SMART Recovery

With the global prevalence of drug abuse and addiction today, addiction treatment programs have evolved with the latest, most innovative methods to help meet the increasing need for effective, lasting recovery results. Someone seeking addiction treatment finds an abundance of choices, giving them an opportunity to choose a program that best suits their needs and preferences. Among these choices is an organization known as SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). This is a unique program that utilizes a science-based, secular approach, using evidence-based techniques such as motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods.

SMART Recovery is a science-based philosophy that seeks to teach self-empowerment utilizing a methodology composed of motivational interviewing or Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques such as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

What is Different about the SMART Recovery Program?

During the process of recovery, participants in a SMART Recovery program are encouraged to focus on four main areas, known as the 4-Point Program:

  1. enhancing and maintaining motivation to abstain
  2. coping with urges
  3. managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors through effective problem solving
  4. balancing momentary and enduring satisfactions, while achieving lifestyle balance

Although this program does not use the familiar “12-steps,” it can be used as a supplement to one of those types of programs.

The scientific approach utilized by the SMART recovery program seeks to:

  • teach self-reliance and self-empowerment
  • provide education, support, and encouragement, including open discussions
  • approach addiction as a maladaptive behavior with possible physiological factors
  • evolve the program in relation to new scientific knowledge regarding addiction
  • teach personal responsibility for change

It is important to note that the SMART Recovery program is recognized by the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), the American Academy of Family Physicians, the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

6 thoughts on “SMART Recovery

  1. Lilly says:

    This sounds like a very sound approach to addiction and recovery. It is definitely different than the traditional approach, which to me is a good thing. I like how it strives to teach responsibility for change as well as motivation to abstain. I think if people have a good and solid reason for getting clean and staying clean, and if they are then encouraged and motivated, it will become actually possible. Then teaching them ways to cope with cravings and situations where they might have otherwise reached for drugs, is very important too. And of course in the end they are the ones who are responsible for change, and it is important that they are fully aware of this. I think this would be the way to go if you want to see real lasting change in the addict.

  2. Lilly says:

    This is a great article, I really like the sound of the SMART recovery program. I like how it is really centered around helping the person recover from whatever caused them to get addicted and helps them build skills and coping mechanisms that do not involve drugs or alcohol, so that they can go out there and rebuild their lives from a better standpoint, with abilities and strengths they did not have before. I would definitely recommend anyone in need to go to a center where they provide the SMART recovery program. It just seems to me to be a much more rounded and well thought out program than compared to the usual 12 step programs.

  3. Basil G. says:

    I couldn’t say enough good things about SMART Recovery. My son went to Choices Recovery, and this was definitely the modality of treatment that worked the best for him. He was nineteen when he went to Choices, and he is twenty now and has been sober for almost a year. I was really impressed with the changes that came over him as a result of him doing his recovery program at Choices. We couldn’t have made a better selection in a rehabilitation center, and I know he will stay sober for eternity because of his experience there.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more rehab centers and programs start to use SMART Recovery. My son is involved in an aftercare program that utilizes SMART Recovery currently, and he absolutely loves it. He still lives at home so I can see and hear about the wins and successes he has with this program in his aftercare group. I feel like SMART Recovery is probably the best that rehabilitation has to offer today, because it literally works for anyone, and anyone can apply it, no matter who they are or what they believe or what their religion is or anything like that. It truly has revolutionized treatment and rehabilitation.

    I couldn’t be more thankful to Choices Recovery, not only for offering SMART Recovery but also for saving my son’s life! He was going down really, really fast, and his prescription pill habit was going to kill him sooner or later, of that my wife and I were pretty certain. If we hadn’t caught him in the act and gotten him to agree to go to treatment I’m not so sure that we would still have him with us today. Somehow I kind of doubt it. He was falling pretty fast. His grades in school were plummeting and he just wasn’t the same young man anymore. Those were the first signs that had made us suspicious to begin with. Thank god we got him to Choices before it was too late.

    SMART Recovery isn’t the only thing great about Choices either. This program and this center has a lot of other really great things going for it too. Their staff are excellent, professional, highly knowledgable, compassionate, and very friendly. Their treatment program is really diverse and involved. Their facility is pleasant and comfortable. I give this program five stars, and would highly recommend it to anyone.

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