Self-Management and Recovery Training, or SMART, is an approach to recovery developed by international non-profit organization SMART Recovery to help individuals looking to abstain from addictive substances. The organization’s approach is secular, science-based, and non-confrontational. It is considered as an effective alternative to other programs like the 12 Steps. SMART is also constantly being updated as new scientific information arises.

How does it work?

SMART is often likened to the 12-Step program, but they differ vastly in their approach. While the 12-Step program requires the participant to admit his or her vulnerability to their habits, SMART opts to impart empowerment and self-reliance as tools to recovery.

SMART’s scientific approach utilizes motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. CBT is rooted on a number of core assumptions about how human beings function, such as the belief that humans engage in behaviors that are reinforced and avoid things linked with punishment. CBT can help patients deal with behavioral issues associated with substance abuse like anxiety and depression by helping the individual understand how his or her thought patterns work and how they influence behavioral choices.

The SMART 4-Point Program

SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program employs specific tools and techniques to help individuals gain independence from addictions. The four main points are the following:

Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation

In this phase, the motivation of a participant is measured. He or she may be asked to list the impact to their lives of using as opposed to being sober.

Point 2: Coping with Urges

This stage may involve lessons and techniques on how to beat cravings and identify their triggers.

Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

This point seeks to identify thoughts, feelings, and patterns that may lead to relapse. Techniques on self-acceptance and managing depression are often taught.

Point 4: Living a Balanced Life

This last stage helps participants deal with living sober as this is a major lifestyle change. This is also the stage where they learn how to set goals for a future free from alcohol or addictive substances.

Does SMART work?

According to SMART Recovery, there have been many success stories during the 19-year history of the organization, the most recent of which is scientific evidence that supports SMART’s effectiveness in dealing with alcohol problems.

A clinical trial funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism introduced 189 heavy drinkers to a web app based on SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program. After three months, researchers found that participants in all groups increased the percentage of days without alcohol from 44% to 72%.

Orange County SMART Recovery

Our treatment programs in Orange County offer a complete treatment program that integrates mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services. We offer detox, both 12-step and SMART recovery groups, and a comprehensive drug treatment program. We are not a one size fits all treatment facility, and this sets us apart from other treatment centers. Our treatment plans in Orange County are customized to each patient’s needs and preferences and are administered by our staff of highly motivated and expert professionals.

We Can Help

We believe and have proven many times that addictions can be effectively and safely treated. Our Orange County rehab facility offers inpatient and outpatient care for addiction and our aftercare programs ensure that you have the tools you need to maintain sobriety when the formal treatment is through.

We can help you find the recovery you’ve been looking for, and all you need to begin is call. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you take back your life from addiction.