At Stonegate we value aftercare. From the moment our clients walk in our doors, we treat them as if they’re family because we know the importance of community in recovery and how it impacts long-term sobriety. We care not only about what happens in our treatment facility, but also what happens after.
That means the relationships we build with our clients don’t end when they leave. Our hope is that they’d continue for a lifetime.
If I had to name the most important part of the treatment process, from start to finish, I would say it’s aftercare and having a strong continuum of support for alumni.
Don’t get me wrong, receiving inpatient treatment is a crucial first step. However, the rubber meets the road when a client leaves the security and comfort of an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility and enters back into life.
This can be a very stressful time because all the new tools they’ve received in treatment are about to be tested. But this is what our clients have worked for the past 45 to 90 days. No, let me rephrase… This is what we’ve worked for as a team, every single day our clients are on our campus.
That’s why I love being an alumni coordinator at Stonegate Center. I have the privilege of joining alongside our clients while they journey into the next phase of their development. From the first week in treatment I let each client know I’m their advocate and there to help them.
I like sharing my experience, strength, and hope with each client so they can relate to my former struggles with addiction and build repour amongst them. I lay out every way that I’m going to be there for them, that way they know what to expect and that they aren’t alone.
What Does Stonegate Center’s Alumni Program Entail?
We have a very comprehensive alumni program at Stonegate Center. We try to engage our alumni in a variety of ways. Monthly meetings and quarterly regional activities allow us to engage with our alumni on a regular basis. These regular meetups help us maintain relationships withour alumni, helps us offer resources and recovery support for them, and allows us to stay up to date on the progress of their recovery programs.
Every month, we host alumni meetings in different cities across Oklahoma and Texas to meet up with alumni in the two regions. For out-of-state alumni, we host virtual meetings. During these alumni meetings, our alumni check in with the progress their making in their 12-Step programs.
This gives me and other alumni an opportunity to encourage, support and hold them accountable. This also helps them to build upon the bonds they formed while in treatment. This is just one of the ways our meetings help them continue building relationships even after they’ve left treatment.
While our meetings can often be on serious topics, we also want to teach our alumni how to have fun in a different context than what they might have been used to in the past. Every quarter, we host alumni events or activities to get our alumni together for some wholesome fun. The alumni events we have had in the past include paintballing, bowling, lake outings, and Topgolf.
“I’m really grateful for and feel fortunate to be a part of Stonegate Center’s alumni program. Whether it’s a social event, a service opportunity , or a meeting, the program provides an opportunity for me to get together with like-minded men in recovery to receive support, accountability, and fellowship. There is also a great opportunity to interact with and encourage other alumni that live all across the United States through their presence on social media!”
-Quote from David D., Stonegate Center alum
We also have our Annual Crawfish Boil, our largest alumni meeting of the year. We’ve found that for those who consistently attend, the events help foster camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood among our alumni, therefore aiding in the recovery community they are trying to build in their new sober life.
Outside of meetings and events, as the alumni coordinator, I make regular calls to check-in with our alumni. Typically, we check-in with alumni four times in the first year after treatment: 1 week, 3 months, 6 months, and a year. We also give them regular calls inviting them to monthly meetings and events. There is never a shortage of contact.
Moreover, our team encourages Stonegate Center alumni to reach out to us on a regular basis if they need anything or any support. Our alumni also have the opportunity to visit our campus to share their experience, strength and hope with other clients.
We have seen how this has a huge impact on the guys that are currently in treatment. They get the opportunity to hear what it looks like to implement the 12-steps and a relationship with God into their lives after treatment
Clients get to ask questions and socialize with alumni after the meetings are concluded, this enables them to start networking while still in the confines of treatment.However, the opportunity for our alumni to carry a message of depth and weight to the clients is the greatest part of all.
“The biggest thing our staff
wants to teach every client
is how to be of service.”
I have found that service work is one of the best ways for an alum to maintain their sobriety. It teaches them the true meaning of being selfless and doing for others. This is part of the 12th step in Alcoholics Anonymous.
