What is SMART Recovery?

What is SMART Recovery?

When you are ready to put struggles with addiction in the past, there are many individualized treatment methods and options you can use to reach your sobriety goals. Both the struggles of addiction and the journey to recovery are unique to the individual. Choosing a program that is the right fit is vital to achieving and maintaining lasting sobriety. At the Last House, we offer sober living programs for men seeking recovery in the safest and most effective way possible. SMART Recovery is a common option used in this process. Learn what is SMART Recovery and how it is used.

What is SMART Recovery?

Peer support and recovery programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are familiar to many. Based on the traditional 12 step process, these programs have helped millions of people overcome addiction and maintain lasting sobriety since they were first developed more than 80 years ago. Despite their notable successes, however, these programs (if the traditional steps are followed) have a strong religious element that some people find uncomfortable. SMART Recovery programs offer an alternative option to a conventional 12 Step model.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. SMART Recovery programs offer support and guidance for anyone who is ready to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. An additional benefit to SMART Recovery groups is that they are proven effective in helping those with co-occurring behavioral and emotional disorders. Like other evidence-based therapy models (cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), etc.), SMART Recovery helps addicts seeking recovery learn and practice safer, healthier ways to control addictive behaviors through examining and understanding the root causes of those behaviors.

How is SMART Recovery Different From 12 Step Programs?

There are several differences between 12 step programs and SMART Recovery programs. One such difference is mentioned in the paragraphs above. 12 step programs focus heavily on turning to a higher power as part of your recovery. SMART Recovery programs have a more secular focus.

Also, the 12 steps require participants to accept or admit that they are “powerless” over their addiction. SMART Recovery programs, on the other hand, focus on personal empowerment. Instead of 12 steps, SMART Recovery groups focus on specific skills as part of a 4-point program of healing. Although the program has four points, there is no particular order of the treatment process. SMART Recovery encourages you to address what you need when you need to, and therefore, although there is a list of points, you can address them in any order you choose, which differs from proceeding in order through the 12 steps. While one can return to a previous step in the 12 steps, the program is not designed to “skip around” through the steps.

The points in SMART Recovery are designed to help address and treat addiction by providing tips, tools, and exercises you can use to manage triggers and manage sobriety. The four points include:

  • Living a balanced life
  • Coping with urges
  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

SMART Recovery groups also offer a different perspective on addiction and relapse. SMART Recovery teachings do not use the same “labels” as many other rehab models. For example, participants are not referred to as “addicts,” and addiction is not referred to as a “disease.” These terms are not in line with the self-empowerment goals of SMART Recovery. The journey to recovery is not considered a lifelong process as it is with the 12 steps. Once you complete the program, you can “graduate” from recovery and start over, free from drugs and alcohol.

Are There Online SMART Recovery Meetings?

Yes. Online SMART Recovery meetings are available in many areas. In addition to peer support meetings online, many SMART Recovery programs offer online chat options, messaging options, and other online tools designed to ensure you can access the help and support you need when you need it.

How to Find SMART Recovery Meetings

Traditional 12 step programs and treatment models continue to help many find lasting sobriety. However, some people may find alternative therapy options beneficial to their overall treatment plan. Here at the Last House, we include SMART Recovery options in our therapy models to ensure anyone motivated to seek help can achieve wellness and sobriety. Because SMART Recovery programs are proven beneficial as part of a treatment program for co-occurring conditions (such as depression and addiction or anxiety and addiction), providing SMART Recovery as a treatment option opens the door to recovery for anyone ready to put struggles with addiction in the past. Contact us today to learn more about our luxury sober living and SMART Recovery programs.

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