A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. The feeling of despair can be minimised by using the SMART technique.
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. It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent thoughts and feelings.
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.
As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.
SMART is also involved in ongoing efforts to update its methods to provide strategies for researchers that have found them highly effective.
SMART has been recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians as being one of the successful methods of beating dependency.
Smart And The Features
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. 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. 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. A 4-point program is taught to aid in mastering these skills.
The 4 point that are followed are clearly outlined in the programs manual. To help the recovering user remain clean, the handbook also contains tips and exercises that can be used.
The 4-points do not constitute a Program. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.
If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. Contact us to help you identify a SMART facility near you call 0800 772 3971 .
Building And Maintaining Motivation
Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
The participants can compile a list of their priorities and compare the costs and benefits of using the substance versus not using them.
The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses on.
Using distraction techniques and other methods, the participants learn how to deal with their cravings.
Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
Participants Are Taught About Feelings And Behaviours
The desires to go back to the drugs can be eliminated by controlling your emotions, feelings and the activities you take part in and this is outlined in the third point.
The patients learn how to love and appreciate themselves and how to tackle stressful situations and feelings of helplessness.
Living A Life That Is Balanced
It needs a sudden change in lifestyle for a person to stay clean.
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
Some similarities to the traditional 12-step Program will be visible in SMART. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. People attending any of the programs have been able to beat the addictions and stay sober.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." SMART views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. Another difference is that unlike 12-step, recovery is not an ongoing process in SMART. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.
The 12-step program is not considered voluntarily by many people because they do not prefer to believe that they are powerless against their addiction or giving themselves away to a higher power. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.
Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. It's up for the particular individual to decide which one will be most helpful for him or her. In the words written in the SMART Recovery Handbook, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same situation."
Graduating From The Recovery Process
Graduation from recovery is one of the special aspects of SMART. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.
According to SMART, the participants don't feel the urge to use at the end of the program and they have total control over their lives.
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 Appropriate For You
SMART helps people with all kinds of substance abuse issues. Besides, it can be beneficial for individuals with other addictive behaviours, like eating disorders and compulsive gambling. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.