Guide to Alumni Groups

The value of groups in the recovery process has been studied by the U.S. Government and others; it has been cited as being extremely helpful. After recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, there are options to help keep you on the path to sobriety. Being sober after drug and alcohol rehab can come with abundant challenges, and being surrounded by those who have or have had similar challenges can be very encouraging. The following are some questions being asked regarding the alumni program.

What Is an Alumni Program?

Alumni groups are available for those who have finished with outpatient recovery and are ready for aftercare. The value of being part of a group of peers has proven effective when it comes to remaining sober. Groups, in general, are a way that similar people gather in community, whether it is a sports team fan base or a chess club. This is true of recovery, and groups of alumni offer a place to share and support.

Groups such as SMART Recovery and Celebrate Recovery make it easy to join a community that helps to resolve problems and tackle issues after recovery. Self-management and the power of choice are highlighted, as the path to a more fulfilling life is enhanced.

Who Runs Alumni Groups?

Alumni gatherings can be run by religious organizations; 12-step programs, such as AA and NA; recovery treatment centers, or organizations that promote social support.

A support program of alumni from the center at which you received treatment can be helpful in maintaining lasting friendships while discussing the experience of sobriety and the challenges that it brings. Expressing gratitude while gaining insight into yourself and others is one of the goals of being part of a group of alumni. Being part of a sober community offers a chance to grow and give back to others as well.

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Who Can Attend Alumni Programs?

Some groups are open to anyone who has completed recovery and wishes to remain sober as a lifestyle. SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery are open to anyone who wishes to find a safe place for the community.

Groups run by a treatment center might be open only to those who have been through their treatment program and are ready for aftercare. These programs provide events and help provide a community that extends into life after recovery from substances. You might enjoy hearing speakers who have been through their program and have much to share with the newly recovered.

A non-judgemental and safe community is the goal of many of these groups which offer emotional support from peers as well as events that provide education and fun. An alternative to 12-step programs, some groups, such as Women for Sobriety, Secular Organization for Sobriety, LifeRing, and Moderation Management (MM) can help individuals maintain sobriety and abstinence from drugs, alcohol and food addiction.

What Types of Events Do Alumni Groups Have?

From training events to social events, there is much going on after you leave drug and alcohol rehab treatment. Some of the diverse events, you might have an opportunity to participate in, include the following:

  • Meetings
  • Worship
  • Volunteering
  • Educational opportunities
  • Online social groups
  • Sporting events
  • Community service projects
  • Softball and sports teams
  • Outings in nature

At some groups you will find members who graduated a treatment program many years ago and find value in the social activities the treatment center provides for those who have been through their programs.

Some of the group meetings may be led by a licensed counselor, who facilitates the group and helps keep it centered. Others groups of alumni provide exciting events for friends and family, such as Go Kart Racing, darts, escape rooms, family fun, and refreshments. Taco dinners and more are on the menu at some of the more lively events happening around the country.

How Often Do Groups Meet?

Groups can meet once a week or more in person and have an array of online support, including meeting through video and Zoom. Some groups may schedule monthly activities as well as meetings, yearly conferences and online support chats.

How Much Do Alumni Programs Cost?

Most programs for alumni are free, and no cost is involved; this is especially true of groups from the recovery program where you received treatment. Your alumni group could be a part of your aftercare program.

If activities are part of the group and are outside of the treatment center, such as at a family fun zone or restaurant, most likely it will not be free. In this case, it is always a good call to check with the group to find out what costs may be involved.

Groups such as AA and NA are free to attend. Groups that offer emotional regulation and the development of healthy coping skills are usually without cost. Some of the groups may be run by volunteers and encourage donations when possible.

The benefit of going to a group of alumni for the newly recovered are many. Staying in touch and attending meetings provides a smooth transition into everyday life. Navigating a new lifestyle is made easier amid the challenges of life free of addiction.

Why feel that you will be alone after recovery? There are abundant people and groups out there for support. With many options available for you or a loved one after treatment, recovery from substance abuse is made easier by knowing just what is an alumni program and how it can help you for a lifetime. Planning, prevention, and accountability are part of your success in recovery. It can be a part of maintaining lasting sobriety with the help of the right group after you have been in the recovery treatment. 

Defining Wellness not only provides luxury treatment, but we also have an alumni program as part of aftercare. Our goal is to help you stay sober after treatment through ongoing support so you can stay connected with others who have recovered. Give us a call at (855) 790-9303 to begin your path to wellness or to find out more about life after recovery.