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SMART Recovery (Support Group information and discussion)

ocean

Bluelight Crew
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Mar 7, 2007
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In the shadow of the mountains by the sea
SMART Recovery:
What is SMART Recovery?
SMART Recovery® is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.
-from http://www.smartrecovery.org/

Methodology:
SMART Recovery is based on scientific knowledge, and is intended to evolve as scientific knowledge evolves. The program uses principles of motivational interviewing found in Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and techniques taken from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), particularly in the version called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), as well as scientifically validated research on treatment.

The organization's program emphasizes four areas (called the Four Points) in the process of recovery: Building Motivation, Coping with Urges, Problem Solving, and Lifestyle Balance. The "SMART Toolbox" is a collection of various MET, CBT and REBT methods (or "tools") which address the Four Points.

The Four Points are as follows:
1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
2: Coping with Urges
3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
4: Living a Balanced Life

The program does not use the twelve steps which make up the basis of the various "Anonymous" self-help groups (e.g. AA, NA, etc.) and is generally listed as an "Alternative to AA" or an "Alternative to the Twelve Steps." Though listed as an "alternative", it is also suggested as a possible "supplement" to twelve-step programs in SMART Recovery's main program publication, The SMART Recovery Handbook.
The Stages of Change as a SMART Recovery Tool

In the SMART Recovery program, there are seven stages of change:

*Precontemplation - At this stage, the participant may not realize that they have a problem.
*Contemplation - The participant evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the addiction by performing a cost/benefit analysis.
*Determination/Preparation - The participant completes a Change Plan Worksheet.
*Action - The participant seeks out new ways of handling their addiction behavior. This can include self-help, the support of addiction help group or professional guidance.
*Maintenance - After a few months, the participant's behavior has been changed and now seeks to maintain their gains.
*Relapse - Although not inevitable, relapses are a normal part of the change cycle and if handled well, can serve a learning experience in overcoming an addiction.
*Termination - Once a participant has sustained a long period of change, they may choose to move on with their lives and "graduate" from SMART Recovery.

SMART's Approach:

• Teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance.
• Provides meetings that are educational, supportive and include open discussions.
• Encourages individuals to recover from addiction and alcohol abuse and live satisfying lives.
• Teaches techniques for self-directed change.
• Supports the scientifically informed use of psychological treatment and legally prescribed psychiatric and addiction medication.
• Works on substance abuse, alcohol abuse, addiction and drug abuse as complex maladaptive behaviors with possible physiological factors.
• Evolves as scientific knowledge in addiction recovery evolves.
• Differs from Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs.
-source
-source
 
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TooOldForThis

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
109
neversickanymore, thanks for pointing me to this thread <3. I am headed to my first SMART meeting in about 3 hours and feeling pretty anxious. Anyone out there who has experience with SMART recovery meetings? I am not ready to say I am an alcoholic, but willing to consider that my life might be much better if I abstained from alcohol.
 

TooOldForThis

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
109
Ok. I went =D. I really liked the meeting. It is a much better fit for me than AA. I really think I can learn a lot that will help me with my anxiety, which is what leads me to use. My default belief has always been that "I was born this way (with more anxiety than most people)", and that there is no non-medication help for me. I am ready to challenge that belief and maybe, just maybe, stop acting like a victim. I know that many people do require medication for anxiety, and i may be one of them, but I am ready to do more work to help myself.
 

Anthrogirl

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
59
Location
West Coast
I wish SMART was in my area. I think it would be a much better fit for me than NA also. Does anyone know if they have online meetings like NA and AA does?
 

TooOldForThis

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
109
Went to my third meeting. Really like it. Groups are small (at least the ones I have gone to). The facilitators have been very good. There has been good discussion, while avoiding advice giving. So glad there is an alternative out there other than AA, although I understand that I am blessed to be in a city with a decent number of SMART meetings available. If anyone out there is looking for an alternative to AA, I highly recommend checking out SMART. It also can be used in addition to AA/NA.
 
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pro re nata

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
198
Location
cul de sac
i too highly recommend SMART! I find the formate to be really open and simplified, focusing on sharing and building up basic areas that are commonly found with in addiction. I have had a personal problem with going to NA.. i still do go to a meeting from time to time and know it helps so many and that is wonderful. The structure and intensity of the rules/readings/beliefs just is tougher for me to flow into. I guess i have had a harder time with general structure in life and i know that is one of the main points in AA/NA is to support and supply that. It is a great design that has worked for many lives but it just does not resonate for others as well. SMART is a great alternative for another support group outlet and by all means can work right along with AA/NA.

They have really been growing over the past few years and are always open to people reaching out to start new meetings especially areas in which none are currently found. They also have fantastic web-meetings every day of the week at many different times, it is a nice community to be a part of even if you are in an area where meetings are offered.

The best connection i have had with SMART is that is based around each individual and brought into an open group where the underlying issues of different addictions are looked and discussed leading to aiding in choices for taking the best corse of direction for each individual at a personal level. Doing this without the feeling of having to be "powerless" or connected to some/any form of a "higher power" has helped me because it has allowed for a freer interpretation of my own exploration and understanding of my addiction. Giving me more of a connection in continuing to gain and use the knowledge that is important in controlling my addiction.

