What Is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery stands for Self-Management for Addiction Recovery Training. This 4-Point Program is an alternative form of treatment used in rehabilitation for people seeking to overcome problems with substance abuse and addiction. Since its founding in 1994, SMART recovery has proven to be a valuable tool when used as part of a comprehensive addiction recovery plan.

At Restore Treatment Center LA, we take an individualized approach to drug and alcohol treatment for each client, as there is no one-size-fits-all program for addiction. Self-empowerment programs were cultivated to manage substance abuse and abstinence. This is in contrast to Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step recovery plan, which focuses on “powerlessness over addiction” and “surrendering to a higher power.” SMART Recovery focuses more on one’s power within. However, both the traditional 12-steps and SMART recovery programs can be combined, when deemed necessary.

In SMART recovery meetings, participants discuss controlling and abstaining from drugs, alcohol and compulsive behaviors, such as uncontrollable gambling, shopping, sexual behaviors, internet use, exercising, and overeating.

The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program includes four focus points of concentration:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Learning to cope with urgesSMART recovery meeting
  3. Learning how to manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

SMART Recovery teaches self-directed and self-empowering attitudes, which include:

  • Finding one’s own self-power and growth of self-reliance
  • Attending educational support and discussion sessions
  • Encourages people to have satisfying lives
  • Educates on methods for directing change from within
  • Supports the use of approved psychological treatments
  • Supports using prescribed psychiatric drugs
  • Considers abuse and addiction to be complicated dysfunctional behaviors, with possible physiological components involved
  • Scientific research about recovery is incorporated as it is revealed

SMART Recovery is a recognized as a legitimate and effective resource for substance abuse and addiction recovery by:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Center for Health Care Evaluation
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine

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What Are The Tools And Techniques Of SMART Recovery?

Our SMART Recovery facilitators at Restore Treatment Center, teach clients to understand the meaning behind each of the 4-points and how to practice each tool. Reaching and maintaining Point 4 is obtaining overall lifestyle balance. Accomplishing this stage is difficult, but extremely satisfying.

The “SMART Toolbox” is a collection of various methods called tools, which help addicts in recovery work through the 4-Points:

  • How change advances as stages progress
  • A worksheet to plan the changes
  • A worksheet to guide the decision making process
  • Learning how to use behavioral tools to cope with urges and emotional distress
  • DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method)
  • Establishing and prioritizing values
  • Anticipating scenarios that may occur
  • Exercises to practice responses and reactions to these scenarios
  • Unconditionally accepting oneself at all times, with no exceptions

Can SMART Recovery Help with Relapse Prevention?

Achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance is the goal of SMART recovery. Preventing relapse is possible with an ongoing effort to live a balanced lifestyle and precludes a return to substances. SMART sessions are a recommended component of aftercare plans for many clients of Restore Treatment Center. Recovering addicts can conveniently find a SMART meeting within an extensive network, which helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle, build a strong support network, repeat points, and use tools as needed.

SMART recovery programs have shown to help many addicts in ways that more traditional, faith-based treatments cannot. If you are interested in applying SMART therapy to your treatment regimen, speak with an addiction specialist at Restore Drug Rehab LA today. Discover how our addiction recovery programs can positively influence your future health and well-being.

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