Author Archives: SMART Recovery

Passion, Commitment and the Spirit of Volunteering

Posted on February 7, 2017

By Judith Poole, Facilitator and Regional Coordinator, British Columbia, Canada

When I learned my son was addicted to opiates about five years ago, I felt completely helpless. I just wasn’t equipped to handle the situation or give my son the level of support he needed. Without tools or answers, I was so stressed in those early stages of his addiction that I ended up having a heart attack. Other support groups hadn’t worked for me. Like a lot of people, I looked for options on the Internet, and that’s where I discovered SMART Recovery.

SMART Recovery’s message resonated with me. It was exactly what I needed. At first, I took the facilitator training course for myself and my son. It gave me the tools I needed. I learned the skills to handle the stress of addiction and other problems, too. Thankfully, my son is fairly far along in the recovery process now. Yet soon after I completed the training and began attending meetings, I realized I was hardly alone…and there was absolutely nothing else out there for people like us.

“I passionately wanted to give all I’ve learned to others and help SMART Recovery continue expanding and reaching more and more people.”

I’ve always been a big believer in volunteer work. A believer and a doer. But this was different. The cards were on the table in the most personal way possible, my son’s very life and mine were in jeopardy. SMART Recovery worked for us. I passionately wanted to give all I’ve learned to others and help SMART Recovery continue expanding and reaching more and more people. And I’ve been doing just that ever since.

To imagine a world without SMART Recovery, I have to think of the eleven people who regularly attend our local meeting. Eleven family members and friends, with no doubt more families and friends to come. It’s an ever-widening circle. What’s left in a world without SMART Recovery? A crumbling puzzle Continue reading

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

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

Celebrate the New Year with SMART Recovery

Posted on December 26, 2016

ShorelineHere are two good ways to celebrate the end of 2016 and the start of a brand new year.

1.  Check out the online events that SMART has planned for the next week.  Along with the regular chats and meetings, SMART is hosting the annual “New Years Around the World’ event, an all-day (and night) chat hosted by SMART participants all around the world.  Click the link below to find out what’s scheduled and to get instructions on how to log in to online events if this is your first time.

http://www.smartrecovery.org/community/calendar.php

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How to Avoid Conversation Traps

Posted on December 22, 2016

Holiday season seems like a good time to revisit this post from last year on avoiding “conversational traps”  as we gather with family and friends.

holidays

As you approach the holidays and face lots of holiday moments with family and your loved one, it can be helpful to think about ways to improve communication patterns. One way to improve things with your loved one is to learn to avoid “conversational traps”. All of us fall into “traps” at times during conversations…ESPECIALLY when the conversation is about an emotionally charged topic. These “traps” are automatic “default settings” that are often emotional responses to not feeling heard or collaborated with. When communication has NOT been going well, these triggers are more likely, and when your loved one is being secretive, angry, argumentative, dishonest etc, it can be very EASY to fall into any one of these traps in an attempt to “break through” to them.

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A Personal and Professional Look at the Evidence for SMART Recovery

Posted on December 14, 2016

by

Anne GilesSMART Recovery’s statement of purpose is to “help individuals gain independence from addictive behavior and lead meaningful and satisfying lives’ and “to support the availability of choices in recovery.” Its stated mission is to “offer no-fee, self-empowering, science-based, face-to-face and online support groups for abstaining from any substance or activity addiction.”

SMART Recovery group protocols, tools and activities are based primarily on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), which is a form of CBT, and motivational interviewing (MI).
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