Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, and it isn’t beaten overnight. For this reason, recovery is an ongoing process requiring support that extends long past your initial 30-day inpatient program. Research shows that the longer an individual spends in treatment, the more likely that person is to maintain their abstinence from drugs and alcohol for years to come.
In the words of Randal Lea, Cumberland Heights’ Executive Director for Community-Based Services: “Long-term recovery requires vigilance, support and spiritual growth attained through the 12 Steps. I believe recovery care advocacy is the best and most effective tool to anyone who needs additional support beyond the foundation of recovery started in primary treatment.”
But what is recovery care advocacy, and who could benefit from it? Read on to learn more.
Ongoing Support and Proven Outcomes
Recovery care advocacy can take many forms, but at its core, it is a specialized extended support program that includes one-on-one guidance, frequent check-ins and community engagement through the earliest stages of recovery. This programming provides an environment of sustained support and sets up clients for success in the months and years following their inpatient treatment program. It may include educational resources or connections with services within the community, such as local AA or NA meetings.
The specific recovery care advocacy services will vary facility to facility. At Cumberland Heights, we offer:
- A personal recovery advocate who will support the patient through the first twelve months of their recovery journey
- Guidance and encouragement to participate in 12-Step programming and sponsorship
- Connection with sober recreation and social activities
- Contact with family and others in recovery collaboration
- External support resources, such as therapists and psychiatrists
- Connection with aftercare at Cumberland Heights
- Alumni activities (ziplining, volunteering, sports teams, workshops, certification programs, theater/comedy/musical performances, educational talks and lectures)
- Weekly alumni meetings
The Need for Recovery Care Advocacy
While many individuals feel fully rehabilitated after their time in treatment, it is vital to continue actively participating in one’s recovery long after this. Although the detoxification and recovery services provided in primary treatment are integral to leaving drugs and alcohol behind, only ongoing effort and dedication can ensure long-term success.
Part of this is attributed to the physical and psychological impact of sustained substance use. Continually turning to drugs and alcohol in times of stress, for example, creates associations that can take years to break. Spending time with certain people may trigger alumni to use again, even though they never thought they would. Additionally, home life contains several stressors that individuals may have completely forgotten about while in treatment. Continued encouragement and involvement will change this narrative – instead of relapsing, alumni are able to lean on their recovery advocate and sober support network.
Recovery care advocacy fulfills three important niches: it helps individuals to…
- maintain recovery from addiction,
- find ways to prevent relapse and
- build rewarding, purpose-led lives free of substance use.
Consider the following individuals:
- A teen returning to life at school post-treatment after being suspended for drug possession.
- An established businesswoman, who began using mind-altering substances to keep up with her workload, returning to her workplace after a month in rehab.
- A single father who found himself in treatment for a heroin addiction and now has to adjust to performing childcare responsibilities once more.
These are perfect examples of times when recovery care advocacy can positively contribute to early recovery. These transitions are challenging for all who are leaving primary treatment; it is vital to maintain a consistent level of support while navigating times of change and adjustment.
Through regular check-ins, a recovery advocate will be able to identify opportunities for growth (and potential triggers for relapse). They can then connect the family with a counselor or medication management provider; they may also recommend continued involvement in the form of outpatient services. Through early intervention, relapse can be avoided and an alumnus will go on to lead a happy, sober life.
Support Beyond the First Year
So, who needs recovery care advocacy? At Cumberland Heights, we believe the answer is everyone. That’s why we provide this service to all of our alumni through their first year of recovery, completely free of charge.
We know that it is our duty to support our alumni even after their treatment has concluded. Our programming extends beyond the first year in the form of aftercare, outpatient services, sober living residences, extended care and alumni relations. We provide ongoing on-campus meetings and events that jumpstart connections and enrich the lives of our community members.
To learn more about our recovery support services, contact Cumberland Heights today.