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SMART Recovery

SMART recovery stands for self-management and recovery training and it is quickly becoming a sought after form of addiction therapy in the present day. During these treatment sessions addicts learn to take responsibility for their own actions, rather than accepting that addiction is a disease that is out of their control. Currently, there are around 1,000 SMART meetings held all over the world with as many as 30,000 attendees. Unlike the 12-step program, the SMART recovery does not consider total abstinence as the most important part of overcoming addiction, instead much emphasis is placed on achieving a balanced life. SMART meetings in Massachusetts are open to anyone that wishes to find an empowering method to continue their recovery and reclaim their life from substance abuse and addiction.

What Are The Four Main Points Of SMART Recovery?

The SMART program is based on four main principles which are:

Building and Maintaining Motivation – Addicts need to find their own motivation to quit using drugs or alcohol. Addicts are encouraged to prepare a cost/benefit analysis sheet that compares the benefits of using drugs against the financial and personal cost of addiction.

Coping with Urges – SMART recovery supports the use of modern psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help addicts cope with their cravings. Former addicts are taught that they have the power within them to resist using drugs or alcohol.

Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors – Addicts are taught rational ways to manage any temptations they may encounter during their sobriety. Negative thought patterns or behaviors should be addressed by the addict themselves and new ways of thinking and acting can be adopted.

Living a Balanced Life – SMART recovery teaches people to balance the short-term pleasures in life against their long-term goals and asks addicts to examine whether their drug use is really worthwhile.

The SMART Toolbox

SMART recovery programs in Massachusetts use a wide range of scientifically backed tools to help addicts overcome their addictions by taking responsibility for their lives. Members are encouraged to attend several different therapy sessions including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and rational emotive behavioral therapy. During meetings, attendants fill out a change plan worksheet, a cost versus benefit analysis, and examine the ABCs of rational emotive behavioral therapy. The ABCs stand for activating event, beliefs and consequence, and many people have reported that this particular technique has been useful in their journey towards recovery. Members also participate in brain storming and roleplay during sessions, and each meeting provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment where addicts can access support.

Who Will Benefit From SMART Recovery?

SMART meetings welcome people that are still currently using drugs or alcohol. Both former addicts and those that are only considering abstaining from drugs and alcohol will benefit from SMART recovery. According to online polls, more than half of those that attend SMART meetings believe that the technique played a big role in their recovery. Many people that attend SMART meetings as an addict return to help others later on as a SMART facilitator. People that have difficulty with some of the principles taught in the 12-step programs used by Alcoholics Anonymous such as belief in a higher power will benefit from SMART recovery. Those that prefer to take responsibility for their own actions and play an active role in their recovery are also better suited to the SMART recovery technique.

If you are searching for a SMART meeting in Massachusetts, do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction specialist for further details. Recovery is a difficult process for many people, but the tools and support offered through the SMART method can help make the process go much more smoothly.