If you are struggling with addiction and looking forward to overcoming it, there are various programs that you can choose including SMART recovery and the 12-step programs. The SMART Recovery program is an excellent resource for anybody that is working towards overcoming addiction.

This program uses the same principles that Alcoholics Anonymous use, which entails mutual support, confidentiality, and accessibility. The program also links you to a worldwide help network whenever you need it.

What is SMART Recovery?

SMART is the short term for the name Self-Management and Recovery Training. The SMART Recovery is a program that is capable of providing the safety that you need in its standardized and facilitated approach toward overcoming drug addiction. It is a self-help program that is community based and can be used as an alternative to other 12 step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

The SMART Recovery programs focus on treating various types of addictions. They include

  • Drug addictions to drugs like marijuana, oxycodone, heroin, antidepressants and cocaine among others
  • Alcoholism

The SMART Recovery program works through a four-point process, thus making it the leading self-empowering drug addiction recovery support group. This standardized format approach is based on proven and sound psychological facts.

The program teaches you practical, proven recovery and self-management skills through cognitive-behavioral methods especially the Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT). Eventually, SMART Recovery helps you to gain independence from drug and alcohol addiction.

These 4 points include-

  • Enhancement and Maintaining of Motivation: Motivating yourself to maintain sobriety is important because you need to overcome the temptations to drink or take drugs. You must handle the tempting situations well to prevent a relapse.
  • Coping with the Urges: The SMART Recovery program ensures that it helps you in recognizing the urges to fall back and means to cope. You learn the acceptable and unacceptable things as you set boundaries.
  • Problem Solving: Problem-solving is all about having solutions to problematic thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that cause you to dive into drugs and alcohol. The SMART Recovery program helps you in replacing the negatives with uplifting beliefs and positive thoughts, thus motivating you to overcome the negatives.
  • Acquiring a Lifestyle Balance: The commitment to a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the best chance that you have to achieve long-term sobriety. You have to stay away from drugs and alcohol, exercise regularly, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy mindset.

The SMART Recovery Meetings

The SMART Recovery program sponsors various face to face meetings that happen around the world and online. As a result, there exists a large network of more than 500 meetings that take place in multiple countries. Therefore, regardless of your location, you are likely to find a meeting if you feel the need to attend one.

The meetings held must follow a standard structure for them to be fully functional that include participant input and teaching. You learn more of self –reliance, self-empowerment, self-directed change tools and techniques. As this goes on the SMART Recovery program uses a non-judgmental view regarding appropriate medication use. Many people consider it, alongside the 12 steps groups.

Purpose of SMART Recovery

The SMART Recovery program has a purpose in anybody that wishes to have a better life away from drug addiction. Its purpose towards you is to help you to individually seek abstinence from drug addiction and enabling behaviors, achieve recovery and go ahead to lead a meaningful and satisfying life.

The Best SMART Recovery Approach

As the SMART Recovery program serves this purpose, it works through the best approach. Therefore, if you ever attend the meetings expect the following;

  • Teachings about self-reliance and self-empowerment
  • Encouragement to recover and pursue a satisfying life
  • Teachings regarding self-directed change using certain tools and techniques
  • Meetings that are not only educational but also encourage open discussions
  • Avocations regarding proper use of psychological treatments and prescribed medications
  • Evolution as scientific knowledge regarding addiction recovery continues to evolve.

Tools and Techniques

The SMART Recovery program is known to employ some tools and techniques in helping people dealing with drug addiction gain back independence. You are encouraged to learn using these tools and techniques and practice them because they are helpful.

These tools are such as;

  • Change plan worksheet
  • Stages of change
  • ABCs of REBT to cope with the urges
  • Decision making worksheet which entails cost/benefit analysis
  • ABCs of REBT to deal with emotional upsets
  • Hierarchy of values
  • Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method
  • Role playing as well as rehearsing
  • Brainstorming
  • Unconditional acceptance

The Smart Recovery’s ABCs

The ABCs mentioned above are abbreviations that have meaning;

  • A: Activating experience - a trigger to go into drugs and alcohol come because of an event identify the events and face the issues surrounding them
  • B: Beliefs - what are your feelings and thoughts about things regarding that event. They must be modified to depict the positive side
  • C: Consequences - consequences come afterthought and actions
  • D: Dispute -turn negatives into questions and answers to get a different perspective of the event
  • E: Effects- replacing irrational thoughts with beliefs that are rational and logical gives you results in the form of better behavior patterns.

Topics Covered in SMART Recovery

Since the key focus of the SMART Recovery program is to help you gain self-empowerment, it covers various topics that work towards that. They include;

  • Showing self-motivation, self-responsibility and self-discipline as you recover from substance abuse
  • Replacement of self-destructive ideas and thoughts with healthy and rational beliefs
  • Setting of achievable milestones and goals throughout the recovery process
  • Accepting the impulses and recognizing when they happen, since it is part of the process of recovery
  • Learning the secrets to resisting the urges to act on drugs or drink
  • Applying the SMART Recovery resources and lessons to everyday situations

The SMART Recovery program is another means towards maintaining sobriety, besides the famous 12 step programs. The tools and techniques employed by this program are backed by evidence.

The moment you get into a SMART Recovery meeting, focus on you, because it is time for self-empowerment.