​​​​​​Who We Are

Alumni in Recovery (AIR) is a non-profit organization of dedicated young people who are now living in recovery and abstinent from all drugs and alcohol.

Our Mission
Our mission is to provide 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. 

Member Guidelines
All AIR members are:

  • Actively working a program of recovery, independently living within the community, and are screened by AIR chairperson or local established members.
  • Required to review AIR Presentation Guidelines with another member, and agree to the format prior to his/her first presentation.
  • Required to attend AIR meetings on a regular basis, which are typically held bimonthly
  • A minimum of 2 or 3 speakers for presentations (demonstrates the WE of fellowship and support of each other).
  • Required to dress in business casual clothing for presentations. Please no cut-offs although jeans are acceptable.
  • Responsible about speaking commitments you volunteer for, and always show up on time.


Presentation Guidelines
DOs:

  • Introduction - name, age, and the school you attended, AIR’s purpose (see Mission Statement), and why speaking is important to you.
  • Speak approximately 10-15 minutes maximum time of personal story (15 min/each if 3 presenters, 1st presenter can be “lead”) 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. Use examples. 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.  
  • Inform about Withdrawal and Detoxification: if it pertained to your story.  Define terms such as Detox, Rehab, Abstinence, Recovery, Stigma, Withdrawal. Explain symptoms of withdrawal (typically) alcohol, opiates and/or benzodiazepines (ie: Xanax, Klonopin).
  • Explain Good Samaritan Law (see last page - not applicable in all states)*
  • 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.
  • Leave adequate time for Q & A and encourage questions. Get them talking!
  • Let students know that there are many young people in recovery, even teenagers.


DON’Ts:

  • 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).
  • 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)
  • AIR does not speak of outside issues, or anything beyond the scope of this guideline, as it pertains to your own experience, and some general facts of addiction.

12 Step Program References (11th Tradition)

  • Participants must refrain from drawing the AA or NA names into discussion. Try referring to personal recovery as “12 step program”, (offer to discuss with anyone wanting more info after the presentation).
  • Do not refer to other members during presentations as AA or NA members, respecting their anonymity.


Sharing Contact Information

  • Don’t give your personal phone number to students!
  • 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 the, to an AIR Coordinator.
  • If any student asks for more help or info, you may offer the following:


AA 24 hr (800)-245-1377    or    NA 24 hr (908) 687-8566

Social Media

  • Videos/photographs for AIR 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).
  • All members will refrain from personally publicizing AIR events, photos or videos on Social Media. Public announcements should only come through official AIR sites and/or pages.


*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.[1] The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. 

[Description: ap of states with immunity laws for calling 911 for overdoses]

Copyright © Nancy Labov. All Rights Reserved.

AIR GUIDELINES