What Is SMART Recovery?
SMART Recovery is a nonprofit self-help organization that allows people to escape the trap of drug and alcohol addiction with a practical approach to recovery. If you are engaged in dangerous drinking or compulsive drug use, you can change your behavior – and ultimately your life – here at Aton Centers.
SMART Recovery USA is headquartered at 7304 Mentor Ave in Ohio. However, we have made this addiction treatment program available in San Diego because we know it works. Addiction is a very real problem in California and across the United States. We introduce the necessary tools to empower our clients so they can put an end to self-destructive behavior and begin sobriety.
SMART Recovery encourages a holistic approach to changing addictive behaviors. It allows participants to evolve beyond defeating thought patterns and embrace positive change. The ultimate goal of this program is to help people achieve total abstinence from drugs and alcohol and enjoy a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
We have helped hundreds of clients overcome physical dependence on opiates, cocaine, crystal meth, alcohol, and other substances by introducing them to the SMART Recovery program. We are grateful for the opportunity to help you as well.
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SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program
At our executive California addiction treatment center, we work directly out of the SMART Recovery handbook and provide extensive individual and group therapy. We will introduce you to the 4-point program and tell you how to connect with a local chapter or online meeting once you leave.
SMART is an acronym for “Self-Management and Recovery Training.” This recovery program is based on four guiding principles.
Building and Maintaining Motivation
People use street drugs and drink alcohol excessively because they are looking for a way to cope with stress, uncomfortable feelings, and challenging life circumstances. You must find and maintain the motivation to avoid unhealthy substances and behaviors.
Identifying reasons to stay sober helps you build momentum. You will reinforce the decision to stay sober daily by learning to be grateful for your new way of living. It would make sense that by having reasons to stay abstinent, abstinence becomes more inviting.
Coping with Urges
When you free yourself from the addiction trap, you will experience cravings and urges to return to whatever substance you have been abusing. But, the truth is you don’t have to.
Once you learn the tools of SMART Recovery here at AToN Centers, you never have to take a drink or use drugs for the rest of your life. We will teach you how to cope with urges so that you don’t give in to fleeting cravings that have the potential to put you back on a destructive path.
Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
SMART Recovery primarily focuses on REBT's cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy). This methodology was developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in the 1950s. It is a widely-accepted clinical approach to behavior modification and is commonly used in corrections facilities because it is effective. According to REBT, thinking creates feelings, and feelings motivate action. By managing your beliefs and feelings, you can stop turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Living a Balanced Life
Sobriety is about so much more than simply stopping the use of alcohol or drugs. It is about a total lifestyle change incorporating healthy behaviors and practices. Decreasing emotional disturbances and increasing self-acceptance through things like health and fitness drive a desire to stay sober and take care of your body.
So, to summarize, the purpose of this 4-point program is to support those who have chosen to break the cycle of addictive behaviors by teaching them how to change self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and actions; and to work toward building a better quality of life.
What Makes SMART Recovery Different From the 12-Step Model?
SMART RecoveryMost drug rehabilitation centers in the United States use the 12-Step Model adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 Steps encourage participants to admit they are powerless over their drug of choice. Fellowships like A.A. and Narcotics Anonymous tell members they are afflicted with a disease that causes them to be allergic to drugs or alcohol, an allergy that results in obsessive and compulsive substance abuse.
Also, the 12 Steps instruct participants to turn their will and lives over to a higher power and encourage them to build a relationship with the God of their understanding. Members are told they must attend meetings for the rest of their lives, continually work the 12 Steps, and sponsor newcomers to maintain ongoing abstinence.
We do not deny that the 12-Step Model has been life-changing for thousands of people. It has been a mainstay in the addiction treatment community for decades and continues to work in the lives of many. However, at AToN Centers, we believe in offering our clients recovery tools that center on evidence-based treatment.
SMART Recovery does not teach you that you have a disease. You do not have to be spiritual or believe in God to enjoy the program’s benefits. You also do not have to work with others or attend meetings for the rest of your life.
This program teaches self-reliance – NOT reliance on a higher power or sponsor. SMART Recovery is about self-directed change. Additionally, it advocates the benefits of outside therapy and the appropriate use of medications as prescribed by a doctor.
You will not be labeled an alcoholic or addict at SMART Recovery. Although online and face-to-face meetings are available, you will not be expected to attend meetings for the rest of your life. However, you can stick around and work as a volunteer or mentor to help others if you so choose.
The Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a motivation-building tool. This tool identifies the short- and long-term “pros and cons” of engaging in a particular behavior (substance use). Residents also identify the short- and long-term “pros and cons” of not engaging in the same behavior.
The CBA is processed thoroughly with a skilled member of the Clinical Team. Many residents report having increased motivation for recovery after utilizing this SMART Recovery® tool. The CBA can be used for other important decisions, such as making discharge plans and accepting anti-craving medication recommendations.
DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method) is a technique that focuses on refuting urges to use substances. It can be utilized and practiced in therapy to tackle the negative self-talk threatening a resident’s resolve to stay sober. The first step in DISARM is identifying the thoughts, urges, and impulses that undermine one’s long-term goal of sobriety. Once the client has identified the negative self, they will begin to assess and understand how these adverse beliefs foster the urge to abuse substances.
Once the thoughts and beliefs have been identified, the clinician and resident aggressively attack them via role play in individual and group sessions. The clinician fortifies the client with coping mechanisms and self-affirmative statements that allow the resident to realize their long-term objective of attaining sobriety and wellness.
Values and Goals Clarification is a vital tool utilized at AToN Center. Its purpose is to assist our residents in maintaining motivation for recovery. Residents identify their values with the clinicians and plan appropriate short- and long-term goals that uphold their identified values.
SMART Recovery Provides Meetings Online and In-Person
We understand that clients who come to see us for a problem with addiction will need ongoing support after they leave our San Diego rehab. For this reason, we encourage attendance at SMART Recovery meetings held online or at one of the many face-to-face meetings offered worldwide until you don’t need them anymore.
Meetings are 90 minutes long. The format is straightforward and well-organized. These meetings are very different from 12-Step meetings. Volunteers serve as mentors to show new people how to apply the 4-point program in their daily lives.
The focus of these community meetings is to present problems with addiction or problems in the recovery and find solutions. Participants are asked to remain present and not look to the past for answers.
Online meetings are available to those who live in areas where face-to-face meetings are not provided. Meetings are free, although the organization is grateful for donations.
Are You Ready To Get Sober With the Help of SMART Recovery?
If you are ready to end your addiction and get started on your sobriety journey, AToN Centers is here to help. Do you want to know more about SMART Recovery and how you could benefit from this 4-Point program? Please contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our San Diego addiction treatment programs.
You know the dangers involved with having a substance abuse problem. An addiction to drugs or alcohol is an urgent situation that should be addressed immediately. Drug overdose deaths and alcohol-related illnesses are at an all-time high in the United States. Your life is at stake.
Aside from the health risks accompanying addiction, having a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol creates destruction in the lives of everyone it touches. It robs you of joy, short-circuits your personal and professional goals, and harms your most personal relationships.
If you could have stopped drinking alcohol or taking drugs alone, you would have done so by now. There is no shame in admitting that you need help. Our drug and alcohol treatment facility in San Diego is here to help you start your journey toward healing.