Addiction recovery is hard. The more support you have every step of the way, however, the easier it will be. That’s why Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence offers an Alumni Program that is available for all clients. There are opportunities to build connections, get support and give back to the Recovery Community throughout the journey to sobriety.
Community Support Can Reduce the Risk of Relapse
Through our Addiction Recovery Community, clients will learn a lot about how to avoid the risk of relapse. Depending on the type of addiction, relapse impacts as many as half of those people who complete rehab. It is clearly an ongoing and serious risk for many. Fortunately, community and peer support can significantly reduce the risk of relapse.
It is easy to feel alone after rehab ends. After all, many clients go from a supportive, 24/7 environment to life with far less support. This can be disillusioning, and it can cause some people to turn back to substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
Sometimes, all it takes to avoid relapse is having someone around who understands what you’re going through. Meeting with a local support group or calling up a friend from your rehab alumni group can be the personal connection clients need to stay on track. Peer and community support is invaluable, and that is exactly what the Gateway Foundation Alumni Engagement program seeks to achieve.
Finding Fun Outside of Addiction
During withdrawal from alcohol or drug abuse, it is normal to feel unhappy. It takes time for the brain to re-establish normal levels of serotonin and dopamine. Nonetheless, those feelings can occasionally appear long after withdrawal and rehab are over. It might feel like without drugs or alcohol, there isn’t any fun in life.
Of course, this is a misconception. But at the moment, it can feel real. That’s why an Alumni Program can be so beneficial. An Alumni Engagement program might plan events, outings and other social gatherings for rehab alumni. These are fun, memorable and completely sober events, and they remind participants of the joy that comes without substance abuse.
Develop Healthy Relationships That Can Last For a Lifetime
One of the most effective ways to avoid relapse is to build social connections. Unfortunately, some clients find it challenging to open up entirely about their addiction and their past. However, it is a lot easier to be honest with someone who has a similar history. Through an Alumni Program, participants can start to build meaningful connections with others who understand their recovery.
There are many ways to cultivate friendships with other alumni. Once the connection is there, new friends can attend local support meetings together, volunteer in the Recovery Community together or just attend fun events. Knowing you’re not alone is immensely valuable when you’re out of rehab and ready to embrace the future.
Giving Back is Incredibly Fulfilling
So far, we’ve detailed all the ways that clients can benefit from the Alumni Program. One benefit you might not consider is the opportunity to give back. Volunteering within the addiction community brings meaning to life, and many participants find it invaluable.
You might want to share your personal story with a recovery group to set an example or reveal a moment of weakness. You can offer advice or become a mentor. Or, you can even take on a logistical role and help plan future alumni events. Whatever giving back means to you, there are opportunities to participate as alumni.
The Alumni Program at Gateway Foundation Independence
At Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence, the Alumni Engagement program is going strong. There are many different ways for alumni to get involved and participate in everything from social events to volunteer opportunities. Long after rehab ends, clients can be a part of any or all of the following:
- Alumni community group meetings
- Alumni parties
- Holiday celebrations
- Sporting events
- Educational talks and lectures
- Volunteer opportunities
An Alumni Program is the ideal way to continue the support system that begins in rehab. At Gateway Foundation Independence in Chicago, Illinois, clients will be able to participate in lots of events and meetings that bring the community together. Whether you’re in search of support, accountability or a way to give back, call us at 773.826.1916 for more information.