Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Alumni Programs for Teenagers

After completing an addiction treatment program, teens should never feel that they’ve been left to fend for themselves. Alumni programs continue to provide support for rehab graduates for years after they’ve left the facility and established new lives in sobriety. When you’re comparing treatment programs for your teen, look for a facility that offers a complete set of aftercare services, including an alumni program for graduates and their families.

Getting Through Treatment

Getting through rehab is a big accomplishment for your son. Statistics from national studies of drug and alcohol treatment programs show that the majority of patients who enter treatment drop out before graduating. According to the Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS), 41 percent of those who were treated for substance abuse in 2005 finished treatment. Those who didn’t complete the program left for the following reasons:

  • 13 percent were transferred to other facilities to receive continuing care
  • 8 percent were asked to leave by the facility
  • 2 percent were sent to jail or prison
  • 1 percent died before finishing treatment
  • 24 percent dropped out
  • 7 percent didn’t graduate for other reasons

Teens who complete rehab deserve to be acknowledged for their achievements. It’s not easy to make it through the challenges of a comprehensive recovery program. Alumni programs for teenagers celebrate the persistence of those who made it through rehabilitation and offer them continuing support in their efforts to stay sober.

What Do Alumni Programs Offer?

Alumni programs are a form of continuing care for teens who have re-entered the community. Continuing care is an extension of the therapeutic services that your teenager receives at an addiction treatment center. At this stage, your teen is faced with a new set of challenges. He may be trying to finish school and hold down a part-time job while confronting the triggers and social cues that drove him to drink or use. He may be starting a new romantic relationship, dealing with family conflicts or trying to get into college.

Both positive and negative developments can create stress in a teen’s life, increasing the risk of a relapse. Alumni programs give teens the opportunity to get together with their peers who are faced with the same stressors. At alumni meetings and activities, teens and their families can share their experiences, learn new coping skills, and get referrals to community services that will help them stay healthy and sober. Some of the most popular alumni activities include:

  • Outings, gatherings or sporting events for graduates and their families
  • Adventure treks, hikes or camping excursions for alumni
  • Social networking opportunities for alumni
  • 12-step meetings in the community for graduates and members of the public
  • Community service outreach projects for alumni

Alumni events are sources of fellowship for graduates who may feel lost or alone without the structure of a supportive treatment facility. These activities give alumni the opportunity to share the gains of recovery with others who may be struggling with drug addiction or alcohol abuse. They also provide a source of strength for parents who are trying to help their teens deal with this new phase in their lives.

Benefits of Continuing Care

Continuing care for rehab alumni isn’t just about events, meetings or activities. It’s about providing support for graduates who are continuing to grow in recovery. Aftercare services for teenagers may cover a wide range of services, including:

  • Advanced therapy for sober teens
  • Family counseling for parents and siblings
  • Vocational counseling and job placement assistance
  • Academic testing and educational counseling
  • Nutritional counseling and personal training for teens

As the parents of a rehab graduate, you’ll need lots of support as you help your teen make the transition to adulthood. Continuing care services are available to families as well as to teen alumni. Take advantage of these recovery resources by participating actively in counseling sessions, peer group support meetings and experiential therapies.

Preparing for the Future

The months after rehab can be an exciting time, but this period can also be frightening. Teens often don’t know what to expect from their friends, classmates, teachers and family members after they complete an addiction treatment program. Alumni services at Muir Wood help teenagers successfully complete the launch into adulthood. We are committed to supporting you and your teen through the entire rehab process, from admission and detox to rehab and aftercare. Call our intake counselors or download our online application packet to discover how our personalized treatment plans can benefit you and your teen.