Completing an alcohol and drug addiction treatment program is an accomplishment worthy of pride as it facilitates the return to a healthy life. Throughout an addiction treatment program, individuals who live with chemical dependency overcome the physical aspects of addiction while learning about the disease itself and the ways in which one can sustain sobriety long-term. However, recovery isn’t something that one finishes, ending with the completion of a program. Rather, one’s recovery is a continuous, cumulative effort.
What is Aftercare?
Aftercare refers to those continuous efforts, consisting of the addiction treatments and services that help to sustain the momentum of recovery. An aftercare plan is often comprised of group meetings and sessions, education and coaching services, and other types of programming that lasts for an unlimited amount of time after completing an initial treatment program, teaching individuals the necessary skills that eliminate the chance of reverting to substance abuse behavior. The development of an individualized aftercare plan is often included as part of the induction or admission procedure, encouraging individuals to think ahead and make plans for sustaining their newfound sobriety.
While the initial period of treatment allows individuals to attain sobriety and initiates the process of recovery, aftercare is designed to continue what’s begun in the initial inpatient or outpatient treatment with a focus on relapse prevention. As such, there are a frew different forms of aftercare, each of which are designed to make maintaining recovery easier for the newly sober. For instance, outpatient treatment is very common as a form of aftercare as it simulates the intensity of inpatient treatment while allowing individuals schedule flexibility and to live at home as they continue treatment. Individuals who use outpatient treatment for aftercare benefit from medication management, individual therapy, group counseling, and skill-building. Some outpatient programs offer counseling for families as well, which is intended to foster understanding and healthy communication between a recovered addict and members of his or her family.
Twelve-step and other types of support groups are another popular form of aftercare as they provide those in recovery with a stable support network comprised of other individuals in recovery as well as others who have experienced addiction in some way. However, alumni programs are one of the most-used recovery-oriented communities used as aftercare in the recovery process. At Malvern Institute, we created the Alumni Association to be a vital resource to individuals as they transition from active rehabilitation to the maintenance phase of recovery.
The Malvern Institute Alumni Association
Once a patient has completed the Malvern Model of Care, he or she is ready to reenter the community and work toward establishing their continued recovery outside of our facility. We encourage these individuals to join the Malvern Alumni Association, connecting with and making themselves available to others who have completed treatment at Malvern and who are on similar journeys of post-treatment recovery.
In fact, we urge clients to become and remain active as alumni while continuing on their respective journeys of recovery as these individuals can provide inspiration, hope, and guidance to more recent graduates. The Alumni Association connects the members of our alumni family through a variety of activities, events, and meetings in addition to our social media channels. Both past clients as well as recent graduates are encouraged to attend regular alumni functions and to sign up for regularly correspondence that’s sent to keep alumni informed of what’s happening now and of any important upcoming events.
The Malvern Alumni Association is active in and around the Philadelphia area, regularly hosting a variety of recovery events. Among these events, our program alumni have enjoyed sober brunches, camping and canoe trips, sober cookouts during summertime holidays, sober parties for wintertime holidays, twelve-step meetings for alumni, and countless other fun social events. Of course, the Alumni Association isn’t just about having fun; members benefit from having a source of continuous peer support. Many members of the Malvern Alumni Association are prominent members in the Philadelphia-area recovery community, including many of the area’s Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups. In fact, many alumni encourage fellow members to join these local twelve-step programs, attending them together as part of the overall alumni experience. In short, the Alumni Association allows a person’s recovery experience to yield lasting friendships and connections.
What is the Recovery-Oriented Community?
Besides our thriving community of alumni, Malvern offers a one-of-a-kind recovery program that we call our Recovery-Oriented Community, or ROC for short. In short, the Recovery-Oriented Community is an ongoing network of engagement for individuals in recovery as well as the family members, friends, and other loved ones in their support networks. Through a combination of texting, online support, and phone calls, the Recovery-Oriented Community serves as an extensive communication network to keep patients, alumni, and their relations plugging into what’s happening at Malvern Institute as well as educating them about our decades of experience and various recovery resources.
Perhaps most importantly, both our Alumni Association and Recovery-Oriented Communities are free services that we offer to all patients upon their admission to Malvern Institute. No matter the level of care an individual chooses for his or her recovery, he or she is still invited to participate in these unique social experiences that have proven to enrich the recovery journey and which offer a valuable resource as an individual transitions to more advanced stages of recovery. If you’d like to learn more about the Malvern Institute Alumni Association and Recovery-Oriented Community, or if you have any other questions you need answered, please contact us anytime at 610.MALVERN (610.625.8376).