Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be very difficult for those suffering from addiction to find the help and support they need. Even when individuals have the drive to achieve sobriety and live a healthy life, resources are not always readily available to them.
People who are dependent on alcohol, opioids, other substances, or gambling have a tough time recovering on their own. If they’re alone, they’re probably more likely to use. But with SMART recovery, there’s another option.
What Is SMART Recovery?
Self Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a non-profit organization that offers free, global meetings to anyone interested in science-based and self-driven recovery.
While this program strives to help people overcome addiction, it is far from a 12-step program such as AA or NA. It consists of a global community of support groups; and participants volunteer to help each other overcome their addictions.
The main goal of SMART recovery is to inspire change and help people find the power within themselves with help from others who have been in their shoes. The online mutual support meetings are designed to help participants transform their self-destructive coping mechanisms to constructive ones. This educational program focuses on the roots of mental health to help motivate and redirect behavior. Overall, individuals should walk away from SMART recovery with the coping skills to become happy, healthy, and sober.
Facts About SMART
As a nonprofit, SMART is based on an online platform to bring people together from around the world. The idea for the foundation was based on the finding of addiction science, and researchers were interested in learning more and helping individuals recover from this disease in a new way.
SMART is always changing their methods and strategies since science never stops changing. As science evolves, so does each program — they focus on improving the future, not dwelling on past practices.
Each online video meeting has a facilitator who has been trained to follow the specific science-based program as they administer the session. Meetings are straight-forward and organized to keep everyone on track. Words like “alcoholic” and “addict” are avoided so that nobody feels labeled — they are all just people trying to help each other reach a common goal. And once people attend a few times, they’re welcome to volunteer advice for new members and their fellow participants.
How it Works
So we’ve said that SMART is “science-based” and “self-driven,” but what exactly does that mean? It’s rare for someone to be able to overcome addiction on their own, but SMART has developed tools that they think can assist with that.
They operate on a 4-point program that has been proven successful in recent cases. This is the process that SMART hopes to see as participants go to more meetings and start their journey to recovery:
- Motivation to Change – when someone notices they have a problem and want to stop it
- Coping With Urges – finding distractions when tempted to use
- Managing Thoughts and Feelings – developing beneficial coping strategies
- Living A Balanced Life – overcoming addiction and dealing with issues in a healthy way
At the end of the journey, SMART hopes their participants will have a more positive lifestyle. Their meetings are constructed to prepare people for handling their addiction after they’re finished with attending online meetings. Some of the tools they offer during meetings include:
- A plan for change created by the participant
- A cost/benefit analysis regarding their addiction
- Help with urge coping & emotions
- Focusing on a hierarchy of values
- Brainstorming and role-playing
- Self acceptance exercises
If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of addiction, SMART recovery is an extremely viable option. To learn more about how SMART recovery works from an addiction professional, contact our team at 844-237-5762.