Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.
SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated disorders. It helps people to gain control over their addictive behaviour by using the method of focusing on their underlying thoughts and feelings.
Members get to minimise and even stop their addiction when on the SMART program.
SMART continually updates its techniques, which are based on present-day scientific achievements related to recovery from addictions.
SMART is regularly updated to provide strategies researchers find most efficient.
Reputable organizations like the American Academy of Family Physicians and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recognize SMART as an effective strategy for those who are surmounting drug addiction.
Smart And The Features
SMART is a self-empowering program which is quite different from the 12-step program where the participants have to admit that they have no power over their addiction. Volunteers who have received the training provide assistance to the participants to examine their specific behaviour and to locate the problems that need maximum attention. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.
The recovery handbook provided by SMART details every step of the 4 point program. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.
SMART's 4-Point Program isn't meant to be followed one step at a time. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.
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Building And Maintaining Motivation
People who intend to stay sober must understand that there must have efficient willingness skills because it is an important aspect of reaching their desired goal for a long-lasting recovery.
To help in the decision making, participants can make a list of the pros and cons of using or staying clean.
Overpowering The Cravings
Point two examines the trigger which causes a craving.
Using distraction techniques and other methods, the participants learn how to deal with their cravings.
Another thing they learn is how to stop believing nonsensical thoughts about taking the substance.
Restraining Feelings, Thoughts, And Behaviours
In point three, one is taught how to bring the mind, emotions, and actions under control to avoid yielding to cravings and falling back to drug abuse.
The recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
Living A Balanced Life
The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
It is crucial for a successful recovery that the person learns how to live a healthy and sober life.
At this point, the recovering user will need to make a note of the things that matter to them.
Participants are also given the education they need to plan about the future by setting realistic goals for themselves.
Similarities And Differences Between 12 Step Programme And Smart
SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
In a SMART program, the participant is neither considered an "addict" or a "patient." Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. In SMART, recovery is for a set time, not a lifetime. One can easily stop the addiction when they are ready.
Sometimes, people do not join a 12-step group on their own accord simply because they don't like the idea of admitting their powerlessness and submitting to some higher power. Participants of SMART are encouraged to approach the process of recovery by gaining control over their lives.
Helpful support is, however, provided by SMART and the 12-step programs. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. In the words written in the SMART Recovery Handbook, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same situation."
A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.
By the time one is graduating from a SMART program, they are fully confident they can tackle life with no risk of relapsing into drug use.
By graduation, the SMART members are equipped to live a drug-free life.
Will Smart Suit You
SMART helps people with all kinds of substance abuse issues. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. Those with secondary problems stemming from drug or substance abuse such as mental sickness and emotional problems will also find help at a SMART centre.