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.
SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a support program aimed at people who suffer from addictions and conduct disorders. SMART helps the patients focus on the root causes of their addiction as well as their thoughts and feelings, and by addressing them, they learn how to control and take charge of their lives.
Participants of SMART groups master skills which enable them to manage their urges and cravings in the long run.
The latest methods of stopping the dependency on drugs are used on SMART program to help the members.
SMART is regularly updated to provide strategies researchers find most efficient.
SMART has been recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians as being one of the successful methods of beating dependency.
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. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. The techniques used by SMART are different from the 12 point program and rely on cognitive behavioural and motivational enhancement therapies while imparting the training and any education. 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. The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.
The 4-point program is not a step-by-step program. The patients can start on any of the points following no order, but depending on the greatest area they most need to address.
If a 12-Step program does not appeal to you or a loved one, give SMART a chance. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 246 1509.
The SMART 4-Point and the 12-Step programs do share some similar approaches. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. The objectives have been realized in both of them.
The basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.
The people that are dependant on the drugs are not said to be "addicts" in the SMART program. SMART views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. The duration taken for recovering from the addiction is not long in the SMART technique. After successfully completing the program, members go on to start a new life devoid of addictions and baggage.
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.
There is always help for participants in both the programs. People choose the program they feel will suit them best. 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. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.
According to SMART, the participants don't feel the urge to use at the end of the program and they have total control over their lives.
They go back to a normal life where they don't have to use drugs.
Anyone suffering from any addiction can benefit from SMART. Besides, it can be beneficial for individuals with other addictive behaviours, like eating disorders and compulsive gambling. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.