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SMART Recovery
man asking for alcoholism help

Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction takes time, commitment, and external support. While it is possible to break the bonds of addiction by yourself, it’s much easier when you have access to professional treatment and support. The drug treatment process can be broken down into three separate stages: detoxification, rehabilitation, and aftercare support. Detox enables drug discontinuation, rehab addresses the psychological aspects of addiction, and aftercare support promotes sustainable long-term recovery. SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization dedicated to addiction treatment, with the SMART system using a number of non-confrontational techniques in an effort to change problematic behavior patterns. Often seen as an alternative to conventional 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), SMART Recovery is available throughout Alaska and across the United States. If you or anyone you know needs to access professional drug addiction treatment, it’s important to contact a treatment facility in Alaska as soon as possible.

What is SMART Recovery?

SMART stands for self-management and recovery training. This treatment model uses a number of secular and scientific methods to encourage abstinence and long-term recovery. The SMART system is based on behavioral and cognitive principles, with a four-point program and seven-stage process realized at all stages of recovery. There are two main groups of people who get involved with SMART Recovery: those who have completed a formal rehab program, and those who have not. Regardless of the individual background of the participant, The SMART Recovery system is a great way to encourage healthy lifestyle changes and prevent relapse events. SMART Recovery is based on a number of conventional psychotherapy models, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, motivational enhancement therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy.

The 4-Point Program

SMART Recovery is based on a four-point program, with four central points emphasized across all aspects of treatment. The first point is known as “building motivation”, with recovering addicts taught how to develop the intrinsic motivation needed to change behavior from the inside out. This is an important part of the treatment process, with patients unable to create real lifestyle changes unless they have initiated them themselves. The second key point is known as “coping with urges”, with a number of motivational and trigger recognition strategies applied to help patients develop better powers of resilience. This too is an important part of treatment, with patients only able to avoid relapse if they can cope with behavioral urges and drug cravings. The third point is called “problem-solving”, with a range of techniques initiated to help people find practical solutions to real world problems. The fourth and final point is called “lifestyle balance”, with a range of techniques applied to help patients build a better and more sustainable life without resorting to compulsive and impulsive habits.

The Seven Stage Process

SMART Recovery utilizes a seven stage process, with a range of techniques and assignments applied throughout the recovery period. The first stage is called pre-contemplation, followed by contemplation, determination, action, maintenance, and exit. These stages are applied across all stages of drug discontinuation and recovery, with therapists helping clients on an individual basis according to their own individual progress. While SMART Recovery is often seen as an alternative to conventional 12-step support groups, it offers a progressive approach to drug treatment that is centered on these seven stages. If you or anyone you know needs to access professional drug treatment services, it is important to find an accredited treatment center as soon as possible.

For more information about SMART recovery, or simply guidance regarding choosing a facility, pick up the phone and dial an addiction specialist now