Knowing What Smart Is
Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. 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. 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.
Participants of SMART groups master skills which enable them to manage their urges and cravings in the long run.
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.
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.
Smart And How It Works
SMART is a self-empowering program which is quite different from the 12-step program where the participants have to admit that they have no power over their addiction. 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. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.
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Smart And The Four Point Programme
SMART has a Recovery Handbook that explains each of the 4 points in its program The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.
The 4-point program is not a step-by-step program. They just need to adhere to all the steps and not necessarily required to follow in step form.
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- Maintaining And Building Motivation
- Willing to stay sober is an important factor of success in reaching continuous recovery.
- The participants can compile a list of their priorities and compare the costs and benefits of using the substance versus not using them.
- Controlling Cravings
- The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
- 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.
- Controlling Actions, Reactions And Reflections
- The third point explains how to prevent relapses by studying thoughts, feelings and behaviours that result in use of drugs.
- The recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
- Living A Balanced 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.
- At this point, the recovering user will need to make a note of the things that matter to them.
- Setting up achievable plans is another thing that the addicts are trained to do when in the program.
Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes
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 cases, the identity of the participants is kept secret. There are success stories associated with both these programs.
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. SMART believes that assigning labels to participants is both discouraging and counterproductive. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. Participants can consider themselves as graduated from recovery to begin a new and a healthy life.
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. SMART encourages the members to take control of their lives.
Helpful support is, however, provided by SMART and the 12-step programs. It's up for the particular individual to decide which one will be most helpful for him or her. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."
Graduation from recovery is one of the special aspects of SMART. The chances of a person going back to the drugs is minimal when the are on the SMART program.
In the final stages of recovery participants will begin to experience overall self-control over their lives and will no longer feel tempted to use the drugs again, and this is a belief which is held by SMART.
By graduation, the SMART members are equipped to live a drug-free life.
Is Smart Right For 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.