Monthly Archives: May 2013

10 Ways to Strengthen Addiction Recovery

Posted on May 28, 2013

The SMART Recovery Activities Scale (SRAS) – Part I
Julie Myers, Psy.D. and Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D.

SRAS ChecklistIn our recent podcast, we discussed the development of the SMART Recovery Activities Scale (SRAS) checklist and some of the ways Dr. Meichenbaum views checklists as part of the recovery process. The ideas presented in that podcast were valuable not only to the SMART Recovery community, but to the larger community of professionals working in the field of addiction recovery.

For those of you not familiar with the SRAS, it is a checklist that can be used by those in recovery to assess where they are in their own recovery process. It is also a tool useful for professionals, who may have clients attending SMART Recovery meetings as part of their treatment plan.

The benefits of using a checklist, such as the SRAS, are many. Below we share with you some of the ways that checklists can be used and some of the important functions that they serve.

Checklists can

1. Facilitate the treatment engagement process and help individuals to collaboratively establish specific, doable, time-limited treatment goals that bolster hope.

2. Encourage a strengths-based treatment approach that highlights a practical “toolbox” of coping skills that can be revisited on demand and that can act as a reminder-list to manage cravings and behaviors. Continue reading

Did SMART Get Me Sober? No — I Did That!

Posted on May 14, 2013

Reflections of a Relapser, Now Two Years Sober (Again)
~Sara Suman, LMSW, SMART Recovery Volunteer


My second two year anniversary (I do like to passively count sober time) came and went last week. This isn’t my first rodeo either. This is my second time achieving two years sober, and my third time achieving one year+. My first few (real) attempts were in the rooms of 12-step programs. This time it was me — with the support of SMART Recovery Online.

My first set of two years and the second set were separated by three or four lapses. My frustration with those lapses led me to google “non-12-step based recovery,” which is how I found SMART. Did SMART get me sober? No. I got myself sober. SMART helped me identify my SELF as the key to sustained sobriety. I remember the first time I went to one of JVB’s meetings and I said something along the lines of, “why can’t I just stop?” And he said something along the lines of, “well, you can.” It was one of those life clarifying moments. I was on my own with this. SMART was here to support me, but getting clean and sober was on me. There’s no Mommy and Daddy here. I realized that if I really wanted to stop for good — then I could, but JVB wasn’t going to do it for me, nor was anyone else.

My thinking about drinking

What SMART helped me understand, through the CBA* and the ABCs* and USA*, is that my lapses over the past five years had more to do with the parts of me that still really wanted to drink. My lapses were not a reflection of incapability or inability to stop. It wasn’t that I couldn’t stop, Continue reading

Getting Back on Track

Posted on May 7, 2013

Dealing With Relapse in Addiction Recovery
~Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery Volunteer

Back on Track

I headed out in the middle of the morning. It was brilliantly sunny and the day would warm up quickly. I went out to my usual trail and headed north, finding my running rhythm. It was slower than it used to be, but I’d taken a few months off. Or more accurately, I had focused on my ‘drug of choice’ rather than on my recovery. It felt good to run again. This was me – the sober me. And it felt good.

As the trail rolled surprisingly easy underneath me, I noticed other things: the ducks flying over me, the spring birds singing. Someone was ambitious and mowing his grass for the first time this year, somewhere off the trail. A large community event was gearing up for the day with a couple of stages and lots of white tents. Families with strollers and people walking dogs were all along the trail.

I realized once again that somewhere in the fog of my drug of choice I’d forgotten Continue reading