What are SMART Recovery Programs?
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a program that provides a modern approach to treating drug addiction. SMART Recovery programs sponsor in-person and online meetings all over the world. These meetings allow people who are recovering from addiction to talk with — and learn from — others who are having or have had similar experiences.
The goal of SMART Recovery programs is to help individuals who have stopped using drugs or alcohol or are thinking about stopping their use.
The Four Points of the SMART Recovery Program
The SMART Recovery program is designed to give addicts the independence and confidence they need to make their own choices when it comes to their rehabilitation. This recovery program is a tool that can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.
SMART Recovery is a process that consists of four points based on scientific knowledge, but users can adjust the process as we learn more about addiction and the recovery process. The four points of SMART Recovery are:
- Building and Maintaining Motivation: SMART Recovery programs teach addicts how to build motivation to stay sober. For some, using drugs or alcohol is their main source of happiness in life. SMART Recovery teaches people that there are more fulfilling ways to live their lives. The more you stay sober the more likely you are to build a life of your own. Living on your own, making new friends and building a career are all major motivations to keep people sober. Once they have these things they will be less likely to go back to drugs and alcohol out of fear of losing the independence and happiness that they’ve built.
2. Coping with Urges: A lot of people do not know how to cope with the urges they have to use drugs and alcohol. Sometimes the urge is so strong that they will go back to the drugs or the bottle even when they know they should not. SMART Recovery programs teach coping mechanisms to deal with these urges and cravings when they arise.
3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors: This is very important for addicts in recovery to understand. SMART Recovery programs show that you are in control of your thoughts feelings and behaviors. Sometimes addicts do not know how to control the thoughts of using. They also do not know how to control the emotions that lead them to want to use. SMART Recovery programs will show you how to channel these emotions into a positive outlet without using drugs or alcohol.
4. Living a Balance Life: Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles addicts in recovery have is building a structured life. When there is no structure an addict could relapse because they will quickly go back to what they know. Also living a life of sobriety can be overwhelming. When there seems like there is too much going on and no structure an addict could quickly give up and go back to drugs or alcohol. SMART Recovery programs show people who to balance and structure their new lives.
Treatments in Conjunction with SMART Recovery Programs
SMART Recovery is a great way to learn how to live sober. However, there are other treatment options to consider when choosing a center that can be paired with SMART Recovery.
- Holistic Addiction Treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment
- Non 12 Step Addiction Treatment
- Faith Addiction Treatment
SMART Recovery vs. 12-Step Treatment
While many people may compare SMART Recovery to the 12-steps program, the SMART Recovery program is fundamentally different in some important ways. At the end of the rehabilitation process, former addicts can graduate from the SMART Recovery program and put that part of their lives behind them. In comparison, the 12-step program can be seen from some people as perpetual treatment. In addition, the emphasis on spirituality in 12-step programs bothers some people who want something more secular in nature. Furthermore, SMART Recovery allows individuals who may not have quit using their preferred substances to start their program while 12-step programs require participants to abstain from using drugs or alcohol. Different programs, then, offer different options based on their users’ wants and needs.
With the differences being said though, SMART Recovery utilizes some of the same concepts used in the 12-step method, which might make it more attractive and easier for some practitioners to understand. For example, SMART Recovery uses what it calls the six stages of change, while 12-step programs use a series of twelve steps.
What to Expect During Your SMART Recovery Program Visit
A lot of people avoid going to rehab because of the fear of the unknown. When someone does not know what they are getting themselves into they will likely avoid it. The following is a 4 step process that you can expect at most rehab centers:
Intake is the first process of any rehab program. During intake you will meet the staff and have the chance to answer any pressing questions you may have. Also, you will have a routine physical to make sure you are not carrying any illnesses and you will be asked about your medical history as well as the history of drug and alcohol abuse. It is important to be completely honest about your use of drugs and alcohol as your detox protocol will be made up after your intake is complete.
Detoxification, or detox, is arguably the most important part of any rehab experience. It involves removing all traces of alcohol and drugs from the body. The patient is monitored for withdrawal symptoms around the clock until the symptoms subside. During detox, patients are not required to participate in group activities or treatment, the main goal is to rest and allow the drugs and alcohol to be removed from the body.
Once you are cleared from detox you will be getting into the heart of your treatment. This is where you learn about addiction, and most importantly, learn about yourself. You will meet one on one with counselors to discuss any deep seeded issues that could have led to your abuse of drugs and alcohol. You will also work in groups to discuss addiction and staying sober. Group therapy is very important because it helps patients realize they are not alone in their thoughts feelings and behaviors. Sometimes group therapy can create lifelong friends. You will also learn about coping skills and ways to fight cravings to avoid relapsing after rehab. The treatment portion of rehab is where you learn to transition into a life of sobriety. The best SMART Recovery programs will offer multiple treatments on top of their SMART Recovery training.
The best rehab centers will have a solid aftercare program in store for all patients. Many patients travel from their hometowns to come to rehab. While in rehab everything may seem great but what about when it is time to go home? Aftercare typically includes finding an outpatient program in the patient’s community so they can continue treatment. The counselors may also find support groups in the patient’s community to start attending immediately. In some cases the counselors will find therapists for the patients to see to continue discussing deep seeded issues that still need to be talked out. The best rehab centers will work on your aftercare plan from day 1 and update it every week until you are ready to leave.
Paying for SMART Recovery Programs With Sunshine Behavioral Health
We strive to make rehab affordable for anyone who calls us. Typically if you have private insurance it is the best way to go to rehab and avoid any out of pocket expenses. Most insurance programs offer rehab for their customers and we will advocate for you against your insurance company to assure you are receiving the most treatment for the smallest cost. We have a team of insurance experts who understand the industry and know what to tell your insurance company when they are not trying to pay out the amount that they should. Call us any time of the day and see what our team can do for you~!