A popular alternative just like Alcoholics Anonymous which is a 12 step group is SMART. SMART is also helpful for people were looking forward to overcoming co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression.
People that are addicted to any form of drug can get the help in overcoming it using the Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) programs. 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.
SMART also helps their members learn how to handle their strong urges to take the substance of their abuse and control the desire for life.
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.
Organizations like the National Institute On Drug Abuse And The American Academy Of Family Physicians have recognized SMART as an effective method of overcoming an addiction.
How Smart Is Utilised
SMART considers itself as a program which is self-empowering, which is in sharp contrast to the 12-step program that urges participants to admit their powerlessness over their addiction. To get to the issues that need attention, volunteers who have been trained help the participants to examine certain behaviours. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. 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. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-point program.
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. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.
If you or a loved one has participated in a 12-step program and found it unhelpful you will find SMART to be a better alternative for you. Ask us for help, and we'll find a SMART meeting nearby call 0800 772 3971.
Instilling Motivation and Maintaining It
The most important point is that one must be convinced they want to attain sobriety forever.
The participants can compile a list of their priorities and compare the costs and benefits of using the substance versus not using them.
Overcoming The Desires
The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
Participants Are Taught About Feelings And Behaviours
The third point explains how to prevent relapses by studying thoughts, feelings and behaviours that result in use of drugs.
The participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
Living A Good Life
The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
Long term recovery requires that you learn how to live your life without the addictive substance.
Point number four addresses what makes a patient's life valuable
The recovering users are also shown how to set goals for themselves and how they can make plans for their future.
Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans
The SMART 4-Point and the 12-Step programs do share some similar approaches. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. There are success stories associated with both these programs.
The basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.
SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." SMART views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. The duration taken for recovering from the addiction is not long in the SMART technique. A participant can "graduate" from the recovery program at any stage and begin a new, sober life.
The belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. And conversely, participants in SMART approach their recovery by taking responsibility for their own lives.
Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. The individual has the option of determining what is best for him or her. One technique may not be efficient in helping as person but it may work for another one.
Graduating From The Recovery Process
Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this 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.
Once the SMART participants come to the last step, they have all necessary skills to live a sober life.
Will Smart Suit You
SMART was created to help people suffering from any kind of addiction. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. The feeling of desperation is another complication that the SMART program helps.