SMART Recovery 101
For those who are looking for different options to support them in quitting a drug or alcohol addiction, SMART recovery can be an effective choice. SMART recovery is a specific program that is designed to help addicts maintain abstinence, fight cravings and manage the symptoms of their addiction. This type of program can allow people who are struggling with an addiction to have the chance to learn crucial skills that will help them stay sober long term.
The program uses the term SMART as an acronym which stands for “self-management and recovery training”. It is a method by which participants are trained in the art of sobriety and are able to hone their recovery skills with the support of experts. It teaches people to learn how to control their behavior and rely on themselves for motivation and power to improve their lives.
Those entering a recovery program like SMART can use the opportunity to learn more about their addiction and understand how it has affected their behavior. Moving toward a healthier lifestyle starts with knowing the underlying causes of your substance abuse and the triggers that lead you to use. SMART teaches participants about addiction so that they can understand themselves and learn how to change.
The Principles of the SMART Program
While there are many different types of recovery programs that can be suitable for addicts, SMART recovery may be a good choice for those who are not interested in more traditional twelve step programs. SMART is unique compared to twelve step programs because it offers a different point of view that is more scientific and less spiritually based. People who feel that twelve step programs are not right for them may find the philosophies behind SMART recovery more appealing.
SMART recovery tends to emphasize individual power and choice rather than the “powerlessness” that is normally a part of twelve step programs. The meetings in SMART focus more on discussion between the whole group rather than a single person speaking to the entire group. These discussions help each member of the group connect with other addicts in a way that encourages and motivates them.
This program uses alternative treatment methods that are effective but slightly different than the usual models. It uses more scientific methods based on modern research for alcoholism treatment that doesn’t rely on the notion of a higher power that is often a central point in twelve step groups. The use of rational thinking is employed in these groups to help people cope with their addictive tendencies.
The Benefits of SMART Recovery
The most positive aspect of SMART recovery programs is that they can be effective for anyone because they are based on rational thinking which is an inherent ability that all people have. All ages, demographics and levels of society can grasp the concepts and principles of SMART recovery in order to change their lives and quit their addictions. Meetings can take place in a wide variety of places including homeless shelters, inpatient treatment centers, prisons and any place where addiction is a serious issue.
People who have the opportunity to join this type of recovery program are able to see real results and changes in the way that they think and behave. They can learn how to change the cycle of addiction by discovering their own motivation within themselves without even having to rely on a sponsor. The program also provides people with a number of valuable skills to help cope with the urges and triggers that make them want to use again as a safeguard against relapse.
SMART recovery helps people become more familiar with the concept of balancing momentary satisfaction with more enduring satisfaction. An addict is focused on short term and temporary relief and doesn’t know how to focus on more long term strategies for happiness. This program encourages people to change their perspective so that they invest in activities and routines that allow them to develop more enduring satisfaction in their lives.
The most important benefit of this program and most treatments for addiction is for members of the group to learn how to handle their own feelings and thoughts. Our emotions can be powerful and are typically the thing that drives people to behave in unhealthy ways. Learning how to cope with emotions is a crucial skill that is one of the key elements in maintaining abstinence.
SMART recovery teaches people how to manage their feelings in a way that reduces their need to seek out substances for relief. It is a program that provides people with practical skills and tools that will make it easier for them to minimize the symptoms of their addiction. For anyone looking for an alternative type of addiction recovery program that suits their personal beliefs, SMART can give them what they need to become sober.