Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that Ohio has one of the nation’s highest death rates from drug overdose, with death rates taking a statistically significant jump just from the year 2014 to 2015. While Ohio drug rehab programs treat substance abuse disorders and help people toward recovery, follow-up after rehab is essential for continued recovery.
Though many people finishing addiction treatment programs at Ohio drug rehab facilities are urged to attend 12-step meetings regularly, there is now another option called SMART Recovery, and it is worth exploring as an adjunct or alternative to attendance at 12-step programs.
What Is SMART Recovery?
The acronym SMART stands for Self Management and Recovery Training, and it is designed to help individuals as they continue on their journey of recovery from addiction. Principles of SMART Recovery are based on scientific knowledge, and are committed to evolving as scientific knowledge of the disease of addiction evolves.
SMART teaches individuals self-reliance and self-empowerment, encouraging people to continue with recovery so they can live satisfying lives. The program teaches techniques for self-directed change through educational meetings that include open discussions. SMART is in favor of appropriate use of prescribed medications and mental health treatment as part of recovery from addiction.
How Does SMART Recovery Differ from Twelve-Step Programs?
Unlike 12-step organizations, SMART Recovery makes no reference to a higher power. People may attend regardless of their religious background, or if they have no religious affiliation. SMART offers a four-point program with specific tools and techniques for each. The four points are:
- Building and sustaining motivation
- Coping with urges and impulses
- Managing feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- Living a life that is in balance
Participants are encouraged to learn how to use specific behavioral tools and techniques and to practice them with the first three points as they move forward toward the fourth point of the program.
What Can Participants Expect from SMART Recovery Meetings?
SMART meetings are anonymous. Face-to-face meetings generally have 10 or fewer people, while online meetings may have up to 35 participants. Every meeting, in-person or online, is run by a trained facilitator. Facilitators are volunteers who must complete 30 hours of online training before they can facilitate meetings.
The discussions in SMART meetings are designed to teach people the importance of self-reliance and self-empowerment. Facilitators may use relevant questions to help trigger thoughts and guide participants through their unique stage of change. Meetings consist of a series of open discussion topics. Tips are shared and support is offered to participants. The tools that are taught during SMART Recovery are:
- Understanding the stages of change
- Completing the Change Plan worksheet
- The Decision-Making worksheet, which is a type of cost / benefit analysis
- The ABCs of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) for coping with urges
- The ABCs of REBT for coping with emotional upset
- DISARM, which stands for Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method
- The hierarchy of values
- Role-play and rehearsal
- USA, which stands for Unconditional Self-Acceptance
Recovery Meetings Do Not Have to Be Mutually Exclusive
People struggling with substance abuse disorders or recovery do not have to choose between SMART Recovery and 12-step programs. SMART is based on a strong belief that each individual must find his or her own path to recovery, and for some people that may include 12-step programs or other self-empowerment programs. SMART is committed to the idea that each participant constructs an individual path to recovery and a balanced life.
Ohio has seen a significant increase in substance abuse disorders in recent years, particularly with opioids. Recovery is a process, and it begins with reaching out and exploring Ohio drug rehab options. If you are open to help, we invite you to contact us. Take the first step toward the healthy and balanced life you deserve.