Don’t Miss Out on the 2017 SMART Conference: Rising Strong

Posted on February 14, 2017

Save the Date! 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us at the GalleryONE DoubleTree hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on September 22-23rd.  The conference opens with Joe Gerstein delivering his President’s address, and the day continues with featured speakers including: Hugh Delaney sharing how he’s growing meetings in inner-city Baltimore, Sarah Zemore with her latest research study results involving SMART Recovery, Reid Hester talking about his CheckUp and Choices app, and much more!

The event will be packed with things to do — whether it’s socializing on a group activity in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, getting the latest updates on SMART Recovery, or attending break-out sessions specific to your role and interest in SMART — you’re guaranteed to enjoy this conference and destination!

An added benefit is in store with an optional Sunday, September 24th workshop where Dr. Lori Eickleberry, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology, and Founder of three clinics including Motivational Institute for Behavioral Health, LLC will be offering a workshop on Motivational Interviewing. “Dr. Lori” has conducted numerous presentations, workshops and professional trainings in Motivational Interviewing for both government and private institutions and is part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).  CEUs will be available for Florida licensed individuals.

Stay tuned for more details and information at www. smartrecovery.org.   For information on becoming conference sponsor, please contact Christi Farmer.


 

Passion, Commitment and the Spirit of Volunteering

Posted on February 7, 2017

By Judith Poole, Facilitator and Regional Coordinator, British Columbia, Canada

When I learned my son was addicted to opiates about five years ago, I felt completely helpless. I just wasn’t equipped to handle the situation or give my son the level of support he needed. Without tools or answers, I was so stressed in those early stages of his addiction that I ended up having a heart attack. Other support groups hadn’t worked for me. Like a lot of people, I looked for options on the Internet, and that’s where I discovered SMART Recovery.

SMART Recovery’s message resonated with me. It was exactly what I needed. At first, I took the facilitator training course for myself and my son. It gave me the tools I needed. I learned the skills to handle the stress of addiction and other problems, too. Thankfully, my son is fairly far along in the recovery process now. Yet soon after I completed the training and began attending meetings, I realized I was hardly alone…and there was absolutely nothing else out there for people like us.

“I passionately wanted to give all I’ve learned to others and help SMART Recovery continue expanding and reaching more and more people.”

I’ve always been a big believer in volunteer work. A believer and a doer. But this was different. The cards were on the table in the most personal way possible, my son’s very life and mine were in jeopardy. SMART Recovery worked for us. I passionately wanted to give all I’ve learned to others and help SMART Recovery continue expanding and reaching more and more people. And I’ve been doing just that ever since.

To imagine a world without SMART Recovery, I have to think of the eleven people who regularly attend our local meeting. Eleven family members and friends, with no doubt more families and friends to come. It’s an ever-widening circle. What’s left in a world without SMART Recovery? A crumbling puzzle Continue reading

5 Ways to Deal With Urges and Cravings

Posted on January 31, 2017

By Randy Lindel, Facilitator, SMART Recovery® Boston

Read on for five (5) practical ideas on how to cope with urges and cravings after you have decided to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Cravings are normal

Everyone who’s engaged in addictive behavior will experience uncomfortable cravings (“I want it badly”) and urges (“I have to do it now”). They are normal. And fortunately, they always pass with time. At the outset of recovery, they can be pretty intense, but each one will subside if you can wait it out and have a plan for relapse prevention. Cravings and urges will decrease in strength and frequency over time. You can make this happen by adopting some coping strategies that work best for you.

Learning to resist cravings

For many people, urges and cravings to use drugs or alcohol trigger automatic responses. They are without conscious thought: I want [fill in the blank]. = I get it. Learning to say NO to these intense, ingrained desires is one of the biggest challenges in recovery. The good news is that you can understand these desires and learn to resist them. Continue reading

On-site SMART Training for Treatment Providers

Posted on January 24, 2017

Looking for an efficient way to train your staff and offer SMART meetings to your clients?  SMART Recovery has long achieved success with our online “Distance Facilitator Training” program.  The 30 hour, self-paced, self-study training has much to offer individuals with busy lives.

That said, several years ago, more organizations approached SMART desiring to host on-site training programs for the staff at their treatment facilities, so we decided to take our distance facilitator training “on the road”!  The result is a much faster, full (very full) two-day training program delivered at the treatment facility or a nearby venue.

“I’m excited to see where things go with the creation of SMART meetings in our facilities!”

Our most recent on-site training event took place on December 29th and 30th at Recovery Ways in Murray, Utah.  The facilitator training was led by former SMART Recovery board member (and educator) Lorie Hammerstrom.

Nate Van Dyke, Substance Use Disorder Counselor of Recovery Ways shared “everyone agrees that the training was a fun and educational experience. Most of all, thank you for offering those searching for a path to Continue reading

New Research Evidence Supports Choice in Recovery!

Posted on January 17, 2017

Many SMART Recovery attendees participated in a national study over the past two years which compared 12-step groups to mutual help alternatives. (You may recall it as the PAL Study.) The overall goal of the study was to determine differences in membership, group participation, cohesion and satisfaction. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Study results have now been published in the “Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment”, and the study found that people in recovery who attended alternative support groups experienced more cohesion and greater satisfaction when compared with members of traditional 12-step programs.  (SMART Recovery, LifeRing and Women for Sobriety meeting participants were included in the study, as well as 12-step participants.)

Importantly, the study also revealed that SMART, LifeRing and WFS should be referred to by professionals – particularly to their clients who are less religious or may be unsure of their commitment to abstinence when first contemplating a mutual Continue reading

Webinar – New Science, New Strategies: Addiction Recovery for 2017

Posted on January 10, 2017

Saturday, January 14th, 2017. 5:00PM EST
Presented by Dr. Reid Hester

SMART Recovery will host Reid K. Hester, Ph.D., for an overview and discussion of recent scientific findings on addiction treatment and support. There are valuable lessons to be learned and new strategies resulting from research that have real implications for people struggling with their use of alcohol, drugs and behaviors.

The event will be enjoyed by individuals struggling with addictive behaviors, as well as the professionals and families who want to help a loved one.

Dr. Hester is the Director of Research at Checkup & Choices and creator of SMART’s CheckUp & Choices companion web course (formerly called Overcoming Addictions). His professional career has included clinical work, program consultation, research, and training in empirically supported approaches to substance abuse treatment.

Currently, Dr. Hester is directing an implementation research grant Continue reading