In this article, I’m going to teach you about a self-help group called SMART Recovery. Self-help groups are groups in which members share the same issue, condition, or situation and thus are in a position to provide help and support to each other.
A variety of self-help groups exist to help people address a wide range of issues, including:
- Emotional Concerns
- Physical Disabilities
- Eating & Food Issues
The original model for self-help groups is the popular Twelve Step Program called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which was founded in 1935.
It is now estimated that over 2 million people worldwide attend more than 115,000 groups in over 170 countries.
SMART Recovery Overview
SMART is an acronym that stands for Self Management And Recovery Training. SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors.
While AA and other Twelve Step Programs are spiritual in nature, SMART Recovery is secular, scientific, and focuses on evidence-based addiction treatments.
SMART Recovery is based on the following addiction recovery methods:
While Twelve Step Programs define addiction as a disease, SMART Recovery has a different viewpoint.
SMART Recovery believes that addiction is a dysfunctional habit, and that certain individuals are more prone to addictive behaviors.
SMART Recovery Methodology
SMART Recovery is based on scientific knowledge, and is intended to evolve as scientific knowledge evolves.
SMART Recovery’s program emphasizes four areas (called the 4-Point Program) in the process of recovery:
- Building & Maintaining Motivation
- Coping with Urges
- Managing Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviors
- Living a Balanced Life
The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program utilizes a superabundance of tools and techniques to help individuals gain independence from addiction and addictive behaviors.
The goal is for participants to learn how to use each tool and to practice the tools and techniques as they progress toward Point 4 of the program (achieving lifestyle balance and leading a fulfilling and healthy life).
These tools and techniques include:
- Stages of Change
- Change Plan Worksheet
- Cost/Benefit Analysis (Decision Making Worksheet)
- ABCs of REBT for Urge Coping
- ABCs of REBT for Emotional Upsets
- DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method)
- Hierarchy of Values
- Role-playing and Rehearsing
- USA (Unconditional Self-Acceptance)
Click here for free access to PDF downloads on all of these SMART Recovery tools and techniques.
How To Find SMART Recovery Meetings
If you’re interested in attending a SMART Recovery meeting, click here to find local meetings. If there isn’t a SMART Recovery group in your area, consider attending the SMART Recovery online meetings.
Though I never knew about SMART Recovery when I was a drug addict, after learning how amazing it was, I frequently referred my patients to SMART Recovery meetings when I was a counselor.
Many of my patients stated that they didn’t like Twelve Step Programs, so SMART Recovery was another option for them.
If you have any comments or questions on using SMART Recovery for opiate addiction, please post them in the comment box below.