A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. The feeling of despair can be minimised by using the SMART technique.
SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated 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.
The latest methods of stopping the dependency on drugs are used on SMART program to help the members.
SMART is regularly updated to provide strategies researchers find most efficient.
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 Is Utilised
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. The addicts get the help they need through the guidance of the help of the professionals. The recovering users are thereafter shown how to rely on themselves to curb the behaviours that lead to using. Psychology and self motivation is mostly used in the treatment when using SMART program. 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 Handbook also contains ideas and exercises to help one keep off the substance abuse.
SMART's 4-Point Program isn't meant to be followed one step at a time. 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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Instilling Motivation and Maintaining It
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.
Overcoming The Desires
Point two examines the trigger which causes a craving.
The participants learn to use methods like various distraction techniques to suppress cravings.
Another thing they learn is how to stop believing nonsensical thoughts about taking the substance.
Restraining Feelings, Thoughts, And Behaviours
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 feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
Living A Good Life
It requires commitment in order for the addict to get back to living a normal kind of life.
Long term recovery requires that you learn how to live your life without the addictive substance.
At point four, all participants make a thorough inventory of their priorities.
The future is approached realistically by setting out attainable goals and milestones.
Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes
SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. Both programs have been designed for recovering alcohol and drug users by working through a series of assignments to overcome their addiction. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. People attending any of the programs have been able to beat the addictions and stay sober.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." The reason why these labels are avoided is because they are seen as counterproductive and even discouraging. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.
The belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. It is the willingness of a person to overcome the dependence that is used in the SMART program.
There is always help for participants in both the programs. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. As it has been wisely pointed out within the SMART Recovery Handbook "a solution which works on an individual in a particular situation may not be suitable to the other in a similar situation."
One can overcome addiction when in the SMART program as soon as they are ready. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.
According to SMART, at the last stage of recovery, the participants already have complete self-control and don't feel temptation to use drugs anymore.
Once the SMART participants come to the last step, they have all necessary skills to live a sober life.
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 who have co-occurring mental disorders, e.g. depressions, also may derive benefit from it.