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Bringing Alumni Together at Sunspire Health Recovery Road

Author: Jaclyn Daugherty

Each year, Recovery Road welcomes patient alumni and their families back to the facility for their Annual Alumni Celebration.

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Each year, Recovery Road welcomes patient alumni and their families back to the facility for their Annual Alumni Celebration. This is their fifth year holding the event, and they are excited to celebrate recovery with alumni and staff. Jenifer Mazer, Admissions Director at Recovery Road, says that events like these help families get a sense of what it’s like to be a part of the Recovery Road community.

“We know all of [our patients] on a personal level, so it’s nice to bring the families back around, to have the kids come back around with the alumni,” she says. “Our patients really are like family.”

The Alumni Celebration offers activities for every age group. There will be a BBQ with plenty of food, alumni guest speakers, and a staff vs. alumni volleyball game. There will also be a bounce slide and carnival games. This event will be held at a pavilion set between the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway, so attendees can swim, too.

This Celebration is just one of Recovery Road’s many alumni events throughout the year. Though Recovery Road treats patients from all over the U.S., they have a large in-state population of alumni, allowing them to hold regular local events like bowling nights or monthly meetings with special guest speakers. Recovery Road also encourages their current patients to participate in their alumni events.

“Alumni events provide an opportunity for our current patients to see the joys they have to look forward to in their sobriety. Events can also help patients to realize that long-term recovery is attainable, and that there’s no better time to make a change than today.” —Jenifer Mazer, Admissions Director

Sometimes, patients leave treatment and continue to play an important role in the local sober-living community. One Recovery Road alum recently started his own Refuge Recovery group—the Buddhist version of AA or NA.

“Our patients now started attending his meeting that he started in the community, so we can provide that support back to him,” Mazer says.

Jim Malcom, Director of Clinical Outreach in Sunspire Health Florida, says that another aspect of alumni support means regularly checking in. 

“We stay in touch with our alumni, not just by calling them, but we use our Facebook page and we’re incorporating mass texting and emails as well,” Malcolm says. “We want to be supportive and be a resource for them.”

Recovery Road also wants to make sure alumni have everything they need to stay sober for the long haul.

“Some of the important things that we ask them when we follow up at seven and 30 days are: ‘Are you following through with your aftercare plan?’ ‘Have you met with your physician or your outpatient therapist? Have you inserted yourself into the community and been able to get the services that you need?’” Mazer says. If an alum is in need of further resources, Recovery Road is happy to work with them, their physician, or other outpatient programs to make sure they have everything they need, she adds.

Both Malcom and Mazer agree they’re proud to be able to keep in touch with the alumni and provide them with the resources they need through ongoing engagement and events. One of the most important resources in recovery is finding a group of like-minded people to help alumni stay on track with sobriety. Alumni events help to create and solidify those bonds.

“Once treatment is over, a major source of support will be peer-to-peer camaraderie,” Mazer says. “Alumni engagement opens the door to make those important peer connections.”

Sunspire Health Recovery Road is a men’s-only treatment facility, offering a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment and co-occurring mental health disorders. Learn more by visiting their website here.