Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. People with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can also benefit from SMART.
Self-Management And Recovery Training [SMART] are a support system for people who are dealing with addictions and behavioural disorders. SMART helps the patients focus on the root causes of their addiction as well as their thoughts and feelings, and by addressing them, they learn how to control and take charge of their lives.
People are taught skills and to manage their cravings and urges for the long-term to those who decide to participate in SMART.
SMART continually updates its techniques, which are based on present-day scientific achievements related to recovery from addictions.
New techniques of getting rid of addiction are always added to this program to make it better.
The positive effects of the SMART program have been appreciated even by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
How Smart Works
SMART technique uses the fact that the addict has all the powered they need to top the addiction by themselves as opposed to the way Alcoholics Analytics worked. 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. Then, participants undergo self trust training, which enables them to control their dependence behaviour. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. A 4-point program introduces the recovering users to these methods.
Each point of the 4-point program is described in detail in 'The SMART Recovery Handbook'. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.
The 4 point program is unlike step programs, which have been designed by other organizations. The patients can start on any of the points following no order, but depending on the greatest area they most need to address.
If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 772 3971.
Getting And Remaining Interested
Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
Then, the patient is required to make a list of advantages and disadvantages of getting sober.
Overpowering The Cravings
Point number two addresses cravings and what brings them on.
Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
Participants Are Taught About Feelings And Behaviours
This point shows the recovering user how to check their own thoughts, emotions and actions to keep them from falling back into addiction.
The participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
Living A Balanced Life
It requires commitment in order for the addict to get back to living a normal kind of life.
Long term recovery requires that you learn how to live your life without the addictive substance.
At point four, all participants make a thorough inventory of their priorities.
People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.
Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans
There are certain common areas in SMART and 12-step programs. Overcoming the addiction is the main objective of the two types of programs. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. There are success stories associated with both these programs.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
SMART does not consider the participants as addicts or as people with an illness. Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. After successfully completing the program, members go on to start a new life devoid of addictions and baggage.
People in need of help resist joining a 12-Step program because they do not want to feel helpless or surrender to God. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.
You can find proper support whether you choose SMART or 12-step programs. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."
Qualifying For The Programme
Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. Though some may fall back to addiction, SMART does not look at this as a given in the recovery of individuals.
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.
Once the SMART participants come to the last step, they have all necessary skills to live a sober life.
Is Smart Right For You
All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.