An introduction to smart recovery
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An Introduction To SMART Recovery ®. What is SMART Recovery ® ?. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. SMART is basically a set of tools and skills. The free meetings (online and face-to-face) and discussions are opportunities to learn, practice and refine these skills.

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An Introduction ToSMART Recovery®


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What is SMART Recovery®?

  • SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training.

  • SMART is basically a set of tools and skills.

  • The free meetings (online and face-to-face) and discussions are opportunities to learn, practice and refine these skills.


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Four-Point Program

  • Motivation to Abstain - Enhancing and maintaining motivation to abstain from addictive behavior

  • Coping with Urges - Learning how to cope with urges and cravings

  • Problem Solving - Using rational ways to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviors

  • Lifestyle Balance – Balancing short-term and long-term pleasures and satisfactions in life


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Final Authority

  • SMART views reason and scientific knowledge as the final authority.

  • SMART evolves as scientific knowledge evolves.

  • A religious or spiritual belief is not required.

  • However, many SMART participants hold religious or spiritual beliefs, although we do not focus on these in SMART.

  • At SMART the emphasis is self-empowerment.


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Four Common Misconceptions About Urges

  • Urges are excruciating or unbearable.

  • They compel you to use.

  • They will not go away until you drink or use.

  • They will drive you crazy.

  • None of these are true!


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The Truth About Urges

  • There is no evidence to support the four common misconceptions.

  • You can resist them and they will get weaker over time.

  • When you realize you can stand a little discomfort, you will be back in control and part of your problem will be solved immediately.


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Accepting Urges

  • Accept your urges as a normal part of changing instead of treating them as catastrophes.

  • You make yourself feel crazy by thinking, “I can’t stand this; it’s awful to feel this way; this is too much for me; I’m losing control of my emotions and I must be in control.”


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Retraining Your Thoughts

  • YOU have control.

  • You CAN stand the urges and they DO pass.

  • We CAN enhance our comfort and expedite the process.

  • Use SMART tools like DISARM, Divert and Stop Thought.

  • Find supportive friends in SMART meetings.


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Increasing Motivation

  • Use SMART tools like CBA (Cost/Benefit Analysis), ABC and Brainstorming

  • Listen to the voices in your head. SMART builds up the rational voice and disputes the enemy voice that encourages us to use.

  • Commit to short-term sobriety so you can think clearly while working on recovery.

  • Commit to attend X number of meetings – say two months - to get to know SMART.


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Focus on the Positive

  • Build on concrete things like developing a VACI (Vital Absorbing Creative Interest).

  • SMART prefers to quickly focus on progress and positive goals.

  • When “recovery” feels good we are much more likely to continue.

  • Yes! You can feel good during recovery!


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Managing Thoughts, Feelings, Behaviors

  • We expose the irrational excuses we give ourselves for using, and thus see our lives in a new way.

  • We increase our frustration tolerance.

  • We can learn to manage our emotions.

  • What do you wish your life would look like? Move toward those goals.


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SMART Problem-Solving Tools

  • ABCs to Dispute Irrational Beliefs

  • CBA (Cost/Benefit Analysis)

  • Enhanced Frustration Tolerance

  • Exchange Vocabulary

  • Journaling

  • Relaxation

  • Brainstorming

  • Planning

  • …among other proven methods


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Balancing Long-Term and Short-Term Satisfactions

  • Stopping an addictive behavior is as easy as just stopping.

  • More difficult is learning to live comfortably without the addictive behavior.

  • SMART is not about managing away emotions.

  • SMART is about learning to balance and appreciate the actual significance of emotions.


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Happiness is a Planned Activity

  • Many people find they experience a wider range of emotions and feel more alive emotionally, yet they find this need not create problems or be disturbing.

  • In this way you can build a happy, healthy lifestyle – based on your personally chosen values and goals.


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Thoughts > Beliefs >Feelings > Actions

  • People and situations cannot “make” you feel a certain way.

  • Your reaction to them is what makes you feel that way.

  • This is the critical principle of SMART, and the cornerstone of the ABC process, which we use to test the rationality of our thoughts and beliefs.

  • YOU control YOU!


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If You Lapse or Relapse

  • Come discuss what happened.

  • Lapses are not a point to start over, but a point to get back on the horse and keep riding.

  • We don’t start over at day zero – we’ve learned too much to say we’re starting from scratch.

  • For us, change looks more like an upward spiral than a straight line.


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Crosstalk is Encouraged

  • Discussion amongst participants is encouraged, and proven effective.

  • Or simply sit back and listen.

  • You make the choices – this is not a pressure group.

  • SMART tools are illustrated and practiced BEST on real-life situations.


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What Can I Do Next?

  • Watch the ABC Tutorial slide show.

  • Watch the CBA Tutorial slide show.

  • Post a message on our message board and introduce yourself!

  • Attend an online meeting.

  • Read about SMART Recovery Tools.

  • Order books from our Online Bookstore.


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Thank You!

Thank you for your interest inSMART Recovery®