Recovery is an ongoing process that is never truly finished. People in recovery must always work towards their healing and sober living. There are multiple ways to do this even years after recovery, such as making use of coping skills and being part of an alumni network.
What Is an Alumni Network?
An alumni network is a group of individuals who either graduated together or have gone through different treatment programs for substance abuse, such as sober living homes. Connecting with an alumni network or program can keep recovering individuals involved in the community even after treatment ends. This, in turn, continues promoting a life of clean and sober living.
Alumni networks keep recovering addicts involved with a large community that is entrenched in recovery. According to the Journal of Addictive Disorders, programs that offer peer support can have a great effect on already-increasing abstinence rates. You can receive continued support to help with possible triggers and other life challenges.
How Alumni Networks Help Prevent Relapse
A relapse can be caused by many different factors. Stress is one of the main causes, as tension at work or in personal relationships can bring about negative thoughts. Environmental and social factors such as being around those you used to drink or use with can pull you back into old habits quickly. Underlying psychiatric disorders can also play a part in relapsing.
Handling these negative emotions and situations on your own can be extremely overwhelming. Alumni networks offer workshops, support groups, and other recovery-based events to help keep you from feeling isolated. Utilizing the various tools and methods offered by these communities can not only help prevent relapse, but improve a person’s life.
There are specific tools given to members of alumni networks to help with negative thoughts that could lead to a relapse. Relapse is common in recovery and is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapse rates are between 40-60 percent for addiction. Alumni networks are familiar with this statistic and work to provide proper resources to help during times of crisis.
Reaching out for help can be hard when you feel no one understands you. However, multiple resources offered by these programs can be crucially helpful if you are seeking advice or general help:
- National meetings
- Local meetings
- 24-hour hotlines
- Online social groups
- Addiction education workshops
- Sober activities (sports, picnics, etc.)
- Annual reunions
Connections Through Alumni Networks
Alumni networks typically have connections to multiple treatment providers for substance abuse. Being involved in one of these programs gives you access to their services in your recovery. Having a lifeline to treatment can be the difference between maintaining abstinence or slipping back into old habits. You can jump back into daily life with the support you need.
The providers you are connected with through alumni networks can help since they will have either worked with you before or have professional experience in general addiction treatment. They will be able to spot a potential relapse and help you in the ways they see fit.
You also have access to multiple sober activities through your alumni networks. Most programs have a monthly newsletter to inform you about their upcoming activities. There is no pressure to constantly take part in activities, and you can choose the amount of involvement you partake in. Most events are free.
Different groups allow you to tailor your alumni experience to your wants and needs. The networks are there to give you support and make sure you know you are not alone in your healing journey. You will be surrounded by others who have been in your situation and can empathize.
Creating lifelong bonds with others who are working to maintain their sobriety is crucial for recovery. You can lean on each other to gain encouragement and hope together. Relating to others on the premise of staying sober gives you all a common goal. Together you can give moral support in times of hardship and celebrate in times of victory.
How to Find an Alumni Network
You can be connected to an alumni network by asking your treatment center or sober living home if they are affiliated with one. If they are not, you can search online for trustworthy, reputable networks that fit your needs and goals pertaining to your recovery.
Do not feel pressured to constantly be involved unless you want to be. Your journey to sobriety is yours entirely and should be how you see fit.
Camelback Recovery and other sober living homes are great places to contact if you are seeking an alumni network. Caring individuals who have been in your shoes are waiting to help you heal and include you in their community of fellowship and abstinence from substance abuse. Multiple tools and resources are available to help you cope with the challenges of everyday life in recovery. Call Camelback Recovery today at (602) 466-9880 to take the first step.