What Are Rehab Alumni Programs?
Rehab alumni programs are programs that keep former treatment center patients in contact with staff and other former patients. Many rehab alumni programs host or attend regular events to keep participants engaged, such as 12-step meetings or bowling nights. Rehab alumni programs enable former patients to more easily maintain relationships they made while in rehab.
The goal of rehab alumni programs is to help former patients maintain their sobriety by providing connection, advice, encouragement, and sober activities. Alumni programs reduce the chances of relapse by discouraging social isolation. Many find rehab alumni programs extremely valuable because the rehabilitation process is a challenging, transformational experience that those who have not gone through it rarely understand.
Different rehab facilities have different roles in their alumni programs. Some facilities do not participate in rehab alumni programs at all, some participate in programs that are run by former patients, and some operate their programs directly. For example, some facilities will reconnect with alumni between 35 to 65 days after recovery in order to invite them to alumni events.
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What Activities Do Rehab Alumni Programs Participate In?
To honor patients’ growth and recovery success, many rehab alumni programs offer exciting social gatherings to encourage lasting relationships. The exact activities vary from facility to facility (and even during different times of the year), but may include virtually any social activity as long as it is sober. Generally, rehab alumni programs host local events near the treatment center itself, but some host remote events for former patients who live farther away.
Examples of activities that rehab alumni programs participate in include:
- Checkups/follow ups
- Facebook alumni groups
- Annual gatherings
- Movie nights
- Restaurant visits
- Arts and crafts
- Support groups
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The Benefits of Rehab Alumni Programs
Social events not only encourage social support, but they also keep alumni in positive spirits as members discuss sobriety experiences. Being part of a group allows participants to rebuild their sense of identity as a social being, gain insight on the transition into home life, and provide updates and insights to others. Participants can also learn about and access new programs and organizations.
Different activities have different benefits. Events like bowling and cookouts are reminders to enjoy life. Community-based activities like volunteering can instill gratitude and mindfulness in individuals. Once they give time to others, they can honor their time. Volunteering allows people to feel that they have a purpose and can help others. Other benefits of volunteering include developing new skills, developing gratitude, and maintaining empathy. Volunteering leads to stronger health and feelings of love. In the process of giving back, individuals are practicing compassion while feeling love for others and love for one’s self.
Former patients of certain facilities have access to exclusive Facebook groups for continued connection and encouragement. In these online support groups on Facebook, past patients can stay up to date on friends’ growth and progress. Members can share pictures of family and adventures, ask questions, and inspire others to live their best lives. Annual alumni meetings can be held as soon as 6 weeks post-graduation or can be delayed until much later.
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You may have a loved one who needs a treatment facility to help with their substance abuse disorder, or you may be a past patient wanting to reconnect with past friends. Rest assured, there are dedicated treatment experts that can guide you in the right direction. First time patients can inquire about treatment options and have confidence that these experts will connect them to the best facility for their needs. Former patients can access new programs and stay connected to staff. Contact a rehab expert today, and explore the right options for you.
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