The Importance of an Alumni Program for Those in Recovery
Getting sober is worth the hard work of treatment.
But what happens after a successful stay in an addiction treatment facility such as Recovery Centers of America?
In general, an estimated 1.2 million Americans are now in successful long term recovery from opioid use disorder according to a recent study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Millions more have recovered from alcohol and other drug addictions; one study found nearly ten percent of Americans were in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction.
The Recovery Centers of America model of addiction treatment features contemporary treatment practices pioneered in 2016 which, since then, have helped over 30,000 patients suffering from substance use disorder (“SUD”). The RCA Model means that programs do not end after inpatient treatment and through the continuum of outpatient care. The RCA program takes on a new shape through graduate patient support and alumni meetings with weekly “sober” events.
When SUD patients graduate from treatment, they find that a strong post-treatment program which includes a support system provided by an extensive alumni network is a major factor in maintaining long term recovery.
The Journal of Addiction Medicine study specifically recognized what RCA graduates in addiction recovery have experienced firsthand — that a recovery support system after treatment is necessary. Additionally, the importance of certain treatment modalities and supports underscored in the study are all incorporated in the “RCA Model” treatment program.
- Formal addiction treatment
- Opioid replacement therapy using methadone or suboxone
- Recovery Support Services such as counselling and group therapy
- Mutual help, such as Narcotic Anonymous and 12 Step Programs
“After evidence-based treatment, Recovery Support Services are vital to long term recovery. An essential benefit of RCA treatment is matching the patient up with a strong regional alumni network to bond with after “graduating” from inpatient and outpatient care,” says Rick Delgiorno, Director of Alumni Relations at Recovery Centers of America.
According to Delgiorno, RCA has nearly 15,000 active members in its alumni support network, organized into 15 chapters run by 163 volunteers. Numerous social, educational, cultural, and spiritual events take place each month.
“We know that when someone suffers from a substance use disorder, certain circles of people, places, and things can all be triggers to use drugs and alcohol again. Our RCA graduates use the tools for recovery they learn in treatment and then we provide them with a full schedule of opportunities to meet people, build new relationships, and establish a social support network in a safe and sober environment outside treatment walls,” says Delgiorno.
Each week 15 alumni chapters of Recovery Centers of America from states up and down the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions offer weekday and weekend sober events and activities. These events are designed so that former RCA patients can help others, keep involved, and keep connected to others in meaningful recovery.
“I am honored to spend time with so many RCA graduates at so many different events planned by our amazing alumni chapters. RCA alumni volunteers provide fellow alumni, families, friends and current patients the opportunity to exchange people, places, and things that fed their addiction with new people, places, and things that will help sustain their long-term recovery as well as help those in need of treatment get the help they need,” said Delgiorno.
Recovery Centers of America (1-800-Recovery) has inpatient facilities in South Amboy and Mays Landing, NJ; Devon, PA, Danvers and Westminster, MA; and Earleville and Waldorf, MD. A full continuum of outpatient facilities are also featured at most facilities and in Vorhees, NJ and MAT facilities are located in Trenton and Somerdale, NJ and in Delaware County, PA.