A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. The feeling of despair can be minimised by using the SMART technique.
People suffering from addictions and behavioural problems can be treated with the help of Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). The aim of this program is to help treat addiction by getting people to focus on the thoughts and emotions behind the addiction.
People are taught skills and to manage their cravings and urges for the long-term to those who decide to participate in SMART.
As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.
SMART's current and updated techniques have been proven to provide excellent results.
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.
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. Volunteers who have received the training provide assistance to the participants to examine their specific behaviour and to locate the problems that need maximum attention. The participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. Psychology and self motivation is mostly used in the treatment when using SMART program. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-point program.
The recovery handbook provided by SMART details every step of the 4 point program. The Handbook also contains ideas and exercises to help one keep off the substance abuse.
The 4 point program is unlike step programs, which have been designed by other organizations. Depending on their current situation, the recovering user can pick on any point they wish.
If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 246 1509.
The programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. Both programs have been designed for recovering alcohol and drug users by working through a series of assignments to overcome their addiction. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.
The basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.
In SMART addiction isn't called a disease and the recovering users aren't identified as addicts. SMART believes that assigning labels to participants is both discouraging and counterproductive. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.
The belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. It is the willingness of a person to overcome the dependence that is used in the SMART program.
There is always help for participants in both the programs. It's up for the particular individual to decide which one will be most helpful for him or her. In the words written in the SMART Recovery Handbook, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same situation."
One can overcome addiction when in the SMART program as soon as they are ready. The chances of a person going back to the drugs is minimal when the are on the SMART program.
By the time one is graduating from a SMART program, they are fully confident they can tackle life with no risk of relapsing into drug use.
Participants of SMART when they have reached the final stage will be considered as having the skills needed to maintain a sober life.
Anyone suffering from any addiction can benefit from SMART. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. Those who have co-occurring mental disorders, e.g. depressions, also may derive benefit from it.