SMART Handbook for Kindle Just Released

Now you can get a Handbook — NOW!

SMART Handbook for Kindle

The waiting is over! Carry your SMART Handbook with you everywhere, on your smartphone or tablet. Or read it on your personal computer or laptop. Thanks to the talents and persistence of Laurie, one of our dedicated volunteers, the frequently requested ebook option for the Handbook is now a reality. The new Kindle edition contains the entire contents of the SMART Handbook, 3rd. ed., is fully indexed for efficient searching using the Kindle app search feature and is now available for instant download. Cost: $7.99
 

Kindle Free App

No Kindle? No Problem!

Anybody can read Kindle books — even without a Kindle device — using the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

Order the SMART Handbook for Kindle

Download the FREE Kindle App for smartphones, tablets, computers Read more »

4 Easy Tips for an Awesome Summer in Recovery

Enjoy Summer Without Getting Off Track

Summer in RecoveryFor many people, summer is the best time of the year. Warm weather, days at the beach, vacations… What’s not to love? But when you’re in recovery, especially early recovery, the pool parties and vacations of summer can be major relapse triggers. Here are some tips for enjoying summer without getting off track.

1. Plan ahead—If you know that you will be attending a party, barbecue, or other event that may be triggering, have an exit plan in place. Drive your own car so that you won’t get stuck there longer than you want to, or bring a sober friend along for support. If you are going on vacation, Read more »

Webinar: Behavioral Addictions

Gambling and Eating Disorders
Friday, July 18 at 8:00 pm EDT


Webinar: Gambling and Eating Disorders
On July 18, 2014 SMART Recovery Online will host Dr. Chris Tuell (Lindner Center of HOPE) and Ann Hull (The Hull Institute in Cleveland), in a joint presentation:

Behavioral Addictions: A Look at Gambling and Eating

Both Dr. Tuell and Ms. Hull have devoted their careers to the study and practice of addictive behaviors, and we are pleased to have their expertise to provide support for those struggling with eating disorders (ED) or gambling issues. This webinar is provided as educational opportunity for the SMART community and the public, to strengthen our knowledge, support, and compassion for those who come to SMART seeking mutual aid for eating disorders and gambling.

About the speakers

Dr. Chris TuellChris Tuell, Ed.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, has worked as a professional counselor in the field of mental health and addictions for the past 30 years. He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati, is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor. Dr. Tuell currently serves as Clinical Director of Addiction Services at the Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio, and is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati.

Ann HullAnn F. Hull, MBA, MSSW, LISW-S, SAP is founder and president of The Hull Institute. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with over 22 years of experience, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, obesity and addictions. Ann received her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating cum laude. She belongs to several national eating disorders organizations, and she worked in the Cleveland Clinic’s Eating Disorders Program until opening The Hull Institute in 2004.

This will be a fascinating discussion for the SMART community and the general public. Please share our invitation to attend with your friends, family and colleagues. We are pleased to continue to offer these FREE Special Event Webinars and the subsequent podcasts.

There is no cost to attend the event but advanced registration is required.


Support SMART Recovery Online
Read more »

5 Tips for Building a Strong Support Network

How to help your potential support system really be helpful
~Josh King, PsyD, Center for Motivation and Change

Support for RecoveryMany people start using substances (often as teens) as a way to engage socially.  The reality is that almost all substances with abuse potential initially have a “social lubrication” effect (i.e., they are dis-inhibiting, relaxing, anxiety-reducing, buffers to self-criticism, enhancers of pleasure, etc).  The problem?  Further down the road (and sometimes right out of the gates), use patterns become much more solitary, withdrawn and isolated.  Many have suffered through conflicts with family and friends and, by the time they seek treatment, feel disconnected from potential supporters of change.  In addition, to break the destructive patterns that are in place when they seek treatment, they have to distance themselves from current friends who engage in the same behavior (party pals etc).  The reality of “loss”…that is the loss of the relationship with the substance and with the people around it…and the awareness of distance from potentially supportive family and friends makes the early stages of change very hard to tolerate at times.
Research has shown time and again that having a robust support network can significantly reduce the odds of relapse Read more »

A Mindful Approach to Addiction Recovery

Self-Management Begins with Intention
-Charles A., SMART Recovery® Facilitator


SMART Recovery is about actively managing your self and directing your actions. What do you intend to actively do today… or ‘NOW’… to manage your addiction recovery?

We have the power of choice, but in order to realize this power, forming intentions and doing the work of changing our thinking and behaviors is required for success… so…

… what’s your intention for self-management today?

Here are some examples (different addiction examples are included here.)

  • Study in my SMART Recovery handbook for 15 minutes
  • Attend a meeting
  • Take my vitamins
  • Work on an item I’ve put off
  • Eat sensibly
  • Respect myself by examining and rating my thoughts and behaviors… instead of self-rating and self-downing
  • Drive home a different way to avoid my old patterns
  • Exercise for 10-15 minutes
  • Drink water instead of soda at lunch
  • Create an urge log
  • Practice unconditional acceptance with myself and others
  • Set a new boundary
  • Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis worksheet
  • Spend 10 minutes reading in the online library, and then practicing what I’ve learned
  • Stay in the NOW, rather than letting my mind drift to the past or the future
  • Make a journal of the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) I have each day, and work to dispute them
  • Spend 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen

………… and so forth.
Read more »

Celebrate SMART Recovery’s 20th Anniversary

Annual Conference
September 26-28, 2014 Washington, D.C.
Exploring the Power of Choice

SMART Recovery Annual ConferenceWould you like a deeper connection to SMART Recovery? Interested in networking with other volunteers? Want to learn more about the science behind SMART? Interested in SMART’s plans for the future?

