Monthly Archives: March 2014

Rational Alternative to “Tough Love”

Posted on March 25, 2014

SMART Tools Help Families & Friends Cope with a Loved One’s Addiction
~Kathy Lang, SMART Recovery Online Facilitator

    “People used to tell me I was enabling my adult son…..and, not helping my own sanity and/or serenity. With the SMART tools and the support of F&F, I’ve changed that, and am able to let him experience the consequences of the way he chooses to live his life. I have to admit, I was also exhausted, angry and resentful, as well…..and, that actually helped me ‘follow through’ and use the Tools and step back out of the way. I’m happy to say that I can see it working a lot of the time…….and I feel better! ~ LYL

    “I am so thankful for this meeting! For the first time I feel like I am actively supported and have some tools to help me CHOOSE. ~Lira Z

SMART Recovery for Family & Friends
These are comments made during Family & Friends (F&F) online meetings. Feedback from participants–parents, spouses, adult children, significant others of all kinds–confirm how SMART Recovery tools for F&F can help a concerned significant other (CSO) learn to more effectively manage their responses to the addiction of a loved one.

SMART F&F meeting facilitator Roxanne Allen says “SMART tools are the centerpiece of the Family & Friends program. Like all SMART meetings, our discussions are not problem-focused, they are solution-focused.”

‘TwoPutts’, one of the first F&F facilitators, says “Since we started the Family & Friends online meetings three years ago, I have watched them grow into a vital element of SMART Recovery. The information in the Family & Friends Handbook, particularly the tools, has proven to be successful in quickly assisting those who had previously found little help in facing their challenging situations.”

As a more recent online meeting facilitator, I discovered fairly quickly that the practical help that SMART tools provide is an important reason for the meetings’ success. Each meeting Continue reading

Slipping off the Path of Addiction Recovery

Posted on March 18, 2014

Anatomy of a Relapse
~Josh King, PsyD, Center for Motivation and Change

TetherRelapses (and lapses and slips, whatever you want to call a return to old behavior) are frustrating events. Sometimes it feels like you’re (finally!) on the path you want to be on, and then, out of the blue, you fall off of that path and feel like you are back at the beginning (and that is sometimes what people tell you!). While it can feel like a lapse happens without much warning, it’s best to think of it as a process that happens over time. The reality is that people tend to drift towards a relapse, like a boat that has lost its mooring and is drifting out to sea. The movement can be slow and can go almost unnoticed until you are already adrift. By knowing what is “mooring” you to sobriety, or the changes you want to make, you can be more aware of when the “mooring lines” are getting cut and you are drifting into a lapse to old behavior.

Change-Supporting Activities

When you change your use of substances Continue reading

Rewiring Your Brain

Posted on March 11, 2014

Addiction recovery and your brain

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.”
~Robert Frost

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neural pathwaysImagine that you are standing at the edge of a dense forest. You want to go home, which is on the other side to the forest. You see a well-worn path entering the forest, and that path appears to be the easiest way through the trees.

But then, next to the path, you see a sign which reads “This Way to the Party!” An old friend appears and tells you, “Hey, this is a great party! You are missing out! Let’s go!” and he starts to pull you by the arm toward the well-worn path. You are tempted to join him, but on the other hand, you have been thinking lately that going down that well-worn path is not helping you to achieve your goals.

As you are thinking about this, another friend appears, a new friend, and he says, “I’ve got a better idea. Continue reading

Crystallization Of Discontent

Posted on March 4, 2014

Motivation For Self-Change
Pete Soderman, SMART Recovery® Facilitator

discontentThree-quarters of us who have abused or were dependent upon a substance or activity have either self-remitted or moderated to non-abusive levels, either completely on our own, or with minimal help. That we have done so without formal treatment or self-help programs has been well-established by the scientific community in many detailed studies over several decades. In fact, at least 34 studies have indicated that the single most effective treatment method for dependence is a single brief intervention from a trusted health-care provider, such as a family doctor.

In 1999, I was sitting on a hospital bed, waiting to be released, merely five days after a major heart attack, wondering how to convince my wife to stop on the way home for a carton of cigarettes. Before my cardiologist signed the release, she looked me right in the eyes and told me that if I started smoking again, my chances of dying, and doing it quickly, were four times greater than if I didn’t. If that wasn’t enough, my wife told me on the way home that she would leave me, should I ever smoke again, because she couldn’t stay around to watch me die. I have never smoked again! Continue reading