Over the past two decades, much of the research in the field of addiction and subsequent funding opportunities focused on prevention programs and treatment alternatives. More recently, SAMHSA has put forth new directives for the addiction treatment industry. In their report: Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions, 2011-2014, the agency proposes that the gains made in traditional 30 day treatment programs can be enhanced greatly through recovery support provided after the initial treatment episode. Recovery support is currently recognized as one of SAMHSA’s primary strategic initiatives. Go to SAMHSA to download the full report.
In response to this call for a focus on recovery, Alumni Services programs can step up to the plate. At CeDAR, Center for Dependency Addiction and Rehabilitation, our Alumni program is all about helping clients acquire skills and experiences that promote sustainable recovery. Through educational, social, and recreational activities, CeDAR Alumni participate in “real-life” experiences that expose them to a community of fellowship with others who are in recovery. These activities help individuals find the peer supports and community linkages that prominent researchers have also identified as important to the recovery process.
As the conversation in the addiction field begins to include more discussions about recovery planning beyond the treatment episode, Alumni Services can become an integral part of the continuum of care that treatment centers offer to their clients.
Is Alumni Services viewed at your treatment organization as an integral part of the continuum of services that are offered? How is your Alumni Services program supporting clients after they leave treatment?