A popular alternative just like Alcoholics Anonymous which is a 12 step group is SMART. SMART tackles other problems issues associated with addictions like mental illnesses and feelings of unhappiness.
People that are addicted to any form of drug can get the help in overcoming it using the Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) programs. The aim of this program is to help treat addiction by getting people to focus on the thoughts and emotions behind the addiction.
Participants of SMART groups master skills which enable them to manage their urges and cravings in the long run.
As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.
This means that in SMART you will find methods being used that have been shown to be more effective.
Reputable organizations like the American Academy of Family Physicians and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recognize SMART as an effective strategy for those who are surmounting drug addiction.
SMART is a self-empowering program which is quite different from the 12-step program where the participants have to admit that they have no power over their addiction. To get to the issues that need attention, volunteers who have been trained help the participants to examine certain behaviours. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. A 4-point program is taught to aid in mastering these skills.
The recovery handbook provided by SMART details every step of the 4 point program. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.
The 4-points do not constitute a Program. Participants have the option of tackling a specific point in any order depending upon the needs they have.
If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. Ask us for help, and we'll find a SMART meeting nearby call 0800 246 1509.
The programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. In both cases, the identity of the participants is kept secret. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
SMART does not consider the participants as addicts or as people with an illness. This is because there is a lot of negativity associated with these title. Another difference is that unlike 12-step, recovery is not an ongoing process in SMART. A participant can "graduate" from the recovery program at any stage and begin a new, sober life.
The idea of being powerless or having to submit to a higher power is a major reason why some people don't go for 12-step programs. SMART encourages the members to take control of their lives.
Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."
Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. Though some may fall back to addiction, SMART does not look at this as a given in the recovery of individuals.
The desires to use the drugs are completely gone when a person is nearing the completion of the SMART program.
They go back to a normal life where they don't have to use drugs.
SMART helps people with all kinds of substance abuse issues. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. Those with secondary problems stemming from drug or substance abuse such as mental sickness and emotional problems will also find help at a SMART centre.