If anyone knows how important having support is during and after addiction treatment, it is William Hall. As the Alumni Coordinator at Cornerstone, Will works with clients on a daily basis during and even after treatment at the drug rehab center is completed. As a former client, and the first and only alumni working at Cornerstone, Will takes his job very seriously.
“I have found it an honor and privilege to be the first and only alumni to work here,” says Will. “To me, it’s about giving back. [They] really saved my life.” Will entered Cornerstone Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) on July 11, 2013. Shortly after his recovery journey started, he was forced to begin a journey of a different sort when he was diagnosed with cancer.
After Will was discharged from Cornerstone’s residential inpatient program, he went to Broward General Hospital where he applied for and received a grant to cover the costs of his chemotherapy and radiation treatments. While he received those treatments, he remained in Cornerstone’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and practically lived there while going through this difficult time. The IOP evening techs, Ramona and Louie, helped him through the long nights. There were times when he couldn’t eat or drink anything because of the chemo, and times when he could have taken pain medication to ease the discomfort he was feeling… But he didn’t. He started attending church and adopted an attitude of gratitude, stayed closely connected to his sponsor, and heavily leaned on Cornerstone’s staff. “I couldn’t have gotten through it without Cornerstone,” Will states.
Will’s last radiation treatment was on December 26, 2013, and it was a wonderful Christmas present! He had found a job a few days before, and by the beginning of 2014, he had moved out of the halfway house where he was staying during his cancer treatments and moved out on his own. Will says it was really important for him to be going to Cornerstone four nights a week for the Intensive Outpatient Program and counseling. “What sets Cornerstone apart from other recovery centers are the counselors,” says Will. “They are the best. They do care and they really do customize and personalize your treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and SMART Recovery®, which for me is the whole premise of recovery anyway, is changing the way you think and the way you react to situations.”
He continued aftercare treatment, which is the last step before you’re out on your own. “When we leave treatment, that’s when the work really begins,” says Will. For him, that means doing everything he can to remain clean and sober, including attending meetings and helping the young adults who come to Cornerstone for addiction treatment. Exactly one year after he entered Cornerstone as a client, on July 11, 2014, Will was hired as a Behavioral Health Tech. And thankfully, his cancer is in remission.
With his firsthand knowledge of the program, Will was the perfect choice for the role of Alumni Coordinator. In addition to his duties as a Behavioral Health Tech, he is in charge of coordinating the monthly alumni meetings. Each meeting provides the opportunity for getting together, talking to each other, celebrating milestones, and leaning on each other for support while also enjoying a meal together. Eighteen people attended the last alumni meeting. The speaker each month gets to choose the next month’s speaker from the group, which is growing and evolving.
“We now have an Alumni Hotline dedicated to alumni for support, help finding a meeting or just if they need to talk to someone. It’s available 24 hours a day,” announces Will. “We also have a closed group on Facebook to share meeting times and provide the support that they need upon completing treatment.” In the future, they are planning outings together outside of the treatment center, such as a trip to Disney World, and fundraisers to help pay for the trips.
“In my opinion, Cornerstone is the best treatment center there is,” says Will. “We’re a family and we really care. I’ve been to other treatment centers before, and that’s why I believe Cornerstone is the best.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or in need of relapse prevention, Cornerstone Recovery Center in Ft. Lauderdale can help offer treatment in a family-like atmosphere. The caring counselors and addiction treatment specialists are on hand to help you get your life back in order. To find out more about Cornerstone’s rehab and recovery program, call 1-888-711-0354 or contact us online to speak confidentially with an admissions counselor today.