We Are People in Recovery:
Alumni in Recovery (AinR) is a non-profit organization of dedicated young people who are now living in recovery from the disease of addiction and abstinent from all drugs and alcohol.
Raise Awareness/ End the Stigma/Provide Hope & Resources
Our mission is to provide a safe and reliable program while providing awareness, hope and resources for our local communities. We aim to end the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction by sharing our stories with students and their parents at local middle and high schools. We volunteer our time to speak openly about our struggles with addiction and how we overcame them.
All AinR members are:
Actively working a program of abstinence-based recovery, living in the community (not inpatient or halfway house) and are screened by an AinR director and/or senior member prior to membership.
Required to review AinR Presentation Guidelines with another member, and observe a presentation, prior to speaking
Required to attend AinR meetings on a regular basis, which are typically held bimonthly
A minimum of 2 speakers for presentations (demonstrates the WE of fellowship and support of each other).
Be Responsible about speaking commitments you volunteer for, and always show up, on time.
Dress in business casual clothing for presentations. Please no cut-off anything, although jeans are acceptable.
• Introduction - name, age, and the school you attended, AinR’s purpose (see Mission Statement), and why speaking is important to you. Lead with asking if (they) know about GOOD SAMARITAN LAW* (see below!).
• Speak approximately, and no more than 15 minutes of personal story as it allows time to take questions at end. If 3 people, 1st presenter can be “lead” and provide introduction. use content relatable to age group of the student body. Attempt to keep your audience engaged throughout.
• IMPORTANT:Discuss where you were at their age, include feelings, behaviors, activities, school performance prior to substance use. Be specific about how you felt so they can identify.
• Progression to the disease of addiction (no one knows who is going to have that potential until substance use begins). Emphasize defining moments that happened at the audience’s age: incidents of how and when the path of drug/alcohol abuse started.
STAY ON TOPIC: JOURNEY FROM YOUTH >ADDICTION >RECOVERY!
• Inform about withdrawal and detoxification (if it pertains to your story).
• Define terms such as Detox, Rehab, Abstinence, Recovery, Stigma, Withdrawal. Explain symptoms of withdrawal (typically) alcohol, opiates and/or benzodiazepines (i.e. Xanax). Avoid slang terms/words (i.e. Roxy). QUESTION STUDENTS as they may not know what words/terms you are using.
• Speak about abstinence/recovery. Define the word abstinence, and how/why you live a life free of drugs and alcohol as part of recovery. Lifestyle choices that you get to make as a result of being clean and sober, etc.
• Encourage students to opt for positive choices. Provide healthy alternatives; and having supportive friends that value good and healthy choices.
• If you are alumni of school, familiar with teachers, only draw their names in if there is a positive point being made.
• Let students know there are resources available for teens and their families.
• Leave adequate time for students to ask questions at the end of presentation.
• NO PROFANITY (Please be responsible of the words you are speaking, they matter!).
• Avoid talking about risk-taking behaviors or details around illegal activity/drug use (Not necessary for the message we aim to bring). Avoid TMI and detailed story telling. We are there to keep on point to INFORM ABOUT DISEASE OF ADDICTION & RECOVERY in a short window of time.
• Don’t assume they know what terms/words you are using. Ask questions and engage students.
• Don’t label any of the students as alcoholics or addicts, or that they will become one (just that substance use is the potential path). Keep it generalized, and do not go off topic of addiction to make points. Stay in the scope of addiction and personal journey.
• Avoid negative comments or joking about law enforcement and their efforts to help kids.
• Avoid speaking about the “love of the drug”/alcohol. Reframe your point about how it made you feel. This is not an AA or NA meeting. These are students in schools.
• AinR does not speak of outside issues (i.e. religious, political, causes), or anything beyond the scope of these guidelines as it pertains to your own experience and some general facts of addiction.
• AinR members shall not promote other organizations, or engage in self promotion, when speaking in schools, to the media and to the general public. These include AA, NA and professional services. WE are there as Alumni In Recovery members.
12 Step Program References:
• Participants shall limit sharing on AA/NA as we are speaking as people in recovery. Not as AA /NA members. AinR is are not affiliated with 12 step programs. Be clear you are a person in recovery and not there to speak on behalf of any organization other than AinR. Try referring to it as a “12 step program”. Offer to discuss with anyone wanting more info after speaking.
AA 24 hr (800)-245-1377 or www.aa.org or
NA 24 hr (908) 687-8566 or www.na.org
• Respect anonymity outside the fellowships. Do not refer to other members during presentations as part of AA or NA program.
Sharing Contact Information
Never give your personal phone number to students. They are minors and we are guests of the staff. You may give the contact staff or school personnel your info if they wish to reach you in regards to connecting with a particular student. You can also refer them to an AinR Coordinator.
Sharing Resource Information
If you are ever asked to provide a list of treatment resources, refer them to your local AinR coordinator.
• Videos/photographs for AinR Facebook posting are permitted after receiving verbal permission from school staff and members, on the day. NO STUDENTS ARE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED OR VIDEOTAPED (as per confidentiality laws). Be mindful to get permission from members too.
• All members will refrain from publicizing AinR student events, photos or videos on their own personal Social Media pages, but can share public community based events/announcements as created on AinR social media pages. Refrain from any personal/professional publicity at the level of press. Community based presentations are hosted by town organizations and we refer to their publicizing preferences.
Publicly Sharing Your Personal Story (Publicity, Press Coverage, etc.)
As AinR becomes more well known, we are being exposed to more coverage in newspapers, social media, radio and even local television news. This publicity is core to our mission of raising awareness and sharing our stories. However, we realize that each of our AinR members and Parent Program members has a deeply-personal story that is theirs alone to determine how it should or should not be disseminated.
It is important for all of us to realize that AinR cannot control the coverage of events, especially, large community-based events. With this in mind, each AinR speaker should carefully prepare their presentation prior to their speaking event. You should assume that anything that you share will make it into news or other coverage of the event, and you should include only what you are comfortable in disclosing.
Your stories are immensely powerful and moving, and we have all seen how your bravery in sharing them has made Alumni in Recovery grow into the success that it is today. But your ability to continue to share your journey relies on respect for your privacy and it is critical to all of us that you feel comfortable to set whatever boundaries you feel appropriate.
*GOOD SAMARITAN LAW (in regards to alcohol and drug overdoses) - offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated.
The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death
WE SPEAK IN A GENERALIZED WAY ABOUT THE PATHWAY OF ADDICTION!
WE ARE GUESTS OF THE SCHOOLS AND SHALL ADHERE TO RESPONSIBLE SHARING THROUGH THESE GUIDELINES!
Email us: Info@Alumniinrecovery.org
Or Call: (201)-741-6409
*GOOD SAMARITAN LAW (in regards to alcohol and drug overdoses) - offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.
Interested in joining us? Email: Info@Alumniinrecovery.org or call 201-741-6409