Monthly Archives: January 2017

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

New! Improved! Online “SMART Live” Meetings

Posted on January 2, 2017

New features now available in “SMART Live” online meetings!
~SMART Recovery Central Office

Over the past year, SMART has been debuting our new customized online meeting and chat platform – SMART Live.  Our new and improved meeting platform was generously funded by a grant from the Autumn Ridge Foundation.

We are pleased to announce new features that have been recently added.

Check out an online meeting!–  Visual Component: Online facilitators now have the ability to display SMART documents and worksheets such as the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), the Change Plan Worksheet and many other SMART Recovery tools. Now people will have the added benefit of seeing  the tool while it’s being discussed.

–  Improved Group Interactivity: Online        facilitators are now able to enhance the interaction within the group via an onscreen whiteboard — they can use group input to demonstrate in a more effective way just how the  SMART tools are used. Facilitators can also promote group interaction using the “polling feature”.

We are excited that these new additional SMART Live features will improve the quality of the online meetings and encourage even more collaboration.  These new improvements will also Continue reading