The 2014 SMART Annual Conference will be held in the heart of Washington, D.C., at the Grosvenor Auditorium at the National Geographic Headquarters. In keeping with the spirit of the National Geographic, the theme is Exploring the Power of Choice. This conference is geared to inform and inspire, with session topics covering SMART tools, organizational updates, future plans, and with addiction recovery professionals speaking on mindfulness, recovery advocacy, history of recovery, and more.

Volunteers, online and face-to-face meeting participants, Board members and friends of SMART Recovery can expect to enjoy an impressive line-up of accomplished speakers and topics:

Speakers

    Michael Botticelli, Acting Director, ONDCP Opening Remarks

    Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, President: “SMART 101”

    Shari Allwood, Exec Director: SMART Worldwide

    William L. White, Sr. Research Consultant: History of the Recovery Movement (rec.)

    Jonathan von Breton, MA, CCMHC: SMART Tools

    Steve Gumbley, MA, ACDP II: Recovery Advocacy

    Hank Robb, Ph.D., ABPP: Becoming Mindful

    …and more

Optional Excursion

An optional sightseeing tour of the Washington D.C. area will kick off the event on Friday afternoon at 12:00 PM. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the company of other conference goers in a casual setting, while taking in the sights of our nation’s capitol. Friday evening’s agenda includes a casual dinner and socializing to round out a fun day!

20th Anniversary Gala Celebration

At the end of Saturday’s conference presentations, we will be celebrating with a 20th Anniversary Gala Celebration after which conference-goers will be free to explore the area’s attractions and local eateries.

Registration & Lodging


SMART Recovery Annual Conference
For agenda and lodging information, and to register or reserve a guest room, visit our website. Registration Deadline: August 28, 2014.

We’re looking forward to this year’s Annual Conference with plenty of information, conversation, and just plain fun for everyone. We acknowledge and thank the many volunteers in the D.C. area SMART community for their generous contributions of time and assistance.


Thank You! We are grateful to our sponsors: Aton Center, Balance Treatment Center, Center for Motivation & Change, Cliffside Malibu, Muscala Chemical Health Clinic, Practical Recovery, and St. Gregory Retreat Center. Read more »

Ending the Stigma of Addiction

The Language of Recovery Advocacy
Guest Blogger: William White


Words are important.  If you want to care for something, you call it a “flower”; if you want to kill something, you call it a “weed”.  –Don Coyhis

Some will question why we as recovery advocates should invest valuable time debating the words used to convey alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems and their solutions when there are suffering individuals and families that need to be engaged, recovery support resources that need to be created, communities that need to be educated, and regressive, discriminatory policies that need to be changed.  We must invest this time because achieving our broader goals depends on our ability to forge a recovery-oriented vocabulary.      

Words have immense power to wound or heal.  The wrong words shame people with AOD problems and drive them into the shadows of subterranean cultures.  The wrong words, by conveying that people are not worthy of recovery and not capable of recovery, fuel self-destruction and prevent or postpone help-seeking. The right words serve as catalysts of personal transformation Read more »

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

by Margaret Speer, SMART Recovery meeting participant

I believe in self-empowerment and the power of choice. I successfully used these techniques to remain mindful and sober. I’ve improved my confidence, self-acceptance, and increased my independent positive decisions. I lived my life too long and blind to the power I hold within myself. Sobriety through self-empowerment was the hardest journey I have ever accomplished. I developed a healthier lifestyle within my daily routine and recovery goals. I know it is going to take my lifetime to maintain my recovery in addiction to alcohol while developing patience for my impulsive behaviors.

Since I was 15 years old, I have experienced complications with my involvement with alcohol. I was consistently battling, and failing with every attempt to stop my chemical use. Finally when I was 30 years old I woke up and removed my blinders – eyes wide open. Read more »

Navigating The Road To Recovery

How can you prevent relapse?
Henry Steinberger, Ph.D.

Relapse prevention is essential in recovery from chemical and behavioral addictions. Why? Because addiction has been found to reoccur more often when steps are not taken to cope with the cravings, urges, peer pressures, situational cues, bodily discomforts, neuro-biological changes, and other factors which pave the way for slips and relapses.

Therefore, we regard relapse as a “normal” (though distinctly undesirable) possibility on the road to recovery. When you choose to view a relapse as a mistake, grist for the mill,  a learning opportunity and a discrete single event rather than viewing it as a total failure and as evidence predictive of failures, then your chances for success increase greatly.

“The person who really thinks, learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” – John Dewey

Top 10 relapse prevention strategies

1. Learn to willingly accept your mind – The first step to preventing relapse is to Read more »

The Bio-Psycho-Social Model Of Addiction

The Compass Of Pleasure
by David J. Linden
Michael Werner, SMART Recovery® Volunteer Coordinator, Wilmington, NC


CompassDr. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has provided us with an authoritative science-based understanding of addictions: The Compass Of Pleasure.

In past years many models of the causes of addictions have been proffered, but it is only in the past few years that the neuroscience has had new tools to probe how the mind works in real time. We have greatly increased our knowledge of addictions from the study of the neurochemistry and neural pathways of the brain. The body of knowledge to support a bio-psycho-social model of addictions has been greatly supported by the new evidence.

Evolution has given us reward circuits to help us to survive and reproduce. Addictions subvert this normally helpful process and grow stronger over time, as the reward circuits in the brain are high-jacked.  The Compass Of Pleasure explains this new complex understanding clearly, but without dumbing it down.

I highly recommend this book, in fact it is something I think is a “must read” for everyone in SMART interested in a scientific approach to addictions. It is the best book on the biology of addictions I have seen, with a balance of scientific thoroughness presented in a style that makes it accessible by anyone. It is clear, funny, evocative, intellectually stimulating, Read more »

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