What You Need to Know About SMART Recovery

Just as every person suffering with addiction is unique, so is their addiction and their response to treatment. As such, Divine House offers more than one approach to treating addiction. While both the 12-Step approach and SMART program have successfully helped millions of people around the world overcome addiction, they do have their differences. Along with the support of the patient’s counselor and therapist, knowing these differences will help them find which one works best for them.

The 12-Step approach progresses you through different steps (levels of acceptance and accountability) that are to be considered and reflected on before moving on to the next. As one advances in each step, they gain personal insight into how they think, feel and act, resulting in greater control over addictive behavior.

The SMART Recovery program focuses primarily on managing one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors by building and maintaining motivation for a balanced life. Unlike the 12-Step approach, the SMART program is not applied sequentially, but rather assesses and determines where an individual is within 6 main Stages of Change from addiction. These stages range from stage #1 (Precontemplation) where the individual does not believe they have a problem to stage #6 (Graduation) where the individual gains freedom over temptation and enjoys much greater self control.

Statiscally, both the 12-Step and SMART approaches are effective in treating addiction, especially when the patient feels comfortable and accepting of the approach. Ultimately then, all that matters is which approach resonates best with the individual, and we are here to help them find it.

Self-Management and Recovery Training, or SMART Recovery, is a non-profit organization founded in the United States that provides individuals dealing with substance abuse problems with an effective recovery program.

The SMART program builds integrity in the recovering individual and allows them to outgrow self-deprecating views that inhibit true growth and positive change.

Taking on a holistic and scientific approach, SMART Recovery allows individuals to achieve successful recovery by leading them away from a self-destructive and dangerous lifestyle to one that is uplifting and fulfilling. Since its creation, this program has helped countless Americans nationwide recover from addictions to alcohol and drugs.

Based on clinically sound methods, SMART Recovery encourages self-empowerment in a 4-Point Program:

1. Finding the motivation to change, and build and maintain that motivation

It’s essential for recovering individuals to build a strong foundation of values to rely on as they undertake the journey to abstinence. By identifying exactly what in life makes them determined to live soberly, individuals will find it easier to stay committed and participate in treatment. By remembering their reasons to recover, individuals will become more motivated to take these steps to change their life.

2. Curtailing the urge to use substances

SMART Recovery teaches individuals how to cope with the urge to return to substances. Although it may seem impossible to harness the willpower to abstain from substances, the truth is that every recovering individual is capable of controlling their impulses.

Following the SMART curriculum will equip individuals with the skills and mindset needed to resist the impulse to start using again.

3. Controlling addictive behavior and switching to a more positive mindset

SMART Recovery utilizes a renowned psychotherapeutic methodology called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, or REBT. This clinical approach focuses on cognitive behavior and is based on the belief that thought creates emotion and that emotion in turn creates action.

SMART Recovery uses REBT to help the recovering individual unlearn the belief that substance use is the only solution to whatever problems and pain they’re harboring.

Furthermore, it institutes positive mindsets that revolutionize the way recovering individuals act and think. This allows them to break free from unhealthy habits.

4. Living a balanced life for long-term recovery

SMART Recovery takes on an holistic approach, meaning that it seeks to restore balance to every aspect of the individual’s life.

True recovery requires more than abstinence. In order for the recovering individual to create lasting, impactful changes in the way that they live, they must incorporate changes and good practices in every part of their life.

Self-preservation and self-care depend on total wellness, and this program seeks to teach individuals how to maintain this balance for the rest of their lives, even after they’ve achieved sobriety.

Why Do People Choose the SMART Recovery Program?

Those looking to treat their alcohol or drug addiction choose SMART recovery rehab for the following reasons:

More Than Just Addiction Treatment

This particular treatment program can be effective for addictions as well as the negative behaviors that can lead to addiction development. This is because of the program’s focus on group learning; participants have the opportunity to learn new recovery skills and model the skills they have already learned.

