A Strong Alumni Community
Cumberland Heights is known for its strong alumni community that supports one another through lifelong recovery. We are pleased to introduce a few of them, some amazing alumni stories, and the staff who support the alumni program.
Cumberland Heights Alumni – We Are There For One Another
- On average Cumberland Heights hosts a minimum of two free Alumni events each month that allow our Alumni, their families, and their friends to fellowship with each other and stay connected to the recovery community.
- Due to the pandemic shutting down our in-person Aftercare Program, we have gone to a Virtual Aftercare format four nights a week where we still have over 400 active Alumni in attendance each month engaging with one and other and sharing about their recovery time, lifestyle, and goals.
- Our Alumni Only social media page (Facebook) has more than 700 active members.
- Each year, our Annual Sydnor Horn Alumni & Staff Picnic draws more than 500 Alumni, Staff, Family and Friends to celebrate the mission of Cumberland Heights.
- Our Alumni Association of Cumberland Heights (AACH) is a board of 25 Alumni of Cumberland Heights that hold independent fundraisers all year in order to assist patients financially upon discharge. Coolest part – their combined sobriety totals more 100 years!
- Over the last five years, AACH has donated over $30,000 to assist Cumberland Heights Alumni with first month’s rent in sober living facilities, childcare for Alumni Events, and Alumni event assistance.
- Prior to the pandemic, the AACH hosted an open meeting every Friday night for over 40 years for Community Recovery members, Alumni, and current patients called Crossover. This has been a huge part of connecting our Alumni with each other and we fully intend to return to this as soon as possible.
- In just the last 12 months, Cumberland Heights has sent out the equivalent of more than 1,330 years in recovery medallions (they mark sobriety time) to its Alumni. That’s impressive!
Recovery Stories are the Best Stories
We are delighted to share three alumni stories illustrating that challenge and elation of living in recovery. Congratulations to all of them for rewriting their stories and living in recovery!
A GREAT ALUMNI STORY
It was 10 years ago on the Friday before Labor Day that I was first introduced to Cumberland Heights. An intervention made up of my sister and roommate brought me there because I had lost my way in living life as a normal person should. I was highly addicted to crystal methamphetamine.
It was late in the day on a holiday weekend and my insurance could not be verified and I did not want my sister to up money, so I ran. I made it 5 miles from campus on foot down River Road toward Highway 70, falling in the ditch many times crossing the hill through all the curves.
Little did I know that my Higher Power was already at work in my life keeping me safe. A police officer found me and carried me to safety.
I returned to Cumberland Heights on Tuesday morning ready, willing and able to try and do something about the insanity. I struggled for a while after to find sobriety, but the seeds of recovery had been planted in me that long month in September of 2010. Now, I have cultivated a garden of acceptance, willingness, and understanding and will soon be celebrating 3 years sober.
I now work at Cumberland Heights and enjoy giving back as other have given to me.
— “Anonymous Cumberland Heights Alumnus”
..the seeds of recovery had been planted in me that long month in September of 2010. Now, I have cultivated a garden of acceptance, willingness, and understanding and will soon be celebrating three years sober.
Anonymous Cumberland Heights Alumnus
ANOTHER GREAT ALUMNI STORY
I was so broken. Physically, I was a mess and hadn’t taken care of myself for so long, it was almost as if I had forgotten how. I spent majority of my days high, but even when I wasn’t actively using, my mental health was plagued by depression, anxiety and drug induced psychosis. I had lost all connection with any sort of Higher Power and truly believed I was not worthy of anyone’s love, especially any sort of “God” that may be out there. Every orifice of my body and soul was empty. I was a shell of a human being who spent every second of every day trying to find ways and means to get more drugs at ANY cost.
I will never forget the last day I was arrested in active addiction. I called my parents to come bail me out, again. But something had changed. They were no longer willing to bail me out and let me go run the streets anymore. They agreed to bail me out if I would willingly go to treatment at Cumberland Heights. After initially saying no, but having no one else to call, I hesitantly agreed to their terms. This is when the change began in my life.
I wish I could tell you I immediately took every suggestion and did this recovery thing perfectly, but I didn’t. In fact, I spent many more moons in active addiction after I completed treatment. But the seed was planted, and I no longer had the ability to live in my delusional world. I had been educated and knew there was a better way to live and that I had choices.
In 2008 I made the best choice I ever have – I went to a 12-step mtg. like the one’s Cumberland Heights had taken me to while I was in treatment. I listened to the other addicts share and watched them intently. That day I told myself, if they could smile and enjoy life, I could try it and see if it would work for me too. Slowly, smiles, laughter, hope and freedom took over my life. I no longer had to use any substances to feel normal. I developed a relationship with God. I got professional help for my mental illness. And for the first time in a long time, I felt like a real person. I found a new way to live. Now, with 11 ½ years clean and sober, I apply the spiritual principles to every area of my life daily. I do not work a perfect program, nor do I have a perfect life. But what Cumberland Heights taught me so many years ago still holds true today – I never have to use again, no matter what!
— “Anonymous Cumberland Heights Alumnus”
About the Alumni Relations Program at Cumberland Heights
Alumni Relations Liaison Ashely Jackson on the importance of the alumni relations program
Recovery Care Advocates Focus on First Year of Recovery
We know that the first year of recovery is the toughest for many, and Cumberland Heights believes you should not have to walk that journey alone. We are proud of our Recovery Care Advocacy Program that provides one on one guidance, check ins and community engagement. Your support helps keep this program free.
1st Year Recovery Support Includes:
- Guidance on 12-step meeting attendance
- Support finding sponsorship
- Practice in relapse prevention
- Community Connection (i.e. help finding sober hangouts, meditation centers, volunteer opportunities)
- Peer mentorship
Meet Robert Dueease, who has worked in Recovery Care Advocacy since February. He has been in recovery for 24 years.
Meet Jenny Cobb, who has been an RCA with Cumberland Heights for a year. She’s very active in the 12-step community and loves helping others navigate a new, sober life.