Alumni Programs: 3 Benefits To Consider

Why does GateHouse Treatment tout an engaged Alumni program? When an individual completes rehabilitation, the journey is not over. Addiction is a lifelong disease that will continue to affect a person’s life, even after they have completed detoxification and an addiction treatment program.

Re-entering the real world can feel extremely difficult. Individuals will have to hold themselves accountable without the structure of a sober living facility, which can sometimes feel impossible if they are battling a lifelong addiction to a substance. Sometimes, detox and rehab are insufficient to keep people on a straight path. For those struggling to maintain sobriety after exiting a treatment facility, support groups and alumni programs help to provide the ongoing external help necessary for a sober life.

The purpose of an alumni program is to provide a sense of community for staff, clients, and former clients. This program helps former clients retain the sense of community they established during their treatment. It also allows current clients to connect with individuals who can provide insight into making the most of their time in rehabilitation. By providing opportunities to attend 12-step meetings, group therapy sessions, and recreational outings, the program works to prevent social isolation and promote a sense of community. This blog will discuss life after treatment, the significant benefits of an alumni program and where people in recovery can find help.

Life After Rehab

Life after rehab can be very daunting. Completing detox and rehabilitation fixes only the physical dependence on a substance, and the former client must still address the mental aspect of their addiction. Once an individual re-enters the real world, they must manage their cravings, avoid triggers, and make the right daily decisions.

Many people relapse after leaving a sober living facility. Every story is different, but many of these individuals reuse substances because they don’t have a support system. Isolation can quickly lead to depression, and depression can lead to poor decision-making. If a person is not in the right state of mind, returning to drug use can seem the only way to feel better.

Relapse can have terrible consequences. Even one instance of drug use can cause someone to spiral into a drug-fueled crisis that may lead them back to rehab. If this happens, the individual will need to return to detox and rehab, all while dealing with the other aspects of not being at home. Some lose their jobs because they have been away for so long.

Multiple rehab trips can be costly, causing an individual to be in financial turmoil upon completing their addiction treatment program. It can also strain relationships with family and friends who grow tired of seeing their loved one disappear for weeks and months. Individuals seeking a way to avoid relapse and stay sober should consider joining an alumni program.

Connecting Long-Term Sobriety with Alumni Programs

Alumni programs can also help sober individuals remain sober and avoid relapse. Re-entering the real world after rehab can be extremely overwhelming. After leaving a sober living facility, many clients miss the relationships they built during their stay. Without structure and a support system, a person can easily slip back into addiction.

A relapse is much more likely to happen if a person has no daily schedule, and it can get even worse if they have no one with whom to talk.

Alumni programs help to connect people with like-minded individuals who share a common goal: living a healthy, sober life. When people enter an alumni program, they are giving themselves a chance to reconnect with familiar faces fighting similar battles. This connection provides an excellent foundation for long-term sobriety and helps to reduce the likelihood of a relapse. Self-accountability and discipline are essential, but no one can walk this road alone. Staying on a straight path almost always requires peers and mentors willing to help and motivate.

Social Events and Community Building

A sober journey does not have to be a boring one. After detox and rehabilitation, an individual may search for new ways to have fun. After years of drug and alcohol use, a person can grow dependent on these substances to unwind. It is not uncommon for someone with drug addiction to not remember the last time they could have a fun night with friends that did not involve drug use.

Many addicts feel they must be under the influence to enjoy a night out. By joining an alumni program, this person will provide participants with ample opportunities to socialize and have fun with their peers.  It is counter-productive for every gathering to be a group therapy session or an AA meeting. Many programs host movie nights, potlucks, and other fun activities.

Individuals struggling with addiction must know there is a way to have fun without using drugs or alcohol.

By providing opportunities for relaxation and recreation, alumni events are a vital component of sustained sobriety. Addiction does not have to be the end of having a good time. It does mean that recovering substance users must find new ways to enjoy your free time and connect with others. Sober outings can help a former client practice living a sober, healthy, and fun life.

Isolation can quickly lead to relapse, so alumni programs promote community and doing things as a group. When a former addict is alone, their mind can wander. Whether boredom, loneliness, or past trauma, these feelings and thoughts can quickly drive an individual back to the substances that led to their rehabilitation stint. By joining an alumni program, a former client can take advantage of the community to which they will have access. In addition to social outings, clients can connect with other alumni looking for accountability partners who want to see everyone succeed.

Impacting Others

An alumni program also allows former clients to apply their newfound knowledge meaningfully. Some of our current clients are entering rehabilitation for the first time, while others have been trying to get sober for years. Having alumni around the facility can help these people see the light at the end of the tunnel. By connecting with someone who has completed treatment and successfully re-entered society, we hope clients can feel like they can accomplish the same things.

Many alumni programs offer employment assistance. If there are employment opportunities within the facility, the alumni can speak with coordinators to see if they would be a good fit for an available position. When someone in recovery returns to a job after taking a leave of absence for addiction treatment, an alumni program can help them talk to their employer and develop a reintegration plan.

GateHouse Treatment | Alumni Program Nashua, NH

GateHouse Treatment provides a safe space for individuals struggling with addiction to get help. Our alumni program will uplift our former clients and give them the support, community, and structure they need to sustain sobriety. This program will greatly benefit anyone seeking support after rehab by providing employment assistance, group therapy sessions, and sober recreational activities.

In addition to alumni events, our services include partial hospitalization, an intensive outpatient program, and alcohol detox. For more information on how we can help you or a loved one find addiction treatment, contact us at 855-448-3707 to schedule a free consultation.

Jim Fredrick

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