Early intervention

SMART is a drug and alcohol treatment program that focuses on intervention before addiction becomes more serious. This goal is achieved in two ways: learning to cope with and change negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and through the offering of a support group to family and friends of those in treatment.

A Different Perception of Addiction

young people sitting together on special group therapy

Meeting participants also choose the SMART program because of the way in which addiction is perceived. SMART views addiction as a completely correctable behavior. Additionally, the use of labels is discouraged to motivate and inspire recovery.

Finally, relapse is considered to be a learning opportunity by the SMART program and, as such, can be used as a tool to fortify one’s recovery.

A New Start from Today

A focus on the present is another reason those seeking help with addiction choose this program. SMART meets the individual where they are, helping them realize that they can do something today that will benefit their life from this point forward.

Everyone Is Welcome

Many enrollees require prescribed medications, such as buprenorphine and methadone, as part of their treatment. The SMART program recognizes this and welcomes those who are receiving medication-assisted treatment.

An Always-Open Door

There is no addiction treatment that works for everyone. As a person progresses through treatment, they will experience many changes, including those involving treatment. Those who enroll in the SMART program are never expected to remain for the length of their treatment.

If things change, as they inevitably do in life, and a different direction is needed, the participant is free to follow their chosen direction.

People who are unsure whether the SMART program is right for them are always welcome to audit the program by sitting in on group discussions. There is never any obligation to join the program, and those who leave the program are always welcome to return when and if the time is right.

Opportunities to Inspire

Individuals who have benefited from what they learned in the SMART program are encouraged, but never required, to return to help new enrollees. Doing so offers benefits for both the returning and in-treatment individual; the former is able to impart the wisdom acquired through the recovery journey, while the latter benefits from assistance with someone who has “been there.”

How SMART Helps the Recovery Process

SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program teaches participants self-empowerment and self-reliance. With SMART Recovery, individuals learn that they are capable of changing their lives and that they have control over their recovery. Participants do not have to have a religious or spiritual affiliation in order to benefit from SMART Recovery. However, SMART recognizes and respects all religions and spiritualities.

Because this program bases its methods on constantly evolving scientific knowledge, the methods used to treat participants will evolve as well. Ultimately, this allows those enrolled in the SMART program to benefit from the most innovative and effective methods of treatment for their addiction, as well as the resolution of behavioral and emotional barriers to recovery.

SMART Meetings

Even after leaving Divine House, participants are advised to attend SMART Recovery meetings until they no longer need them. With SMART, individuals are welcome to participate in meetings and activities whenever and for however long they are able.

SMART participants attend face-to-face meetings online, which offers flexibility with their schedules. Meetings are 90 minutes long and focus on addressing problems taking place in the individual’s present. Individuals are not encouraged to look to the past for solutions. All meetings are free, although SMART Recovery is always appreciative of donations.

Making the Decision to Get Sober with SMART Recovery

business woman in front of two roads thinking deciding

Substance abuse problems affect every relationship between the person, their friends, their family, and their significant other. But these relationships can be healed and recovery from addiction can be successful with the SMART substance abuse recovery program.

By taking these steps to change your life, you’re also saving it through the reversal of physical damage, a return of your ambitions and once again realizing your potential. Seeking help is the most important step in your recovery journey.

The SMART Recovery program offers support for those struggling with addiction, as well as those close to them. At Divine House, you receive the treatment and support you need from a skilled, well-trained staff.

Divine House is Southern California’s premier luxury rehab center. All of the addiction treatments we offer are integrative and individualized to your unique needs. In addition to offering detox and gender-specific treatment, we also specialize in treating co-occurring and mental health disorders.

For those requiring 24-hour support, our luxury residences surround patients with comfort and tranquility as they access our treatment services.

Our entire team is ready, willing and able to help you achieve lifelong sobriety through the SMART Recovery program. If you are ready to change your life, and would like to know more about this incredibly effective program, we invite you to get in touch. Call or contact us today.

Additional Reading:

About SMART Recovery” by the official SMART Recovery Website