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:
- enhancing and maintaining motivation to abstain
- coping with urges
- managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors through effective problem solving
- 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).