SMART Recovery

About SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is an abstinence-oriented, not-for-profit organization for individuals with addictive problems. Our self-empowering, free mutual support meetings focus on ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying. SMART Recovery does not use labels like “addict” or “alcoholic.” We teach scientifically validated methods designed to empower you to change and to develop a more positive lifestyle. After you have become familiar with SMART and are free of any addictive behavior, we encourage you to become a volunteer, so that we can keep expanding the number of meetings we offer.
Addictive behaviors can serve a purpose — to cope with life’s problems and emotional upsets. There can be drawbacks, however: while addictive behaviors may be effective coping methods in the short term, but they may cause harmful problems in the long term.
In SMART we focus on learning coping skills that work well short- and long-term. We base our ideas on what addiction science has shown to be effective. We have adapted these ideas into SMART’s tools for change. We are not much concerned with the past, except to learn from it. We focus on present-day events and the causes of self-destructive behaviors. We concentrate on what to do about them to achieve a positive lifestyle change, especially in the areas of our lives that are related to harmful addictive behavior.


Key Areas of Awareness and Change

SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change is built around our 4-Point Program®: (1) Building and maintaining the motivation to change. (2) Coping with urges to use. (3) Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors. (4) Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.


Motives and Goals

Motivation is a key element in nearly all you do. Consider that all human beings share several primary goals: survival, the avoidance of pain, happiness. Any addictive behaviors you engage in are to pursue these primary goals. We can help you see that you may be meeting these goals short-term but impairing your ability to meet them in the long-term.


Beliefs

What you believe about addiction is important, and there are many beliefs to choose from. You may believe, for example, that you’re powerless, or that after the first drink you lose all control and can’t stop. These beliefs may actually be damaging to you. Similar examples include, “I’ve tried and failed, so I can’t do it. I need alcohol to cope.” Or, “Because I’ve tried to quit and failed, I’m no good.” Those beliefs, and many like them, can’t be justified because the evidence just doesn’t support them. We will help you identify, examine, and modify your beliefs about yourself, your problems, and how to change.


Emotions

People often engage in addictive behavior to cope with emotional problems, including anger, guilt, anxiety, and low self-esteem. SMART Recovery teaches you how to diminish your emotional disturbances and increase self-acceptance. Then you can have greater motivation and the ability to change and to live more happily.


Behaviors

Changes in thinking and emotions alone are not enough. Commitment and follow-through are essential. We encourage participants to become involved in enjoyable activities that replace their problematic addictive behaviors.


How SMART Provides Help

Our meeting format is straightforward and organized. Our facilitators are trained to follow the SMART Recovery program and principles to help participants change their behavior. Some of them have had addictive problems, and some haven’t. That doesn’t seem to make any difference. Remember, SMART Recovery is a mental health and educational program, focused on changing human behavior. SMART Recovery meetings are serious but often fun. We don’t dredge up the past, about which we can do nothing. We can do something about the present and the future. Our meeting discussions focus on how to apply SMART’s tools for change so that you can go on to lead a more productive and connected life. Near the end of the meeting, the “hat” is passed for donations, which are encouraged but not required.


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Know the Risks

The Risks are Real

All drug use comes with risk. Know the facts before letting drugs take their toll on you and your family.

Drug use—including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, as well as prescription drug misuse and illicit opioids—among adults is on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased drug use. Different drugs pose different dangers. Drug use can lead to dependence and addiction, injury and accidents, health problems, sleep issues, and more. Drug use affects you and those close to you. Know there is help.

The pressures on adults are real. Building careers, buying homes, getting married, having kids, and trying to do it all well comes with a lot of pressure. COVID-19 has magnified the stress. Some turn to drugs to cope. Just because some drugs are legal, doesn’t mean they are less dangerous.

Over time, the regular or habitual use of drugs becomes a crutch and only adds to the stress. Drugs can also cause other harms, including:

  • Cocaine: Highly addictive, cocaine is involved in nearly one in five overdose deaths; its health effects include asthma, bowel decay, and increased risk of HIV.

  • Methamphetamine (Meth): Meth causes devastating health effects, and sometimes death, even on the first try. Meth speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous levels. Chronic users experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, aggression, and more.

  • Prescription and illicit opioids: Highly addictive, the substances are the top cause of overdose deaths; health effects include confusion, nausea, constipation, coma, and brain damage.

  • Marijuana: Even though it is legal in many states, studies link marijuana use to various negative outcomes.

Before the risks become real and before drugs turn your life—and your family—upside down, know there is help. You can quit.


The Rise of Drug Use for Adults Ages 26-49

While young adults ages 18-25 have the highest rates of drug use across the board, drug use among adults ages 26-49 is on the rise:

  • The percentage of adults age 26 and older using marijuana daily or almost daily has nearly doubled since 2015.
  • Cocaine use and death rates have risen; cocaine-involved overdose rates in the U.S. have risen annually since 2012.
  • Meth use is on the rise and overdose death rates climbed more than five-fold for those ages 25 to 54 between 2011 and 2018.
  • The nation remains in a prescription and illicit opioids crisis, as 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S.—the highest single year ever reported—in the 12 months ending in May 2020; most of the overdose deaths involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
Virtual Recovery Meetings

In the Rooms

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Virtual Meetings


Alcoholics Anonymous

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Narcotics Anonymous

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Self Management and Recovery Training

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