As anyone who has contended with addiction knows, sobriety is an ongoing process. Even for people who have been substance-free for years, consistently renewing their commitment to self-care and social connection is vital to success. For these reasons, many rehab centers also provide alumni treatment programs to maintain support following inpatient or outpatient care. At Ray Recovery in Hudson, Ohio, we offer just such a network for people who have completed our programs. Call our knowledgeable team at 888.598.6299 to discover more about our range of addiction recovery and therapy services.
How Does an Alumni Program Fit into the Broader Aftercare Plan?
After a residential or outpatient program for substance abuse recovery, it’s essential to make sure that support continues. Sadly, many people relapse during the first few months following treatment. This happens because they lack the social and practical infrastructure to cope with suddenly returning life stressors and triggers. Long-term sobriety becomes much more possible with proper aftercare, the branch of recovery services geared toward rehab alumni.
It’s best to lay the groundwork for aftercare quite early in treatment. Having long-term goals and assurances in sight can be very reassuring and a downright game-changer in long-term success. Moreover, for many clients with an underlying mental health illness, a one-to-three-month treatment protocol cannot simply restore optimal mental health. Rather, ongoing therapy, community support, and potentially medication may be needed. Getting a detailed aftercare plan in place early on is a great step in supporting this goal.
Possible components of aftercare planning include:
- Arranging to become an active part of your treatment center’s alumni program following your rehab program
- Applying to reside in a sober living facility following treatment so you can take on the normal responsibilities of daily life but enjoy the safety of a drug-free home with access to supportive resources
- Attending a 12-step or other recurring meetings that foster compassionate conversation and accountability
- Looking for a sponsor who can be on call for you in case you face demanding triggers following your program
- Enrolling in ongoing therapy with a counselor trained in working with addiction and any particular mental health needs you have
What Kinds of Offerings Does an Alumni Program Provide?
In alumni programs, the name of the game is social engagement. All people need some degree of interaction with their fellow humans to thrive in the long term. This fact is especially true for those in addiction recovery. This is so because social isolation is a leading cause of both using drugs in the first place and also of relapsing. Engaging with people in fun and rewarding activities provides a needed dose of brain chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that can make or break one’s resolve to stay sober without artificial highs.
Alumni programs can take many forms and often use member feedback to develop their specific offerings. A few common activities alumni share are:
- Nature Outings – Getting into the open air is a great way to regulate body and mind. Moreover, working as a team to set up a campsite or learn a new skill like kayaking is a wonderful way to focus mental energy and build relationships.
- Arts and Crafts – Just as holistic art therapies work wonders in formal recovery programs, so too do arts and crafts foster healthy self-expression for alumni. Creative expression yields a natural dopamine rush, and sharing art-making with friends gives an added boost of cooperative engagement.
- 12-steps or Other Support Groups – Among the more serious offerings community included in alumni programs, peer support groups can be an important space for mutual accountability and sharing both challenges and successes with peers who can truly understand what you’re going through.
- Volunteering – Another major part of most alumni programs, volunteering holds an impactful place in many people’s recovery journeys. As people of various religious denominations have attested for centuries, this outward focus on “giving back” often lends individuals unprecedented strength in transcending internal hardship.
Learn More About Addiction Treatment, Mental Health, and Alumni Programs in Ohio at Ray Recovery
Explore a variety of treatment options with Ray Recovery by calling our caring team at 888.598.6299 or reaching out online. Our caring team members look forward to assisting you with questions about our Hudson, Ohio, offerings or making a referral. From detox to aftercare and beyond, we’re committed to providing quality support and a ray of hope for a bright future.