As a premiere addiction recovery center The Canyon strives to maintain a lifelong connection with all patients. Before treatment ends, each patient meets one-on-one with our dedicated alumni coordinator to get started.
What The Canyon’s Alumni Program Can Offer You
The Canyon’s alumni program keeps you in touch with your own recovery through support, volunteer opportunities, exclusive events, follow-up and a direct phone line for alumni to refer loved ones or get an assessment for readmission.
Each former patient is connected with a dedicated alumni coordinator who will help do the following:
- Connect you with the wider network of Foundations Recovery Network alumni events around the country
- Find recovery resources and local support groups as needed
- Support former patients of The Canyon during challenging days
- Unite former patients with exclusive alumni events and group volunteer opportunities
- Keep former patients connected with treatment staff
- Connect alumni members with various Foundations Recovery Network alumni events across the country
Please visit www.frnalumni.com to learn more about alumni events and connect with ongoing alumni resources.
If you are not already a member of The Canyon’s alumni team, www.frnalumni.com/enroll and become part of our ever-expanding team of supportive alumni!
Heroes in Recovery
If you would like to get involved in recovery awareness and impact the lives of others, please check out our new movement: www.heroesinrecovery.com.
Heroes in Recovery is a collective movement designed to break the stigma associated with seeking addiction treatment. We strive to break barriers to wellness and help connect recovering persons, friends, family, therapists, and anyone who cares about the issue of addiction.
Heroes in Recovery reaches communities through the following:
- 6k races
- Sober dances and events
- Recovery awareness
- Outreach and education
- Inspirational messages
- Sponsorship of charities across the U.S.
Find out how you can be a leader or a participant in this amazing new movement. Visit us today.
Our Alumni Program at The Canyon comes into play before a client ever leaves our grounds. Approximately a week before completion of the program, individuals are led through a multi-media presentation that outlines the purpose and benefits of our ongoing alumni program. Regular check-in calls at pre-appointed intervals gives ongoing benefits as clients continue their recovery journey. Our quarterly alumni journals prove to be a valuable resource as well.
A Resource on Alumni Programs
Colleges and universities create alumni programs to help former students reconnect, share stories, and swap tips and tricks they’ve used in the employment market. Large corporations also use alumni programs to help connect former employees with one another, ensuring that the ties they formed while they were coworkers persist throughout their employment careers. In short, alumni programs provide people with the opportunity to remember the lessons they learned at one point in their lives, and they allow people who have been through similar circumstances to share their stories and continue to learn from one another. They provide fun, fellowship and learning, all under one name.
It’s easy to see why so many addiction treatment facilities provide alumni programs for their members. People in recovery from addiction are learning how to control a chronic illness, and sometimes, those lessons can take years to truly take hold. By participating in an alumni program, people can continue to strengthen their lessons, and they can stay strong in their sobriety. They can connect with others, to both share and learn, and they can stay in touch with the connections they made during their time in recovery. It can be an incredibly valuable tool.
When intensive addiction therapies end, alumni or aftercare programs begin. The early stages of these programs may involve a significant amount of connection between the addict and the counselor. For example, many programs use the telephone as part of the aftercare process. Addicts receive calls from counselors on a periodic basis, and they’re asked about how their sobriety is progressing. If an addict admits to a relapse, the counselor can schedule touch-up counseling sessions, suggest group meetings or even facilitate the addict’s readmission to a formal treatment program for addiction. By keeping in close contact with the addict, the counselor can help to spot a source of trouble and deal with it before it’s allowed to spiral and grow stronger. It helps keep the relationship between the addict and the counselor alive and intact.
The use of telephone follow-up calls has been widely studied in the treatment of alcoholism. Where people recovering from drug addiction can be monitored through the use of urine screenings, alcohol doesn’t always appear in a urine test, making it slightly more difficult for counselors to spot a relapse that has occurred. By using telephone calls, therapists hope to keep alcoholics honest about their use, and encourage them to get help if they need it. In one study, published in the Journal of Nursing Research, people who received telephone counseling for alcoholism were less likely to be readmitted to a formal program for addiction than people who did not receive telephone counseling. In other words, by receiving these calls, addicts may have been able to modify their behavior and avoid the need for more intensive care. Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique.
Alumni programs involve more than simple telephone calls, however. In fact, most alumni programs focus their efforts on connecting addicts in recovery with others who have been through the same addiction recovery process. The alumni programs provide social opportunities in which former members can mingle and interact in a surrounding that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or alcohol. The programs may provide activities such as:
- Softball games
Alumni programs may also provide periodic group meetings, in which members come together to share their stories of recovery and support one another. Some of these programs use the 12-step model created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, but other programs use a model that is less spiritual in nature and focuses on the addict’s ability to take charge and keep control over the addiction.
By tapping into the social benefits of an alumni program, addicts have instant access to a group of people who understand what addiction is like, and what it means to be in recovery. Addicts may have access to supportive friends and family members, but these people may not truly understand what it means to struggle with cravings or work through issues of guilt that come alongside addiction. By connecting with others who understand these issues, because they’ve also dealt with them, the addict may feel much less isolated and much more likely to share. The support group becomes an ideal place in which the addict can access help and support.
When researchers began to study the effectiveness of 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, they found that the programs were successful, in part, because addicts were given the opportunity to help someone else. For example, a study in the journal Addiction found that people who helped others as part of their 12-step program were less likely to engage in binge drinking sessions than people who did not help others. It may be impossible to determine exactly why this is so, but it’s possible that reaching out to another person and providing help provides a boost of self-esteem, and that feeling may protect a person from engaging in destructive behavior. Helping someone else can also break down isolation and feelings of worthlessness.
Participating in an alumni program can provide many opportunities for people to help others. They may:
- Mentor someone new in recovery
- Share their stories in a group meeting
- Write an inspiring article about their recovery for publication in the alumni newsletter
- Connect with people struggling with addiction in the alumni social meetings
By talking about their own recovery, and helping people who might be struggling, addicts may strengthen their own resolve to stay clean, and they may help people during a crucial hour of need, and help themselves as well. It’s an important part of the healing process.
For some addicts in recovery, affiliation with an alumni program means affiliation with a point in time when they were low and unhappy. They may want to simply put that time behind them and move forward, forgetting all about the addiction and focusing instead on the other aspects of life. While this attitude may certainly be understandable, research suggests that it’s not helpful. Addiction is a chronic disease, and it can take a long time for addicts to truly heal. As much as they may want to simply move on and forget about all that has happened, by doing so, they may place themselves at a higher risk for relapse. By participating in an alumni program, they may increase their chances of truly gaining control over the addiction.
For example, a study published in the journal Occupational Therapy International found that people who participated in a peer support group for addiction were much less likely to relapse than people who did not participate. Similarly, a study in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that people who participated in an aftercare program as soon as their formal programs ended were less likely to relapse to drinking than people who did not participate. As these studies demonstrate, participating in an alumni program really can add to long-term recovery success. It’s an important part of any program, and it’s well worth the effort for addicts to enroll and participate.
At The Canyon, we offer a structured alumni program for all our members. Before the formal treatment program ends, we show our patients a video that demonstrates the benefits of participation, and we strongly encourage them to experience the fun and fellowship of participation in our alumni program. If you’d like more information on this program, please contact us today.