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SMART Recovery

 

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that offers an alternative approach to the traditional 12-step method used by Alcoholics Anonymous and the vast majority of other treatment programs. Rather than viewing addiction as a disease that is out of a person’s control, SMART Recovery teaches addicts to take an active role in overcoming their dependencies and find their own motivation for beating addiction. There are currently over 1,500 SMART meetings held in Iowa and all over the world. These have helped thousands of people become sober through its use of science-based techniques and a “toolkit” of different methods to deal with cravings. Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, the program believes that addicts can learn how to moderate their use of addictive substances and live a balanced life by evaluating the pros and cons of substance use.

Foundation of Smart Recovery

Starting out as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network in 1992, the organization changed its name to SMART two years later. The organization is managed by a network of volunteers that offers free weekly meetings to those that need help to end their dependency on chemical substances. SMART Recovery is based around a four-point program that is designed to help addicts take control of their addictions through self-empowerment.

  • Building and Maintaining Motivation – Addicts take part in motivational interviewing sessions to help them look for motivation within themselves to control their use of drugs and alcohol. An example of motivation might be to save money, rebuild family relationships or seek employment.
  • Coping with Urges – Cravings are a difficult part of recovery, but SMART meetings equip members with different skills to help them handle strong urges.
  • Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors – Negative thought patterns, anxiety and stress can be potential triggers that lead a person to start using drugs. Through the use of behavioral therapy, members are taught how to change their thought process, behavior and feelings towards certain events to learn healthy ways to deal with problems.
  • Living a Balanced Life – SMART Recovery meetings promote balance and harmony in a person’s life rather than complete abstinence from addictive substances. Addicts are taught how to balance short and long-term pleasures in life to enable them to make informed choices regarding their substance use.

The SMART Toolkit

The SMART Recovery toolkit is a combination of different behavioral techniques and strategies to help addicts view their addiction objectively. Members fill out a change/plan worksheet, a cost/benefit analysis sheet and take part in roleplaying. Meeting facilitators will also use techniques such as destructive image self-talk awareness method and universal self-acceptance to help addicts build self-confidence.

Is SMART Recovery Right For Me?

Many people have difficulty with certain components in the 12-step method that can make it hard for them to really engage with the program. SMART Recovery meetings in Iowa are ideal for those that prefer to take an active role in their recovery and hold themselves accountable for their own actions. The 12 step-program also requires addicts to acknowledge the presence of a spiritual power that should be called upon to provide support during recovery. SMART Recovery relies on science-based techniques rather than faith-based teachings making it accessible to a wide range of people.

If you would like more information on SMART Recovery, visit their main website to search for meetings in Iowa. Thousands of people have managed to successfully transform their lives using the SMART method and regain their control over addiction. SMART Recovery meetings also make an ideal form of aftercare to help addicts avoid relapse after addiction treatment.