SMART Recovery

Individuals seeking a respected and time-tested organization to assist them in battling addictive behaviors may benefit from considering the Self-Management and Recovery Training program, known colloquially as SMART Recovery. This recovery program has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reasons. This program is an excellent alternative to traditional “12 Step” treatment programs. It instead focuses on teaching patients cognitive and motivational techniques to help them better face their addictions in their day-to-day lives.

Addiction is a challenge faced by individuals around the world every single day. Though facing addiction may be a very personal battle, it certainly isn’t one that people can conquer on their own.

Does SMART Recovery sound like a program that could benefit you or someone you love? Read on to learn more about this successful treatment organization.

SMART Recovery: Program Techniques

SMART Recovery differs from other rehabilitation programs in that it takes a rational, scientifically-proven approach to addiction treatment. The program incorporates some behavioral treatment techniques into its program, including the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), a particular set of CBT techniques
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Motivational Interviewing

When used in conjunction with other scientifically-proven recovery techniques, these therapeutic methods are often highly successful in mitigating addictive behaviors and improving the overall well-being of patients involved in the program. Individuals are taught skills and coping methods that they can later use as “tools” to address their addiction and associated issues.

SMART Recovery focuses on improving four key skills in its patients. Patients can better develop these skills through application of the “tools” acquired through CBT, REBT, and MET. The skills emphasized by this program include:

  • Building and Maintaining Motivation
  • Coping with Addictive Urges
  • Rational Management of Feeling, Thoughts, and Behaviors
  • Creating a Balanced Lifestyle

How Is SMART Recovery Different from Other Treatment Programs?

SMART Recovery emphasizes a secular and scientific approach to addiction treatment. Other treatment programs often involve spiritual aspects of treatment as well, which may not suit some potential patients. The organization strives to incorporate the most recent scientific treatment techniques into its program as well, making it one of the most current rehabilitation programs in the world.

Other unique characteristics of SMART Recovery include the following:

  • Emphasizes active conversation with others, rather than lecture-based dialogues.
  • Disagrees with the labeling of patients as “addicts” and instead encourages positive self-image.
  • Does not believe that individuals are powerless over their situations.
  • Encourages long-term participation.
  • Does not involve sponsors or sponsorship.

When combined with inpatient treatment, the SMART Recovery program is a highly effective rehabilitation tool. Inpatient addiction treatment offers some benefits, including, but not limited to:

  • Supervision and program structure
  • Complete abstinence from addictive substances
  • A strong network of therapy specialists
  • The chance to meet others struggling with similar conditions and the opportunity to forge new friendships

SMART Recovery and inpatient treatment are a natural fit. It provides patients with the mental and emotional “tools” to help them cope with the outside world. In an inpatient setting, these skills can be better taught and reinforced. Additionally, the program promotes abstinence as a better solution to addiction than moderation. Nearly all inpatient programs emphasize abstinence as well. The structure and skills developed by SMART Recovery are ideally complemented by a comprehensive inpatient treatment program.

Does SMART Recovery Have a Better Success Rate than Other Rehabilitation Programs?

Few programs offer official statistics on their program treatment success, making it challenging to compare the success rate of SMART Recovery against other rehabilitation programs. Though it is impossible to compare the overall success of SMART with other programs, the feedback from participants is extremely positive overall.

The SMART Recovery member survey for 2014, for instance, shows that 82.28% of patients thought that their face-to-face facilitators were very or extremely knowledgeable about the program. Ninety percent of participants thought that their facilitators were very patient and 92% of participants thought their moderators were good, very good, or excellent at guiding discussions during meetings. Overall, it appears that program participants are highly satisfied with the treatment they are receiving through the program.

In Conclusion:

All in all, SMART Recovery is an excellent treatment program for those looking to treat their addictive behaviors. Whether used independently or in conjunction with other treatment programs.  It is a trusted rehabilitation program will likely become even an even more popular treatment option in the years to come.