SMART Recovery is the Self-Management and Recovery Training support program made for patients who are under addiction and behavioral disorders.
This program incorporates the teaching of self-reliance and control in patients who are under the grip of addiction and are facing behavioral disorders by making them focus and understand their inner thoughts and feelings concerning their disease. The participants are taught several skills to help them manage their urges and cravings in the long run. The SMART Recovery is continuously updating the methodologies used as per the scientific evidence that can be incorporated in the recovery from addiction.
This essential feature of SMART Recovery is thus considered as an efficient program to aid the patients in overcoming the addiction. This program has been recognized as an effective tool by organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the National Institute on Drug Abuse
The SMART Recovery program is a type of self-empowering program. With the use of cognitive, behavioral and motivational enhancement therapies to teach the skill of self-reliance, the patients are made to undestand the cravings and how they can effectively use the skill to help them control those urges. The SMART Recovery Program teaches these necessary skills through the 4-Point Program. These skills are taught to the candidates by trained professionals in the field to examine behaviors that need attention in dealing with the issue.
Tools used in SMART Recovery
The SMART Recovery Program uses various techniques to help the candidates free from the clutch of addictive behaviors. They are encouraged to use the tools to recover from addiction.
These tools include:
- Stages of Change
- Change Plan Worksheet
- Role-playing and Rehearsing
- Cost/Benefit Analysis
- ABCs of REBT for Urge Coping
- ABCs of REBT for Emotional Upsets
- Hierarchy of Values
- Unconditional Self-Acceptance
- DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method)
Thus, SMART Recovery is an integrated program that aids the participants under the influence of substance abuse or who are under addictive behavior to maintain a balanced life by teaching them methods to cope with cravings, understand their feelings and thoughts and also by incorporating motivational techniques to live a life of sobriety.
The 4-Point SMART Recovery Program
The 4 point program isn’t a consecutive followed step program. Rather, this program focuses on 4 major tips and routines which can aid the people under addiction to practice these 4 exercises to maintain a healthy life. These 4 steps can be chosen as per the need and the requirement of the patients at that time.
The 4 point includes the following:
Building motivation and maintaining it:
The first step towards Recovery can happen when the patients have the motivation to take a necessary step towards it. Thus, at this point, the patients are given motivation to remaining sober. They are encouraged to make a list of benefits and costs to maintain sobriety versus addiction.
Handling and managing the urges:
The second point aids in understanding the reasons for craving and what are the elements that trigger the participants into addiction. They are given various methods that can help them to suppress the cravings. Again, these points are personalized as per the intensity and the conditions of the participants. Various distraction techniques are also suggested to aid them in remaining sober.
Management of thoughts and behaviors:
The third point teaches the participants to examine deeper into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to understand the reason for addiction. This point also dwells into sensitive problems such as depression and anxiety which more often than not leads to addiction and vice-versa. The participants are taught about the subject matter on self-acceptance and managing uncomfortable situations.
Living Balanced Life:
After long term addiction to a substance, it is difficult for patients to remain sober throughout. Chances of relapse may occur in the extreme situation in their lives and it becomes like a coping mechanism. At this point, participants are made aware of what is important to them and thus take necessary steps to help them maintain a sober life by balancing all the aspects of their lives.