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
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
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
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.
– 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
Here 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.