What is SMART Recovery?
SMART Recovery, also known as Self Management and Recovery Training, is a non-profit organization providing assistance to people seeking to overcome an addictive behavior.
SMART Recovery took its name in 1994, however, the organization incorporated in 1992 as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network.
Every week, more than 800 groups meet in locations all over the world. Meetings are free for anybody who wants to attend.
SMART Recovery Stages of Change
One of the primary benefits of this program is its ability to realize that all participants are in a unique position. This is why the organization has come up with seven stages of change:
- Precontemplation. It is during this stage that a person may not realize or want to admit that they have a problem.
- Contemplation. The participant takes a closer look at his or her addiction, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages through a cost/benefit analysis.
- Determination and preparation. During this stage the person is prompted to complete a Change Plan Worksheet.
- Action. This is when the participant looks for new ways to handle their addiction. This can include a variety of strategies, including professional help, the support of a group, and self-help.
- Maintenance. After several months have passed, the person realizes that their behavior has changed for the better. Now, it is up to him or her to implement a plan that allows them to maintain their gains.
- Relapse. Nobody wants to face relapse, as this means something has gone wrong with his or her recovery and they are once again falling into an addictive state. However, this is a normal part of overcoming an addiction. If approached in the right way, it can be a good learning experience.
- Termination. Once a person has made a change over a long period of time, they may come to the conclusion that it is time to move on from SMART Recovery. They have done everything necessary to reach their goals, and are now able to handle their life without the help of the organization.
SMART Recovery Recognition
SMART Recovery is not a fly by night operation, with the organization being recognized by the following:
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- American Academy of Family Physicians
Some people are able to overcome an addiction on their own. Others realize the benefits of obtaining help from a well known organization. SMART Recovery has helped thousands of people over the years, and will continue to do so into the future.
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