Alumni Return for Days of Harmony

Alumni programs should be an integral part of the transition from addiction treatment back to everyday life because they can play an important role in supporting lifelong sobriety. Since alumni programs can help prevent relapse they are associated with better long-term outcomes.

To emphasize the importance of alumni programs, Harmony Foundation CEO James Geckler recently joined the national board of Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services (TPAS), an organization dedicated to the development of long-term recovery support for individuals following their acute treatment period.

Harmony Foundation has a very active alumni program and offers a multitude of ways to stay connected including the Harmony Hub, a digital recovery tool designed to increase accountability and build a social network of support for those navigating their recovery journey.

Days of Harmony is another powerful vehicle to support people in recovery. “It’s a two-day revisit program for alumni who have at least six months of sobriety or are working with a solid recovery plan,” explains Harmony’s director of alumni and recovery support services Tabitha Miller. In addition, all participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The program is a valuable experience for alumni who are welcomed back to campus to re-engage in programming. “They participate in small groups, they eat meals in the cafeteria, they go to recovery education groups, they share their recovery stories and their background with current clients, how they got to Harmony, their experience here, and what life has been like since their discharge,” says Miller.  

Days of Harmony is also an extremely valuable opportunity for people currently in treatment at Harmony. “The current clients get to ask the visiting alumni questions. We found this to be super beneficial for both the alumni and the clients,” says Miller. “The clients in early recovery get an idea where they may be headed. They get insights into what might be in store for them. In the early days of treatment, many of them are not even sure recovery is possible, so it’s an important glimpse of hope for them. They meet with people who went through treatment and managed to stay sober—that gives them the belief that they can do it as well.”

Typical questions asked by clients are: “Have you been able to repair relationships? How did you disclose to your employer that you were in treatment? How did you explain that you’re in recovery and need Fridays off to go to a meeting? What do you do for fun?”

“They get first-hand knowledge of what life in recovery can look like outside of treatment,” explains Miller. “The fantastic thing is that both current clients and alumni benefit from Days of Harmony. I’ve heard amazing things from alumni, they say that the encounters really reinvigorate their own recovery journey. By coming back to Harmony, they get to see how much they have grown. They meet people still in treatment and realize how much they have improved themselves.”

“Everybody benefits, clients, alumni, and even our staff—they get to see what their hard work achieved, they get to see people they have helped doing well.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, or you have questions about our programs, call us today at (970) 432-8075 to get the help needed as soon as possible. Our experienced staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.