Category Archives: Support SMART

Addiction Recovery Analogy

Posted on January 20, 2015

The Horse and Buggy of SMART Recovery
by Rev Dr Kim Miller, SMART Recovery Facilitator, Australia

First, a story:

Back in the days of the 1930s depression, which saw many people traveling the countryside looking for work, there was a man walking along a back road from one town to the next. He was carrying his stuff in an old bag over one shoulder and was obviously weighed down by it all. A local farmer in a horse and buggy pulled up beside him.

“Like a lift, buddy? Hop up here.”

So the man got up and sat on the seat next to the farmer, his bag of belongings still over one shoulder. After a while the farmer looked over and said to him, “Why don’t you put your stuff down behind the seat? It looks heavy.”

“Oh, no, I couldn’t do that,” said the man. “You’ve been good enough already, giving me a lift and all. I can’t expect you to carry my stuff as well.”

It’s the story of SMART Recovery.

Getting help comes in all shapes and sizes, and happens at different levels. Walking into a SMART Recovery meeting is where we get up on the seat next to the driver. Getting the load off our shoulder is a different level altogether. Continue reading

Spend the Holidays with SMART Recovery Online

Posted on December 23, 2014

SMART Holiday CelebrationsWinter holidays can be challenging times for people in recovery; support services are closed, family pressures pile up and for many, the holidays can be pretty lonely. Whether to celebrate with others working on recovery or to get some support during a particularly challenging day, remember that the SMART Recovery USA and SMART Recovery UK online communities are available, 24/7.

Christmas Day Open House (Hosted by SMART UK)

Beginning at 5am USA ET (9pm AUS Canberra) the SMART Recovery UK website will be hosting a fun-filled day including a Christmas music, poetry, meetings, and more! The last event is scheduled to end at 7pm USA ET (11 am AUS on 12/26). All are welcome, including those who have a loved one with an addictive behavior.

Registration on the UK site is not required, Continue reading

2014 Annual Conference Videos Are Now Online

Posted on December 2, 2014

SMART Recovery Annual ConferenceMissed it? Want to see it again? SMART’s 2014 Annual Conference is now available for viewing online.

Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Executive Office of the President) kicked off the celebration of SMART’s 20 years with a resounding reminder that the US national drug control policy includes an understanding that “there are multiple pathways to recovery, that there is no silver bullet for overcoming substance use disorders, no single treatment approach or mutual aid pathway that works for all of us”. He went on to thank SMART for helping countless people find and sustain recovery from substance use disorders over the last 20 years and concluded by presenting a letter from President Obama in recognition of SMART’s 20th Anniversary. This is just one of many highlights from this historic event.

SMARTCON 2014 was streamed live over the internet. This was a first for SMART and was made possible by the generous financial support of an anonymous individual who wanted to make the conference available to those who were unable to attend. The presentations were captured on film and are now available online viewing. Topics covered include:

SMART 101: Tom Horvath, President of SMART Recovery

History of the Recovery Movement: William White, Addiction Historian & Recovery Advocate

Tool Training: Jonathan von Breton, Senior SMART Recovery Online Facilitator

Recovery Advocacy: Tom Coderre (SAMHSA), Tom Horvath (SMART), Steve Gumbley (FAVOR), Peter Gaumond (ONDCP)

Review of SMART’s Strategic Plan

Master Facilitator’s Panel

2014 Joe Gerstein Award Presentation

…and more.

These 2014 SMARTCON presentations and others are now available for online viewing.

Said one conference goer: “This was my first in person exposure to SMART Recovery and I’m blown away by how welcoming everyone was and how professional the attendees and speakers are.

We acknowledge and thank the many volunteers in the D.C. area SMART community for their generous contributions of time and assistance and the AV crew at NGH for their hospitality and excellent behind the scenes work that made everything look and work great!


Thank You! We are grateful to our sponsors: Aton Center, Balance Treatment Center, Center for Motivation & Change, Cliffside Malibu, Muscala Chemical Health Clinic, Practical Recovery, St. Gregory Retreat Center and Sunshine Coast Health Center. Continue reading

Destigmatizing Addiction

Posted on November 18, 2014

What’s In A Name?
~ Brian Sherman, PhD, Center for Motivation and Change


“By continuing to use the term “addict” and “alcoholic,” treatment providers are doing a disservice to their patients and potentially negating progress towards destigmatization and successful long-term treatment.”

The Problem with LabelsWhat’s in a name? Sure, by any other name a rose may smell so sweet, but by any other name would an “addict” feel so stigmatized? Were Shakespeare alive today I would ask that he reconsider his stance. With the gradual pace of change in addiction treatment highlighted by the continued advancement and implementation of evidence-based treatments, why is the field so far behind in not using more clinically appropriate and de-stigmatizing — albeit a bit cumbersome – language such as: “person with a substance use disorder” or “person suffering from addiction”? It has been years now that the field of clinical psychology did away with stigmatizing terms such as “schizophrenic”, “manic-depressive”, or “autistic.” Why then does the field of addiction remain so far behind?

As an addiction psychologist I do not discourage my patients for whom the term “addict” works. If it motivates them to change, fantastic. For many people, the term “addict” is a helpful way of identifying symptoms and issues, and finding a way to connect and bond with others in a healthy way that promotes change. However, when that term creates a prolonged sense of failure or guilt which ultimately may lead to relapse (negative emotions are one of the strongest predictors of relapse) or prevent someone from seeking help in the first place (because they don’t want to accept the label, and the stigma that is associated with it), I question its utility. Continue reading

Auction Celebrating SROL: “SMART Recovery OnLine”

Posted on October 25, 2014


October 25 – November 1, 2014

Don’t miss out on these amazing items and more – check out our online auction to support SMART Recovery OnLine!

Help us continue to improve and maintain our outstanding online services by bidding on the fabulous auction items generously donated by SMART Recovery supporters, volunteers and participants!

Above is just a small sampling of the auction catalog!

Bidding takes place on the SROL messageboard! (Registration is required!)

You can also browse the catalog:

Jewelry
Books, Gift Cards & More FUN Stuff
Handcrafted Items

This is an open event, everyone is welcome!

Click the “+SHARE” button below to share with friends via Facebook.

More Information: http://goo.gl/BxmKKb Continue reading

Hidden Power of a Recovery Community

Posted on October 21, 2014

Lessons from Geese
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator

Lessons from GeeseSMART Recovery is a wonderful program that emphasizes self-management and self-empowerment. For this it offers tools based on sound and often evidence-based science—mostly clinical psychology but some neuroscience as well.

With all the emphasis on “self”—almost a do-it-yourself program—we often lose sight of another powerful feature of SMART—the mutual support groups in which all this is developed and promoted.

We like company, lots of the time—especially with like-minded people, hence the shelter and safety and power of a mutual support group complex. Like-minded people all in a room together discussing a common issue. A place were the afflicted can relax, become honest and open with their issues, without worry of judgment. This is present in both 12-steps groups and in SMART Recovery groups.

In my opinion SMART groups have the added feature of interactive discussion, promoting the feelings of like-mindedness and that “we are all in this together”. We are all united in spirit and intent to find relief for ourselves, and in so doing share that with others. All this falls under the concept of Compassion.

Many state that they go to 12-step meetings for “spirituality“ and attend SMART meetings for the tools and solutions. The implication is that there is no spirituality at SMART. Continue reading