The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 19.7 million American adults battled with substance use disorder. It added that with substance use, 8.5 million American adults suffer from mental health disorders too. It means that 1 out of every 8 adults is struggling with alcohol as well as drug use disorders. The statistics are alarming, but addiction is a treatable disease with absolute recovery. And to combat this addictive behavior, SMART recovery meetings are a boon! SMART stands for self-management and recovery training. It is one of the largest support group started to overcome alcohol addiction and abuse.
What is SMART Recovery?
The SMART Recovery program is a self-help program. It is an alternative to 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. But, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery differ in their approach. AA implements a spiritual approach whereas SMART Recovery is based on scientific research. And despite the competition, SMART Recovery’s reach is multiplying with each passing day. People in thousands gather weekly at 3000 SMART meetings in 23 countries. Besides, there are recovery support forums and online meetings for addiction treatment! These meetings and resources are a way to beautify the life of individuals.
During SMART Recovery meetings, relapses are not considered as a weakness. In this program, relapse is viewed as a medium to talk. This discussion involves things that led to relapse and how to get life back to normal. Also, there is SMART Family & Friends, a face-to-face support group for family and friends. The goal of this group is to address the problems of a family member or loved one who is trying to reach out. With this entire setup, SMART Recovery aims to give guidance to the individuals, friends, and family to get back to a normal life after rehab. No matter how grave the habit is, SMART helps outright to lessen it. Recovery meetings are a way to motivate after rehab, curtail craving, and emphasize on leading a healthy life.
Smart Recovery meetings are public and anyone can walk in. There are no fees though donations are encouraged.
Addictions Treated at SMART Recovery Programs
- Drug addiction including cocaine, heroin, anti-depressants, etc.
- Activity addictions like gambling, eating, self-injury, sex, internet, etc.
The 4-point Program of SMART Recovery Meeting
Whatever information shared during the SMART Recovery meeting relies on a 4-Point Program. What are these points? Let’s, explore!
1. To maintain and build motivation
Relapse is easy but with constant motivation, it is avoidable. So, undertake things that keep you motivated. Make a list of priorities and chalk a plan to fulfill them.
Maintaining sobriety is very important especially after rehab. And during the recovery process, temptations are inevitable. But it’s up to the participant, how to tackle the situation. In this stage, the participant may weigh the consequences of sobriety with addiction. He/she may also take-up counseling sessions or talk to sober people for positivity.
2. To cope up with urges
It is important to know things that trigger your addiction. But it also important to suppress them. So, find ways that will distract you.
This point is to identify the root cause of craving. With SMART recovery meetings, you may learn to identify the triggers points of a craving. And for this, some use distraction techniques like avoiding alcohol-related events. Some also identify and control irrational beliefs about craving.
3. To manage behavior, feeling, and thoughts
Start examining thoughts and feelings that led to this unpleasant phase. Alongside, start loving yourself. Start accepting yourself and open new horizons for a better life.
Every person wishes to abolish negativity with positive thinking. And so, in this stage, the participants learn to suppress relapse. They start by evaluating their thoughts, feelings, and behavior that led to drug abuse. While doing so, they also learn to accept themselves. With this, they also learn to manage mental health like depression. For example, instead of thinking about your craving, its best to stay positive by saying – “I can control it”!
4. To live a balanced life
Embracing sobriety is when you decide to lead a healthy life. Stay away from addiction and choose a balanced life. And you will be surprised by the positive happenings that take place in life.
Good habits take a long time to get into our lifestyle. Likewise choosing sobriety is a drastic change that is challenging. But, learning to embrace sobriety is the crux of a successful recovery. And that’s why in this stage choose important things. Enough sleep, healthy eating, exercising, and positive thinking, is a way that leads to sobriety. Do things that give you happiness except for addiction.
Addiction is a bad omen that affects professional and personal life. Along with the individual, it also affects the loved ones. It hampers the harmony of an individual. So, if you are caught in such a vicious circle. Don’t stay quiet and communicate with your loved ones. Find the closest SMART recovery meeting for addiction recovery. With this, you will gain encouragement for eliminating addiction!
Neelambari started her rollercoaster ride as a journalist at Pune Mirror (Times Group). After which she started exploring the world of content writing. Today, she boasts more than five years of experience filled with creativity and diversity. During this tenure, she explored various mediums like articles, blogs, social media posts, website content, and much more. And this content ranged from Gynecology, Ayurveda, Dental health to nutrition. However, she enjoys the most writing about Psychology and other medical streams. She loves writing and aims to bring positive changes at least in some lives with her articles on www.themindfool.com