Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.
People suffering from addictions and behavioural problems can be treated with the help of Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent thoughts and feelings.
Members get to minimise and even stop their addiction when on the SMART program.
As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.
SMART is also involved in ongoing efforts to update its methods to provide strategies for researchers that have found them highly effective.
The positive effects of the SMART program have been appreciated even by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
How Smart Is Utilised
SMART works on the premise that it is an empowerment tool in itself unlike the 12 step program that encourages the members to see themselves as helpless. Well-trained voluntary servants help participants examine particular behaviours to find weak spots which need special attention. The participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. 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. To help the recovering user remain clean, the handbook also contains tips and exercises that can be used.
These are not stages that are followed. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.
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Building And Maintaining Motivation
The most important point is that one must be convinced they want to attain sobriety forever.
Then, the patient is required to make a list of advantages and disadvantages of getting sober.
The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
The participants learn to use methods like various distraction techniques to suppress cravings.
Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
Controlling Mind, Emotions, And Actions
In point three, one is taught how to bring the mind, emotions, and actions under control to avoid yielding to cravings and falling back to drug abuse.
The feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
Living A Balanced Life
The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
It is, therefore, essential that one learns how to live a fulfilling life that is also drug-free.
Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.
Similarities And Differences Between 12 Step Programme And Smart
SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.
The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.
In SMART addiction isn't called a disease and the recovering users aren't identified as addicts. Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. The duration taken for recovering from the addiction is not long in the SMART technique. 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. Participants of SMART are encouraged to approach the process of recovery by gaining control over 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. There is no one size fit all program; SMART says, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same position."
Qualifying For The Programme
A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the 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.
It is believed that the participants have what it takes to stay clean once they get to the last stage of the program.
Is Smart Right For You
SMART was designed to help every individual backing with an addiction of any type. The addiction to food and betting can also be suppressed by this technique. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.