The use of text/literature seems to be an open map that can continue to grow as the group grows, over having a set book or ways. This is also another aspect that has made me feel more comfortable in learning and looking into myself with others.

It is awesome this thread/information is posted up about SMART.. Thank you ocean!! and Thank you NSA!!
 
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Slum Survivor

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
373
Location
The Murder Mitten (MI)
Is SMART anonymous? im geussing so, but just want to make sure before i go marching right into it.

Ive had a hard time with AA/NA for some of the same reasons as the above poster. i am not religous for the most part and have a hard time with the religon aspect/higher power thing in the AA/NA programs and it prevents me from even going.

im glad to read about SMART as it sounds like a very helpful alternative/supplement to AA/NA
 

pro re nata

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
198
Location
cul de sac
Yes online is anonymous if you would like. it is a cool set up and really nice pace interactive sessions where you can also break off into a one on one conversation during a certain time and if that connection is made. it took me a few times to get into the flow of things but once i did it was really amazing to be a part of.

SS if you check out a online meeting please let us know how it goes for you and your overall thoughts/feelings from discussion to user friendly set up!! hope you give it a shot and let us know!
 

supersmoker27

Bluelighter
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
114
Location
Texas
Hey I would like to share my experience with SMART recovery. Since 16 I was a heavy benzo and opiate addict. Tried the AA NA thing and rehab once but I couldnt get down with the whole "higher power" thing and didnt like the whole vibe the NA program gave off. I guess its worth metioning im a strict atheist.

At my last rehab in November, I was 21 at the time. And amazing facility called "Rock Solid" part of "Surehaven".
This facility allowed me to choose SMART recovery as a alternative to NA program. I Love the logical approach, things like the cost benifit analysis were great. Its a truly great system that I would reccomend whole heartedly to anyone feeling like theyve hit a brick wall with the NA program.

The book is like 10 dollars, probly online for free. get it!

They have free online meetings I think.

Try to find SMART meetings in person, this can be difficult. When I was in rehab me and my friend found the only SMART meeting in Orange County and attended the first meeting, it was great. Its like a open discussion, a licensed therapist who had been trained in SMART program led ours. Theres a bullet list of things to go through, everyone goes around usually says a bit about themselves if its their first time, or updates us on how things have been going. Or you can just pass if youd like and not say a thing. your not asked to label yourself as a "addict" or pray or anything. Then we go over the topics and the way it relates to our life and the therapist helps get the conversations started with ideas to deal with things going on.
You can donate if you wish. and if your lucky enough to find a smart meeting, please donate. This is a great program and the meetings are very scarce.

If you cant find meetings. Make your own. Just get a few friends who have the book and go though it with them, sharing a bit on each subject.
I like to start a meeting with one of these these guided meditations.
http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

SMART doesnt require you to attend meetings for life or at all, and there is a certian point where you will probably not even need to continue the smart program.

After 3 months in rehab I left to Colorado with the intention of still gettin high occasionaly. Its Been 8 months in CO now, I take a benzo once or twice a week for recreaton, I smoke weed daily, use psychedellics sparingly, and use opiates 4-5 times a month. Im happy and content. fully functional, Its like im living life for the first time. I got a great job, already been promoted once and getting a even better job in about a month. Doin open mic's . Made great friends, Fully self supporting. Just got my driving permit. registered for school.
Pretty fuckin good. considering not even a year ago I was shooting up behind the dumpster that I just found the syringe in.

I still get high but I dont let it interfere with my life. Im 22, im not gonna stop getting high. But im not gonna let gettin high run my life anymore.
SMART is a great example of HR at its finest id say.
 
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this'bad

Greenlighter
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
11
Location
Kentucky
SMART recovery does not have a program, for the public, set up in Kentucky. Has anyone participated in their online meetings? If so, could you give me some general feedback of you experience.
 

Crampz

Bluelighter
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
189
SMART recovery?

Okay, so I was wondering if anybody has attended SMART recovery meetings? If so, did you find them useful? Also I was wondering what is taught/techniques used to help people get/stay sober?

I can't find much in-depth information, I can only find reference to CBT and I'm not sure what exactly that involves. Do you need to attend a group? I have looked in my local area and there are a few, but they are very thin on the ground, and because of various commitments I am unable to attend, plus frankly after experiencing the whole AA thing the idea of meetings is very off putting. So I was thinking of ordering the handbook online and going from there.

If anyone has any experience with the SMART approach to treatment I would be very interested in hearing your replies!
 

CaseFace

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Oct 30, 2008
Messages
3,248
Location
Bay Area, CA
I have not personally been, but I know people who have claimed that it's been an amazing alternative to AA for them. I would suggest that if you want to learn about it, show up at a meeting and simply ask what it's all about! :)
 

hood

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
32
Thanks for this thread. I'm not sure why I never found this in all the years I have been looking for help but I can tell that I would prefer this over NA. NA seems like almost a waste of time alot of the time. I can see how it helps some but I think it is highly dependent on your identification with the group. I am about 90 minutes from a meeting so it might not happen often enough but I am going to check out the online and hope that someone opens one in my major metropolitan city.
 

THECATINTHEHAT

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
6,810
I went to a SMART meeting recently, I liked it. Very straight talking which is nice, I willl start to tten regularly.
 
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