News

How an “Open Community” Supports Long-term Recovery

2019-10-08T19:33:46+00:00

Alpha 180’s owner, Bob Ferguson, often asserts that “people get sober in treatment, but find recovery in community.” This powerful statement serves as the foundation of Alpha 180’s philosophy on young adult recovery. While abstinence in treatment is no small feat, we believe that long-term recovery must involve the realization and pursuit of our dreams. Our goal at Alpha 180 is to inspire transformation in young adult men by engaging them in a voluntary and vibrant recovery community. As often as possible, we avoid mandates and requirements, believing that with appropriate guidance and accountability, young men in recovery will inherently [...]

How an “Open Community” Supports Long-term Recovery2019-10-08T19:33:46+00:00

Incorporating Wilderness Therapy in Aftercare

2019-09-16T14:34:31+00:00

In developing the Alpha 180 program, we wanted to incorporate effective aspects of various modalities. With a background in traditional residential addiction treatment, I sought to expand my horizons by learning about the methods of wilderness therapy programs that I respect, such as Legacy Outdoor Adventures, Wilderness Treatment Center, and Red Oak Recovery. The latter, an innovative hybrid of residential and wilderness therapy models. Touchstones of a wilderness experience include total immersion in the natural landscape, separation from technology, and use of ritual in facilitating internal transformation. As an aftercare provider based in downtown Austin, Texas, we needed to get [...]

Incorporating Wilderness Therapy in Aftercare2019-09-16T14:34:31+00:00

Bridging The Gap

2019-09-04T21:40:07+00:00

For young adults in recovery, I have noticed an unfortunate, but relatively common pattern: they seek treatment, they begin their recovery journey, they become employed, and then they relapse. I have witnessed this cycle on countless occasions. It is a discouraging and frustrating experience for not only the person in recovery, but also for their loved ones. However, I believe the pattern can change. In my career working as a Case Manager in Higher Education, I have witnessed over and over again how academia has a positive influence on sustained recovery—specifically how it seems to disrupt the aforementioned cycle. When [...]

Bridging The Gap2019-09-04T21:40:07+00:00

Healing Trauma is the Key

2019-08-22T19:07:18+00:00

Trauma is an unavoidable aspect of human life. Lately, its role in the emotional experience, particularly in how it relates to addiction, is becoming increasingly recognized in the collective awareness. Since trauma is not limited to sexual abuse or violence, but rather any experience that overwhelms the emotional system to the point where it cannot reset appropriately, it is not surprising that our culture’s struggles with addiction are spiraling out of control. Effective addiction treatment necessitates the integration of trauma-sensitive approaches. Treatment modalities such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), somatic experiencing, and psychodrama address the adverse effect trauma [...]

Healing Trauma is the Key2019-08-22T19:07:18+00:00

The Hero’s Journey

2019-08-15T12:56:27+00:00

Popularized by Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey is a framework said to encapsulate the sequence of a self-discovery. Campbell believed that this cycle was inherent to the human experience and, thus, spanned across time and culture. His system involves aspects such as the “Call to Adventure”, “Arrival of the Helper”, and “Transformation”. At Alpha 180, the students are the hero of their own story of self-discovery. We utilize The Hero’s Journey framework as a model for the recovery process as our students navigate the challenges and temptations of early recovery. Campbell espoused that the human experience involves both “Known” and [...]

The Hero’s Journey2019-08-15T12:56:27+00:00

Alpha 180’s Academic Recovery Support Program

2019-02-26T14:09:30+00:00

  Balancing school and recovery can be tough... Resiliency is not easy as a college student in recovery. Dr. Donald Misch states, “Recovering students feel virtually alone in confronting this college environment awash in alcohol or other drugs. Their sense of alienation from the general campus community is heightened by a conflict of priorities – recovery versus academics – faced by few of their classmates1” (2009). As a result, academic support is imperative for these students trying to find a healthy balance. What is the Academic Recovery Support program? Academic Recovery Support (ARS) is collaborative, individualized case management for students in [...]

Alpha 180’s Academic Recovery Support Program2019-02-26T14:09:30+00:00

Learning to Parent When Everything is Okay

2019-02-26T14:11:20+00:00

  This past week, Alpha 180 hosted its first immersive Family Workshop. From all over the country, family members joined their young adult sons for the purpose of stepping into their new roles as recovering individuals. Some tears and many laughs were shared as these parents witnessed their sons, perhaps for the first time, as young men in recovery. At Alpha 180, we seek to restore the developmental trajectory of our clients prior to the disruption their addiction caused. Young adults’ self-esteem is closely linked to achieving age-appropriate milestones like moving out of their parents’ house, going to college, and exploring [...]

Learning to Parent When Everything is Okay2019-02-26T14:11:20+00:00

Doing Away with New Year’s Resolutions

2019-01-02T21:49:05+00:00

  Those less familiar with recovery may be surprised to find out how commonly self-deprecation and addiction coexist. Addiction creates a cycle in which we behave in ways that cause us shame and then use to cover up that shame. Over and over we resolve to do better, but repeatedly fall short. Perhaps to a lesser extreme, everyone can relate to this cycle. New Year’s rolls around and the talk turns to resolutions. Lose weight, drink less caffeine, quit smoking. We see an area in which we are falling short and through an act of willpower plan to change this engrained [...]

Doing Away with New Year’s Resolutions2019-01-02T21:49:05+00:00

Alpha 180 and Jaywalker join in Houston, TX to serve victims of Hurricane Harvey

2018-11-09T16:12:42+00:00

By: Michael M. This past weekend, the Alpha 180 brotherhood made a memorable trip to Houston, TX. The trip was comprised of three main events: touring the Museum of Fine Arts, hanging out with the guys from Jaywalker, and volunteering with a disaster relief organization called the St. Bernard Project. The museum was a fantastic chance for the community to walk around together and get to know one another amongst some gorgeous works of art. Then, Jaywalker welcomed Alpha 180 with open arms at their house for a meeting and dinner. Finally, St. Bernard Project, arranged for Alpha 180 and Jaywalker [...]

Alpha 180 and Jaywalker join in Houston, TX to serve victims of Hurricane Harvey2018-11-09T16:12:42+00:00

Alpha 180 on the radio!

2018-10-23T17:24:31+00:00

Alpha 180's Executive Director, Nico Doorn and our Clinical Director, Will Crosswell share about how we incorporate a healthy balance of physical, mental and spiritual health into our program. Thank you to Peoples RX Austin's Favorite Pharmacy for hosting us on their "Let's Get Healthy" podcast!  

Alpha 180 on the radio!2018-10-23T17:24:31+00:00