What is SMART recovery?

What is SMART recovery?

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. The approach of smart recovery is secular and science-based using non-confrontational motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods. Meeting participants of smart recovery learn recovery methods derived from evidence-based addiction treatments.

Smart recovery emphasizes four areas which they call the 4-point program in the process of recovery. The 4-point program of smart recovery includes: building motivation, coping with urges, problem solving and lifestyle balance. The smart recovery tools used are various types of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy. Smart recovery does not use the twelve steps like AA or NA and is actually listed as an alternative to AA and the twelve steps. Even though smart recovery is listed as an alternative it is also suggested as a supplement to a twelve step program.

Smart recovery was incorporated in 1992 as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network, the organization began operating in 1994. SMART recovery is recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIDA and NIAAA are agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Smart recovery meetings are free for all wishing to attend, and are intended to be informational as well as supportive. Over 800 weekly smart recovery group meetings led by volunteer facilitators are held worldwide.

Smart recovery meetings are also held in correctional facilities in many states including: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In smart recovery there are stages of change, seven of them and these changes are essentially how the smart recovery program works.

  • Stage one of smart recovery change: pre-contemplation: at this stage of smart recovery the participant may not realize that they have a problem.
  • Stage two of smart recovery change: contemplation: the participant of smart recovery evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the addiction by performing a cost/benefit analysis.
  • Stage three of smart recovery change: determination and preparation: the participant completes a change plan worksheet.
  • Stage four of smart recovery change: action: The participant in smart recovery begins to seek out new ways of handling their addictive behavior. This can include self-help, the support of addiction help groups or professional guidance from a counselor etc.
  • Stage five of smart recovery change: maintenance: At this stage a few months of smart recovery have gone by and the participant in smart recovery’s behavior has been changed and now seeks to maintain their gains.
  • Stage six of smart recovery: Relapse: although it is not inevitable, relapses even in smart recovery are normal and part of the change cycle and if they are handled well can serve as a learning experience in overcoming addiction.
  • Stage seven of smart recovery change: termination: once the participant in smart recovery has sustained a long period of change they may choose to move on with their lives and graduate from smart recovery.

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

 

What is Holistic Drug Treatment?

Holistic drug rehab is centered on the belief that individuals battling addiction are people who need and deserve treatment for their entire being, not just their dependence.

First to know what to look for in a holistic drug rehab center you must know the definition of holistic and what kind of practices are under that definition. Holistic means to treat the whole instead of the parts. Holistic practices are those that treat an entire mind, body and spirit. Knowing this holistic drug rehab centers offer things such as; acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, equine therapy, and tai-chi. All of these are holistic practices because they treat the body’s mental, physical and spiritual functions.

Spirituality plays a role in recovery. Clients often turned to substances in order to fill an empty hole. The temporary effects of being high or drunk can make that feeling go away for a bit, but eventually return. The spiritual component to holistic drug rehabilitation can help manifest in clients a new sense of purpose.

One of the ways that holistic drug treatment facilities attempt to attend to the whole person and to individualize care is by providing such alternative treatments—including acupuncture, energy psychology, equine-assisted therapy, neurofeedback, psychodrama, Reiki, somatic experiencing, and massage therapy.

Often times, holistic drug treatment programs are based on a 12 Step program philosophy, which recognizes the importance of having a spiritual foundation in order to begin recovery from addiction.

Holistic Drug Treatment vs. Alternative Drug Treatment

Although they are used interchangeably, alternative drug treatment typically means drug treatment that is wholly different from other modalities of addiction treatment. Holistic programs may offer “alternative” medicine and techniques such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and so on. Alternative drug treatment does not promote the 12 Step program philosophies, which recognizes addiction as a combination of physical allergy, mental obsession, and spiritual malady. Alternative drug treatment takes a different approach and seemingly identifies only one or two of these on which to focus.

For example, Narconon is an alternative drug treatment program that consists of six elements: exercise, sauna, supplements, sufficient liquids, regular diet with fresh vegetables, and adequate sleep. It employs courses or “training routines” (TRs) that supposedly rehabilitate drug abusers.

Another alternative drug treatment facility boasts a program of moderation. The approach is to teach clients how to acquire feelings of joy or satisfaction from the more typical activities of life. The goal is not necessarily to have clients stop their drug(s) of choice and/or addictive behavior 100% as is the approach of the 12 Steps and those who treat addiction only as a brain disease.

