Addiction Recovery Blog

What is SMART Recovery?

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 17, 2017 / by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina

Overcoming a substance abuse disorder is a slow and a challenging process but you are never alone in the process of recovery. Though there are several treatment options to help you in your recovery process, a SMART Recovery Program can be certainly helpful. Organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians have recognized SMART Recovery as an effective tool for working through substance use disorder.

What Is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery is important for a person recovering from substance abuse. SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a self-empowering support program for people fighting substance use disorders and alcohol use disorder. It teaches you how to better control your thoughts and feelings without turning to substance use. It includes techniques such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational enhancement therapy. SMART Recovery uses a simpler 4 point approach that helps you maintain abstinence. These four points are:

  • Building Motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Problem Solving
  • Lifestyle Balance

The SMART Recovery Program – Seven Stages of Change

The SMART program recognizes seven stages of change in their addiction recovery program. These stages include:

  • The pre-contemplation stage is when you are engaged in alcohol and substance abuse and you aren’t ready to believe that you have a problem.
  • The contemplation stage is when you begin to weigh up the pros and cons of your behavior.
  • It is at the determination/preparation stage that you enroll for a SMART program that will guide you through creating a plan worksheet.
  • The action stage is the point when the process of recovery begins.
  • Once you’ve entered recovery, you move onto the maintenance stage. Here you need to continue taking whatever action is needed to help you maintain sobriety.
  • The relapse stage where you return to your former habits. It is vital to understand that this stage is not compulsory.
  • At the termination stage, if you have established yourself in recovery, you may graduate from the SMART program depending on your progress.

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How is SMART Recovery Helpful for Me?

The SMART Recovery program is helpful in many ways. Here are a few benefits of the program:

  • The program teaches you how to be self-empowered,
  • It provides you group support and educational tools to work through substance use disorder,
  • The program avoids using labels, such as “alcoholic” or “addict,”
  • If you not had success at a 12 Step group, you may need a different format.

Recovery is a life-long process and it’s important to find the program that works for you to help you stay sober. Call us today and we can discuss which rehabilitation programs could be the best fit for you.

 

Topics: Addiction

Russ Kallina

Written by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina is Aquila Recovery of Virginia's Program Director of Operations.

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