Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. The feeling of despair can be minimised by using the SMART technique.
SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a support program aimed at people who suffer from addictions and conduct disorders. The aim of this program is to help treat addiction by getting people to focus on the thoughts and emotions behind the addiction.
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.
This means that in SMART you will find methods being used that have been shown to be more effective.
SMART has received recognition for its effectiveness in overcoming addiction by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
How Smart Works
As contrasted with 12-step programs that make people admit helplessness about their dependence, SMART is considered a self-empowering program. Well-trained voluntary servants help participants examine particular behaviours to find weak spots which need special attention. Then, participants undergo self trust training, which enables them to control their dependence behaviour. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. A 4-point program is taught to aid in mastering these skills.
The recovery handbook provided by SMART details every step of the 4 point program. The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.
The 4-points do not constitute a Program. The patients can start on any of the points following no order, but depending on the greatest area they most need to address.
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Getting And Remaining Interested
The most important point is that one must be convinced they want to attain sobriety forever.
Participants are encouraged to make a list of priorities and weigh the costs and benefits of using the drugs versus being sober.
Coping With The Urges
The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses on.
Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
The myths about the desires to use the drugs are also eliminated.
Handling Thoughts, Behaviours And Feelings
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 recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
Living A Life That Is Balanced
It needs a sudden change in lifestyle for a person to stay clean.
It is crucial for a successful recovery that the person learns how to live a healthy and sober life.
At point four, all participants make a thorough inventory of their priorities.
Participants are also given the education they need to plan about the future by setting realistic goals for themselves.
Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes
The programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. 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. 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.
In a SMART program, the participant is neither considered an "addict" or a "patient." The reason why these labels are avoided is because they are seen as counterproductive and even discouraging. 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. Participants of SMART are encouraged to approach the process of recovery by gaining control over their lives.
There is always help for participants in both the programs. People choose the program they feel will suit them best. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."
Graduating From The Recovery Process
The unique feature of SMART is that its participants are able to "graduate" from recovery. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.
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.
It is believed that the participants have what it takes to stay clean once they get to the last stage of the program.
Is Smart Appropriate For You
SMART was designed to help every individual backing with an addiction of any type. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. Those with secondary problems stemming from drug or substance abuse such as mental sickness and emotional problems will also find help at a SMART centre.