A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.
SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a support program aimed at people who suffer from addictions and conduct disorders. Getting a connection to your inner feelings is what the program advocates for when someone is trying to stop addiction.
Some of the skills that people learn in SMART are useful in helping them to deal with cravings in the long term.
As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.
SMART's current and updated techniques have been proven to provide excellent results.
SMART has received recognition for its effectiveness in overcoming addiction by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Smart And The Features
As contrasted with 12-step programs that make people admit helplessness about their dependence, SMART is considered a self-empowering program. SMART has trained volunteers who work with the members, helping them identify roots to their problems and habits. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. The techniques used by SMART are different from the 12 point program and rely on cognitive behavioural and motivational enhancement therapies while imparting the training and any education. The participants are required to learn these skills by following a simplified four-point program.
The 4 point that are followed are clearly outlined in the programs manual. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.
These are not stages that are followed. They just need to adhere to all the steps and not necessarily required to follow in step form.
The SMART program is the best choice for people that cannot overcome their addiction using the 12 stage program. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 772 3971.
Maintaining And Building Motivation
Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
To help in the decision making, participants can make a list of the pros and cons of using or staying clean.
Dealing With Cravings
The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
Controlling Mind, Emotions, And Actions
This point shows the recovering user how to check their own thoughts, emotions and actions to keep them from falling back into addiction.
The feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
Living A Fulfilling Life
Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in 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.
Setting up achievable plans is another thing that the addicts are trained to do when in the program.
Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans
The SMART 4-Point and the 12-Step programs do share some similar approaches. Both programs have been designed for recovering alcohol and drug users by working through a series of assignments to overcome their addiction. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.
The definition of addiction is perhaps different in the SMART program as compared to the 12-step program.
The people that are dependant on the drugs are not said to be "addicts" in the SMART program. Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. The duration taken for recovering from the addiction is not long in the SMART technique. One can easily stop the addiction when they are ready.
People in need of help resist joining a 12-Step program because they do not want to feel helpless or surrender to God. And conversely, participants in SMART approach their recovery by taking responsibility for their own lives.
In both programs, strong and helpful support is available. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. One technique may not be efficient in helping as person but it may work for another one.
Qualifying For The Programme
A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. The chances of a person going back to the drugs is minimal when the are on the SMART program.
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.
Participants of SMART when they have reached the final stage will be considered as having the skills needed to maintain a sober life.
Is Smart Suitable 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.