Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Alternatives to 12-step Meetings

Posted on February 25, 2014

Multiple Options for Addiction Recovery

Self Help Support for Addiction RecoveryIn the 1730s Native Americans organized the first abstinence-based recovery circles. Since that time, a variety of groups have come and gone, but the efficacy of self-help meetings for addiction recovery has been well researched and proven to be effective in many ways.

In the 20th century the most well known mutual support groups were based on the 12-step model, the most widely available of these being Alcoholics Anonymous. For many years, the 12-step model was an integral part of the treatment program for many of those who sought professional assistance to help them quit an addiction. Over time, the public grew to perceive that regular attendance and participation in 12-step meetings was a requirement of recovery. However, as addiction research has progressed, we now know that there is not one program that is helpful for everyone. People are different and have different needs. For example, many people do better with a model that does not involve a spiritual component; many people do better with a self-empowering approach. We also know that people seeking recovery from addiction have a better outcome when they are able to make informed choices about the mutual support groups they attend.

Many paths to recovery

There are a number of support groups and alternatives to 12-step recovery that stand ready to help people overcome their addiction to substances and behaviors. Continue reading

Help for Families: “Beyond Addiction”

Posted on February 18, 2014

How Science and Kindness Help People Change
Roxanne A., SMART Recovery Meeting Facilitator


“Things get better with CRAFT. Families feel better, substance use often decreases, and people with substance problems usually enter treatment when a family member uses CRAFT.” ~Beyond Addiction


Help for Families Dealing with Addiction
There is a much better option for families than using “tough love” with a Loved One (LO) who has substance problems. Contrary to commonly quoted suggestions for families to “practice tough love”, “detach with love”, and “let them hit bottom”, families can learn a more effective way to interact with their LO. It has been found in clinical studies that families using CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), are twice as likely to influence their LO to seek treatment for addictions than if they used a confrontative Johnson-style intervention.

Dr. Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D. first introduced CRAFT to the public ten years ago in his ground-breaking book Get Your Loved One Sober – Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening which is used as a resource in the SMART Recovery Family & Friends program.

In their much anticipated new book, Beyond Addiction – How Science and Kindness Help People Change, senior staff members Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., Carrie Wilkins, Ph.D. and Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D. from the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, offer a message of hope and how-tos in this clearly written guide for families wishing to learn CRAFT techniques. Continue reading

Why Abstinence?

Posted on February 11, 2014

Ten Good Mental Health Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol

Consuming alcohol may make matters more difficult for people suffering from mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and impulse control disorders. Even having a couple of drinks a day carries consequences that affect brain and body functioning, leaving a negative impact on mental well-being. Sometimes, people feeling high amounts of stress, pain, anxiety, and impulse turn to alcohol to find short-term relief, without realizing that using substances can limit the progress of reaching long-term emotional stability. Alcohol may cause moodiness, lower inhibitions, upset the cycle of restorative sleep, increase the symptoms of depression, and interfere with prescribed medication. Avoiding alcohol completely may be a good idea if you have concerns with anxiety, depression, and impulse control.

10 Reasons Not to Drink


Source: Graphic designed by Dr. Jesse Viner, MD, executive medical director of the Yellowbrick Treatment Center for young adults.

Discover the Power of Choice! Your behavior is your responsibility and you have the freedom to choose. For even more reasons to consider abstinence as a goal and why experts often recommend it, visit the SMART Recovery website.

Continue reading

Goal: Lifestyle Balance

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A fulfilling life is the ultimate goal of addiction recovery

“SMART’s purpose is to help individuals gain independence from
addictive behavior, and in so doing, recover (or develop) a fulfilling life.”


Lifestyle BalanceAs we gain independence from addictive behavior, or help others to do so, we need to remember that there is a greater goal: to live a good life. Recovery from addictive behavior sets the stage for the recovery of satisfactions and pleasures that were not possible while still engaged in addictive behavior.

The fourth point of the SMART® 4-Point Program® concerns lifestyle balance: “to balance momentary and enduring satisfactions.” Continue reading