Why an Alumni Program Matters - Avenues Recovery

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Humans are intrinsically social beings. We communicate, we talk, we laugh, we cry – we crave connection deeply. 

It follows that the people we socialize and spend time with have a powerful effect on our personality, behaviors, and interests. We might originally be drawn to certain individuals because they share some of these characteristics with us, but eventually, we rub off on each other and become more and more alike because of the time we spend together. 

Understandably, being part of a social circle where drug and alcohol abuse are the norm can be a huge contributing factor to the development of an addiction. When a former addict begins their recovery journey, many times they will find that their entire social circle is composed of drug and alcohol users – who either led them to substance abuse, or whom they became acquainted with in the course of their drug and alcohol use. 

Since friends have such a powerful effect on us, it’s clearly crucial for someone in early recovery to sever ties with old drinking and drugging buddies. This will allow them to protect themselves from their negative influence and keep themselves strong as they work on their sobriety each day. 


Importance of Sober Friends

But it’s not only important to stay away from the wrong people – we also have to make sure to get hooked up with the right people!

As we discussed, socialization is a basic human need. And for someone in recovery, having a strong network of sober friends can make all the difference in the world. As some very wise people have observed – “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection”.

There are countless benefits of having sober friends. To name just a few:

  • It helps combat loneliness. One of the ubiquitous factors of an addiction is the loneliness and isolation it brings. The more someone drinks or uses, alienating the people they love (and who love them), the more they retreat into a cave within themselves. When in recovery, we want to go to the opposite extreme – avoiding isolation, and pursuing human connection and open friendship whenever and wherever can.


  • It fills the void. A substance addiction takes up an inordinate amount of time and energy, and someone in recovery might suddenly find that they have far too much free time on their hands! We want to fill that time and void with warm human connections that will strengthen and leave us empowered. 


  • It leads to healthy hobbies and outlets. Recovery is about a lot more than mere abstinence from drugs or alcohol – it’s about uprooting old negative thoughts and behaviors, and replacing them with new, healthy ones. Having sober friends and a social life will often lead to our getting involved in wonderful new hobbies - like exercise, music, yoga, cooking, and more. 


  • It surrounds you with positive examples. It’s a lot easier to do the right thing when everyone around you is doing it! When you surround yourself with healthy, like-minded individuals who are all pursuing their recovery, half of the battle is already won. Triggers and thoughts about using won’t bother you nearly as often, as you and your peers engage in positive, recovery-focused activities and conversations. 


  • It gives you accountability. There’s nothing like the feeling that someone (or a bunch of someones) has got your back. When you develop meaningful sober friendships and become ensconced in a recovery community, you’ve created a safety net for yourself. Your peers will immediately notice red flags when something’s wrong. Should you ever relapse, you have an entire community looking out for you – to catch you as you fall and get you back on your feet. 


Avenues Alumni Program

Now that we’ve learned about the importance of sober friends in recovery, you may already be asking the million–dollar question: How do I make sober friends? 

Finding lifelong sober friends is really not as hard as it may sound – it’s all about knowing how and where to look. There are many things which can help you begin building a sober support network, whether it’s attending in – person or online recovery meetings, getting connected on social media, joining sober events like non- alcoholic bars, raves and dance parties, or signing up for a gym or art class. 

But if you attend Avenues, you may not have to do any of that.

At Avenues, we understand how critical it is to have a strong sober living network when in recovery, so we set out to fill that need. We also know that healing and growing together bonds people in a powerful way, so there are really no people closer to you than those with whom you went through treatment!

We wanted to create a safe space, a place where all our people could stay connected for life. The result? Enter Avenues Alumni – a warm, incredible alumni program that is open to all successful graduates of Avenues. 

Some amazing perks of the Avenues Alumni program are:

  • Periodic counselor check – ins 
  • In-person and virtual 12 - Step Meetings 
  • Facility visits
  • Alumni speaker engagements
  • Yearly holiday parties
  • Trips and outings
  • Exclusive alumni events
  • Private social media groups 


It’s an entire community of like-minded people who just get you, and are simply always there. They’re your family, your buddies, your cheerleaders, and your safety net. 

Avenues Alumni is a ready-made recovery community, waiting to embrace and support you the moment you complete treatment. 


It all goes back to our name, and our unchanging promise to you: We are Avenues, A Recovery Community. Once you enter our doors, you will never again be alone.

Find lasting sobriety at Avenues.

Call us anytime. Seriously.


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