What is the Purpose of Alumni sponsored meetings?
Alumni sponsored meetings are simply to offer guidance and support to patients while they’re in treatment.
Can any Watershed Alumni attend and speak at Alumni sponsored meetings at the facilities?
Only registered Alumni or those who have provided all their contact information, (as well as received and signed a Peer Support Packet), can speak and attend Alumni sponsored meetings at the facilities. These Alumni must also display a willingness to follow specific meeting guidelines. Alumni members who are not willing to follow directions or are in violation of our guidelines, will not be allowed on Watershed property or to attend Alumni events until a meeting with the Alumni Manager. After this meeting, the Alumnus in violation will be required to demonstrate willingness and respect for these simple guidelines.
Can Alumni members bring guests (family, friends, and kids) to Alumni sponsored meetings?
Alumni members are ONLY allowed to bring guests into the facility when they are celebrating anniversaries. Guests are only allowed in the meeting room and are asked to leave the facility as soon as the meeting is over. These are private facilities, so this is the only time guests are allowed on the properties. Children are NOT allowed on Watershed property. If you are celebrating an anniversary and would like your child present, you must contact Rebecca Balko prior to the meeting.
How do I share my experience and is it appropriate to “express myself” at Alumni meetings?
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs is a medical facility. Our patients are very “sick” and our purpose is to provide medical services. Explicit sharing about “drug use,” the “drug life,” etc… is inappropriate and ineffective in carrying the message of recovery into Alumni meetings. Excessive use of extreme profanity is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Avoid words like “F-bomb,” “mother F-bomb,” any words associated with genitalia, references to sexual acts, etc…
What is the purpose of sharing and what should I share in an Alumni meeting?
The purpose of sharing in an Alumni meeting is to provide experience, strength and hope. You should be an example and an attraction of the program of recovery. Share about the “solution” found in the 12-steps, and how life today is different from that which we came from. The purpose of sharing is to offer direction and guidance. Alumni should focus on sponsorship, fellowship, service, and dependence upon God.
Is the Watershed trying to “control” their Alumni?”
No, absolutely not. The Alumni Department’s purpose is 2 fold: 1.) A resource for Watershed Alumni to help them in the early stages of the recovery process. 2). Provides a form of service work for Alumni and a place for them to grow in their personal recovery. These directions and guidelines are simply given to help Watershed Alumni, while maintaining order within our diverse community of recovering individuals.
What should I do if I disagree with some part of these guidelines, or have suggestions for improvement?
Rebecca Balko and The Watershed Alumni Department’s staff are available to listen and answer any questions you may have. We will do our best to include your feedback and ideas for improvement.
What is the purpose of waiting 90 days to speak at the Saturday meeting at the facility?
We can’t transmit something we don’t have. During the first 90 days, your willingness to work on yourself and your dedication to a foundation of recovery is necessary before you can carry the message to a suffering addict or alcoholic. By attending and participating in Alumni support meetings on Thursday nights at TWA (5:30pm to 6:45pm), working with your sponsor, etc. you will be ready to help others through sharing your experience and maturity in sobriety. By this time, you will have something they “want.”
Why must I register with the Alumni Department before I can speak at or chair a meeting at one of the facilities?
We need to know that you are a reliable member of the Alumni Program. Our patients are very fragile and sick. Therefore, it is the intention and responsibility of The Alumni Department to bring a message of hope into the facility through carrying the message in a positive way that will help our patients, not harm them.
What else is NOT allowed at Alumni meetings?
Pictures, videos and recordings are NOT allowed at Watershed Alumni meetings with out obtaining permission from Program Directors or Watershed Alumni Staff.
Kissing, dating or any romantic contact with Watershed patients is not allowed. This is a deadly disease. Watershed Alumni are there to help patients, not to aid in there destruction. Flirting, kissing and dating patients are NOT permitted. If you cross any of these lines, you will not be allowed at Alumni activities, events, or on Watershed properties.
Telling patients what they “don’t” need is unacceptable. For example, telling patients that they don’t need PHP and IOP is never acceptable. An alumnus is not qualified to make this kind of recommendation. This is the role of a doctor, therapist, or case manager.
Being disrespectful to Watershed Staff will not be tolerated. Alumni are expected to show respect towards all Watershed Staff and a demonstration of willingness to follow these guidelines of the Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs. Refusing to follow directions from Watershed staff is not ok.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is solicitation for halfway houses/sober houses allowed at The Watershed or to Watershed patients.
What happens if an Alumnus violates on of these guidelines?
The Watershed Alumni Department wants every alumnus to participate in and benefit from this program. Unfortunately, there will be consequence for any alumnus who violates the guidelines and directions of The Watershed's Alumni Program. Depending on the issue being addressed: Response can range from being met with by the alumni staff on duty and receiving direction regarding the matter at hand - for less severe violations; To being notified to contact Rebecca Balko for a private meeting to discuss more severe violation issue(s). (Also, until this meeting takes place the Alumnus will not be allowed at any Alumni activities, events, or on Watershed property.)
Can an Alumnus be PERMANENTLY removed from the Alumni Program?
We hope that every Watershed Alumni becomes active and stays involved in the Alumni Program. Perhaps an Alumnus violates one of these guidelines, what will happen? The Watershed Alumni Staff will make every effort to reconcile. If an Alumnus is unwilling to do this, refuses to take responsibility for their actions, will not follow the guidelines of the Alumni Program, refuses to respect Watershed Staff, etc. then the alumnus will not be allowed to participate until these behaviors and attitudes change.
What about a question I may have that has not been covered in these guidelines?
© Rebecca Balko