One of the pillars of a successful recovery is having a support network. A strong support network makes all the difference between maintaining recovery and experiencing relapse early on. Looking different for each person, a support network typically consists of trusted family members, friends, loved ones, and people met in treatment or afterward during recovery.
Surrounding yourself with people who are also in recovery is essential. Loved ones can provide support, but they can never truly understand what you’re going through. At least not quite like someone who has gone through treatment can understand. Alumni support is powerful. You should consider staying connected with the peers your meet during treatment. You’ll also receive aftercare support from some facilities. For example, The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center focuses on staying in touch with clients once they’ve left our facility, which allows us to continue offering guidance and resources. Focus on the connections you make during treatment, and you’ll have alumni support to back you throughout your recovery.
What Does Alumni Support Mean?
Alumni support can mean more than one thing. Sometimes it refers to support offered specifically to alumni. That sometimes includes virtual resources that individuals in recovery can continue to use. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a list of virtual recovery resources that can be utilized. Having access to resources like these is extremely useful throughout recovery.
For example, The Ohana works with clients during treatment to prepare them for a life of recovery outside of the facility. However, even after you have left, we’ll continue staying in touch to ensure that you have a successful integration back into everyday life. Sometimes, this requires us to connect alumni with local resources. A key to a successful recovery is creating a recovery plan. That means researching support groups in your area as well as therapists you can start seeing upon leaving our facility.
Other times, alumni support simply means staying connected with peers you have met during treatment. An alumni network can be a great tool for maintaining recovery. Especially in today’s era of technology, staying connected has never been easier, thanks to smart devices and social media. These tools can help you stay in touch with the people you meet at The Ohana or any treatment facility. You'll have someone to confide in when triggers or cravings are exceptionally worse, and you’ll also help keep them accountable for maintaining sobriety.
Alumni support can also mean connecting with others who have left other treatment centers. These connections can be made by attending local support groups or connecting with people online. Sometimes, it can be harder to look for support from others who are newly out of treatment. They, too, may be struggling to find their footing in their early recovery. People who have been in recovery for years, however, will have much wisdom and knowledge to offer you.
Addiction and Its Isolating Nature
At The Ohana, we understand that addiction can be a very isolating disorder. Even those who have the support of their friends and family struggle to feel understood. This is the primary reason why a sense of community is so important. The Ohana focuses on the importance of connection throughout our treatment program.
A primary example is our adventure therapy. Adventure therapy is a form of psychotherapy that combines nature, community, and exercise. While it has many goals, one important part of adventure therapy is for our clients to build trust in themselves and others. By doing this, you learn to trust others and become more comfortable confiding in them about your addiction struggles. To those who don’t understand, it can seem like the blind leading the blind. However, we know better.
Additionally, strong sober networks are not just comprised of alumni from the same treatment facility. In general, there are many benefits of peer support in addiction recovery. Some individuals even become peer workers, individuals who “have been successful in the recovery process,” and “help others experiencing similar situations.” Bonds through shared experiences are powerful. Having the support of others can reduce the risk of relapse, help cope with cravings, and offer a shoulder to cry on when some days are hard. Some day, when you have maintained your recovery, you could be the alumni people turn to in the early days of recovery.
Becoming an Ohana Alumni Today
If you know someone struggling with addiction and are trying to help them on the path to recovery, you know that it’s not always easy. Change and recovery are possible, but people have to want to get help for themselves. Watching loved ones struggle is more difficult when we know there’s a better way of life.
Whether you have gone through The Ohana’s treatment program or not, we can help. Reach out for support on how you can be a better resource for those newly in recovery, and help your loved ones who are struggling with addiction. Their recovery adventures can begin today.