Individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) often transition through multiple levels of care before managing their sobriety independently. Community support in aftercare is essential for maintaining healthy routines and behaviors. Further, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 47 explains that most care programs “sponsor alumni meetings and provide booster or checkup counseling sessions.” Likewise, West Coast Recovery Centers offers alumni services to ensure clients continue to have the support and resources they need to successfully maintain sobriety after treatment.
The Benefits of Alumni Services
Alumni services are available to clients who have completed a treatment program and transitioned into aftercare. The services are available to clients and their loved ones. Families often have fewer resources to help them navigate daily challenges during early recovery. Alumni services ensure family and friends feel supported and have access to a community of peers.
Some of the primary benefits of alumni services include:
- Access to a supportive community
- Referrals to other resources
- Providing alumni with access to recovery experts
Moreover, alumni services ensure clients and their loved ones have a place to turn if they experience a crisis, have questions, or start to feel overwhelmed.
5 Ways Alumni Services Support Recovery
Alumni support services are available to anyone who completes treatment at West Coast Recovery Centers. The care team treats clients like family and provides a helping hand to alumni who need extra support. Group meetings, peer engagement, and community events provide people with safe and healthy ways to continue learning and growing after treatment. Furthermore, below are five important ways alumni support services help clients during recovery:
#1. Weekly Process Groups Provide Peer Support and Accountability
Every week, West Coast Recovery Center’s mental health and addiction recovery experts host process groups for clients and alumni. Sessions consist of guided conversations about treatment, recovery, and challenges in everyday life.
Weekly process groups enable alumni to:
- Receive advice and guidance
- Share successes and achievements in recovery
- Discuss challenges and concerns
Process groups allow people to share their stories and voice their thoughts and feelings in a safe space. Alumni gain self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem by attending and actively participating in process groups.
#2. Community Events Ensure Clients Remain Active in Recovery
Recovery is a process. Some people may backslide and return to maladaptive behaviors if they stop moving forward. Remaining inspired and motivated to continue making healthy choices is easier when individuals are part of a sober community. Community events are a wonderful space for growing and learning alongside peers who share interests and have similar life experiences. The alumni community at West Coast Recovery Centers provides people with sober events, activities, and groups where alumni and current clients come together and build healthy connections.
#3. Family Support Through Alumni Services
Loved ones are essential to most people’s support system during recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers offers family support services to help alumni and their loved ones navigate challenges in early recovery. Being able to rely on the support of a sober community allows alumni and their families to gain confidence.
West Coast Recovery Centers supports families by providing the following:
- Community events for alumni and their families
- Support groups
- Referrals to family therapists or other community-based services
Meanwhile, the clinical team is always available to provide continued guidance, resources, and support to families navigating recovery.
#4. Access to Referrals and Additional Resources
Alumni sometimes benefit from being referred to individuals or organizations with specialized services. Community resources are easier to locate and access when individuals have case managers and clinicians to provide referrals or information. Alumni services at West Coast Recovery Centers include in-house support and referrals to outside services.
Some of the most common referrals provided to alumni and their families include:
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Alternative holistic therapies
Referrals are another way the care team supports clients and their loved ones. The clinical team works with alumni to meet their needs during and after treatment.
#5. Access to Trained Professionals During a Crisis
Most people experience a mental health crisis at some point in their lives. Individuals with a history of substance abuse have an increased risk of experiencing chronic stress, trauma, or extreme emotional distress. Alumni services ensure people have a place to turn when they feel overwhelmed and tempted to fall back into old routines. The clinical team at West Coast Recovery Centers understands sometimes alumni and their families need additional support. Alumni are encouraged to return for brief periods of treatment or other forms of support during moments of crisis.
Access to trained mental health professionals does the following:
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and fear
- Increases self-confidence and self-efficacy
- It helps families feel more comfortable and supported
West Coast Recovery Centers provides alumni with easy access to continued support and resources. The care team uses therapy, community engagement, and peer support to help alumni successfully navigate long-term recovery.
Individuals in early recovery may not feel completely confident in their ability to manage challenges or crises independently after completing treatment. Transitioning from a rehabilitation program to aftercare may feel jarring for some people. Alumni services provide a connection with trained professionals who can offer guidance, resources, and additional support to clients after they leave the treatment center. The connection with their care team helps many clients continue to grow and move forward in their recovery on their own. West Coast Recovery Centers offers various alumni support services, including group meetings and community events. To learn more about our treatment programs and services, call our office today at (760) 492-6509.