 

Its program states that it is unlike 12 Step recovery because it offers a wide range of “goal options” specific to the addictive behavior. Each goal requires a different strategy and results in a different outcome regarding the substance or behavior of your concern, from complete abstinence to solely abstinent from the drug(s) of choice, to moderation of the “problem” drug, to reduction of problem behavior to a “less harmful state.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.psychologytoday.com

http://addictionalternatives.com

www.wikipedia.org

 

How to tap into Serenity in Recovery

Serenity in Recovery

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

These are the first lines of what’s known as the Serenity Prayer, which is well-known to many recovering alcoholics. It is often recited in the rooms of 12-step programs, and it reminds us of the main goal of recovery-to achieve a serene state, no matter what is going on around us. To be able, at any time, to tap into serenity in recovery.

Before becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, my life was absolute chaos. Every day was consumed with getting, buying, and using drugs and alcohol. The smallest bump in the road or comment by a friend or family member would send me into a tailspin. I was irritable, bad-tempered, and angry towards everyone around me. I hurt people around me and I didn’t even care.

I almost lost it all; my friends, my family, and most importantly my life. My body was dying, and if I didn’t get help, I was going to overdose or commit suicide. I went to treatment, and I was given a chance to see what life had to offer.

This didn’t mean, however, that I was able to tap into serenity in recovery as soon as I put down drugs and alcohol. In fact, at first, the chaos got worse. Every emotion that I had been numbing with drugs and alcohol came surging back, all at once. Without my chemical escape, I was brutally aware of all the terrible things I had done in my addiction and all the harm I had caused. Thoughts of drinking and using pervaded my every waking moment. Even when I was asleep, I’d be bombarded with dreams of drugs and alcohol.  I had to learn how to tap into serenity in recovery, and it took time.

Part of how to tap into serenity in recovery comes from exactly what the prayer states, understanding and accepting that some things cannot and will never change. Also, from having the courage to change the things I can, which I came to realize was actually one thing: myself. I have no power over people, places and things. I am responsible for taking the action, not the outcome of the action. I can’t control how people behave, but I can control how I react to that behavior and in some cases whether I choose to spend any more time around that person.

This I achieved from working twelve steps with a sponsor, taking life one day at a time, and practicing steps ten, eleven, and twelve every day. I don’t do these things perfectly, and sometimes I find it difficult to tap into serenity in recovery. However, today I know how to fix it. I know which action to take to get myself back into serenity in recovery. My life today is peaceful and I live with a sense of calmness which I never thought I could have.

The Importance of Environmental Change In Recovery

Environmental Changes in Recovery

In recovery you have to make a lot of changes in order to stay sober. Not only do they have to be spiritual, mental and physical but they also have to be tangible. A great example of this tangible outside change is an environmental change. An environmental change in recovery is so important and vital to staying sober it is the reason many people do it when they decide that they want to give up drugs and alcohol. So what is an environmental change? It is a change in the environment. It is when an addict or alcoholic chooses to move away from the environment they are in now and go to a different environment. They choose to hang out with people who are doing things the right way and are sober etc.

Here are some of the reasons that show the importance of an environmental change in recovery:

  1. Your environment is where you live. It would be really hard to stay sober living in an environment that has drug use and drinking in it. Believe it or not spending 24 hours a day or living in a place where there are drugs and alcohol available can wear on someone who is in recovery. That is why it is so important for addicts and alcoholics whose present day environment includes drugs and alcohol to get away from it and move into a fresh new environment where there are no drugs and alcohol involved.
  2. An environmental change in recovery is important to get a fresh start. Believe it or not our environments affect us drastically. The environment you are in can influence your mental, spiritual and physical health. That is why people tend to be more depressed in winter or in places where it is raining all the time. For instance, if you live in the mountains a great environmental change in recovery would be to move near the ocean. It gives an addict or alcoholic the ability to experience and be somewhere totally new while also trying to experience and live a whole new life.
  3. Another reason an environmental change is so important for recovery is because it keeps you safe. Being in a new environment, one where you don’t know where to get drugs etc. is part of the reason an environmental change is so important. Can you imagine being in your same environment knowing where every house was that sold drugs and trying to remain in recovery? It wouldn’t be so easy. An environmental change allows you to associate new places, new people, and new things with recovery instead of already having associations to places and people that are connected to drugs.

An environmental change is important in order to recover but it is not necessary. Anyone can stay in recovery or get into recovery anywhere regardless of their environment. Unfortunately without the environment change there are going to be some extra obstacles. Because it is true, we are products of our environment. So if you want to be sober, become a product of a sober environment!