There are plenty of choices for drug and alcohol addiction meetings, but is 12-Step, SMART or some other kind of recovery meeting best for me?

12-step recovery programs for drug and alcohol addiction are well-known and popular. It is absolutely a successful way for many to recover, but there are alternatives, such as SMART Recovery!

SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors including: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction as well as addiction to other substances and activities. The program is based on Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), which focuses on changing negative and unhealthy thoughts into positive alternatives.

Tools and techniques are taught for each of the following program points:

· Building and Maintaining Motivation
· Coping with Urges
· Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
· Living a Balanced Life

The SMART Recovery framework encourages people to map out their own path to recovery. This program shifts individuals ‘locus of control’ to an internal position, therefore allowing them to shape their own destiny. 12-step programs encourages people to seek out the help of a Higher Power.

What are the main differences between SMART recovery and 12-step programs?

· Self-empowerment is preferred over the powerlessness approach that 12-step programs use.
· SMART has a scientific rather than a spiritual foundation.
· SMART is completely secular whereas 12-step programs insist on the need for a Higher Power.
· SMART does not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to recovery whereas 12-step programs do.
· In SMART recovery, individuals are not labelled as powerless nor are they asked to admit their addiction in front of the rest of the group.
· SMART considers that once an addict is in recovery, the addiction no longer exists. 12-step programs state that an addict is always an addict for the rest of their lives.
· Unlike 12-step programs, SMART allows cross-talk among participants.
· In SMART, people talk with each other, rather than at each other.
· SMART lacks a central text such as AA’s “Big Book.”

To get help with drug addiction and learn more about SMART, 12-step and other recovery options, please contact Illuminate Recovery at 844-700-9888.


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