As the Alumni Liaison at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilition, University of Colorado), I am charged with creating programs for our clients that support them once they leave CeDAR and help them stay connected to the recovery community. Over the past 4 years, as I’ve worked with our alumni who are living successfully in recovery, I’ve developed a firm commitment to the whole notion of “alumni services”.
So I’d like to begin my tenure with the Addiction Professional blogging team with my “Top 5” list of reasons why alumni programming should be part of the continuum of services offered by treatment organizations.
2. It Generates Referrals From Former Patients and Families. Let’s face it: whether our centers are “for profit” or “not for profit”, we’re all in business. While I pray to my higher power each morning to show me how I can be of service, and I cherish each time I “connect” with a patient and make a difference, the bottom line is simple. The more patients that come to CeDAR, the more people we will be able to serve. Good programming for alumni, that meets their need for support and opportunities to “practice” new skills learned in treatment, can create good will….and good will can create referrals. At CeDAR, alumni referrals have become our #1 referral source.
3. Referral Sources Like Alumni Programs. CeDAR is proud to be supported by so many talented and dedicated addiction treatment professionals on a local, regional and national level. One reason why these referral sources are happy to send their clients to CeDAR is because, yes….we have an active alumni program. Our referral sources are confident that they are recommending a placement that not only has a highly respected treatment program, but also provides supports after treatment is finished. Alumni program personnel can also serve as a network back to the original referral source….and isn’t helping each other is what recovery is all about?