At Stonegate Center, the biggest thing our staff wants to teach every client is how to be of
service. Being selfless and giving back are great ways to let go of your ego and help others who may be struggling – just like we all have at certain times in our lives. We also include this in our alumni program with opportunities to help in our community.
During the holiday season we get our alumni together to handout supplies to the homeless and less fortunate. We also encourage our alumni to carry the message to their local treatment centers, detox facilities, and sober livings.
Our Goal is to Provide Our Clients With After-Care Resources
When clients discharge from our center, we make sure to provide them with ample resources. We help them connect with other alumni, get plugged in with local meetings, and make recommendations that will best suit them.
To make sure they have constant support, we compile lists of potential sponsors across Texas or Oklahoma and help them connect with a good match. We also share knowledge on aftercare options like sober living homes, IOPs and counseling centers.
We even use social media and technology to help our alumni through spiritual growth apps and an alumni Facebook page to stay connected. And with the the coronavirus putting stress on our ability to link up face-to-face, we’ve been conducting Zoom meetings to stay in touch.
No matter what, it’s vital that we stay connected!
So, Why Do We Offer These Ancillary Services at Stonegate Center?
Alcoholism and drug addiction are lifetime diseases, and there isn’t a magic cure. Once an addict, always an addict. That’s why being in treatment for 30-90 days isn’t a cure-all. It’s the just the beginning of the recovery process.
Aftercare is an essential part of recovery, because recovery lasts a lifetime. Just take a look at what NIDA and the American Association of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) said about after-care programs:
“…individuals who simply complete acute rehabilitation programs without engaging in aftercare programs relapse at rates that are nearly 100 percent. These observations have led to the notion that relapse is part of recovery, and individuals who are in active recovery programs and suffer a relapse have a far better chance of dealing with the relapse, getting back on their recovery program, and moving forward with a decreased probability of additional relapses than individuals who are not in an active recovery program, such as an aftercare program.”
It’s a myth that residential treatment centers like Stonegate Center only worry about our clients’ care while they’re on campus. That couldn’t be further from the truth! We don’t only care for our clients while in treatment. We care for them through the long-haul.
We want to see them do well after they graduate. We want to see them get married to their partner who was here during our Family Program, putting in the work right beside them. We want to see them get promoted after they were previously let go for drinking on the job. We want to see them achieve lifelong sobriety wherever they’re at and for them to show up and give back through our Alumni Program.
If You’re Not an Alum of Stonegate Center and Need help, Give Me A Call!
I hope all my alumni are reading this so they can learn a little bit more about why I do what I do. But, if you’re not and you’re actively using drugs and alcohol, give me and my team a call. We’d love to have you be a part of our growing alumni community, but it all starts with that initial phone call – it’s what all our brothers did on their Day 1.
My colleagues and good friends, our Admissions Specialists, can be reached at (817) 993-9733. If not, shoot them an email at email@example.com. Or, fill out this verification of benefits form and we can get you a quote to get started. We’d love to get you the help you need and for you to get plugged in to a positive, like-minded community that puts sobriety first.
Our drug and alcohol treatment facility for men, Stonegate Center Creekside, is just outside of the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex and has been around since 2010. We offer individual and group therapy, family therapy, and some life skills classes for our younger guys. But rehab isn’t boring! To spice things up, we offer some fun, creative therapeutic approaches like equine therapy and a ropes course.
We’re big on accountability, the 12-Steps, and incorporating your spiritual journey into your treatment plan so be prepared to do some deep soul searching. We’re not an easy program and don’t pretend to be. But our approach works – especially if you follow our after-care planning. I find guys who don’t participate tend to have less successful outcomes than our men who do.
Lastly, as soon as you graduate, you’re more than welcome to join the community in our sober living home called Trevor’s House which is in South Fort Worth, Texas.
We’d love to have you!
Dylan is a certified recovery specialist and is passionate about helping those suffering from the effects of addiction navigate through recovery. He believes that the continuum of care is a necessary and vital part of the recovery process. Dylan has over 7 years of lived experience with addiction and enjoys sharing his experience to help others overcome their disease.