.
Alumni Network Activities
Because the sole focuses of alumni networks are connection and sobriety, they need to have consistent events, workshops, reunions, and more. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, in-person activities are not as common nowadays, but virtual events are regularly posted for those looking to participate in the fun. These can include but are not limited to movie nights, check-ins, group forums, fundraisers, annual reunions, educational workshops, and social media hangouts. No matter who you are or what you do, there is sure to be a fun activity or event to take part in!
How to Find an Alumni Network
You can find an alumni network by contacting your treatment center directly to reach individuals who went to that specific facility. However, there are numerous alumni groups for every person out there online that you can find. The important thing is finding one that aligns with your recovery goals, is trustworthy, and has a good environment. You don’t want to be involved in a situation that ends up being toxic or a threat to your recovery. Always do your research and ask around first. Contact your sober pals or sponsor if you want to be pointed in the right direction.
Alumni networks are a fantastic way to stay connected to other individuals from your treatment center or the sober community at large. These networks have multiple benefits that you can take advantage of for years in recovery, and you never have to feel pressured to attend. Navigating recovery can be challenging, so it is crucial to have a community of sober friends to fall back on. An alumni network is perfect for this, mainly because the community will keep growing throughout the years. If you are looking for an alumni network, the NorthStar Transitions group would be lucky to have you. Our past clients understand what you have gone through and want to provide support and community. They can also tell you about their own experiences at NorthStar if you are looking for further treatment, such as sober living or an outpatient program. To learn more about our alumni program or the programs we have to offer, call us today at (303) 558-6400.