A significant amount of people have been helped along their path to addiction recovery by using peer support groups. SMART Recovery is one of those peer support groups, but is not based on a 12-step program.
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What is SMART Recovery?
SMART stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training. SMART Recovery is a community to support people who want to break free from any and all addictive behaviors. This includes alcohol addiction, drug addictions of any kind, or even behavioral addictions like gambling or excessive spending.
SMART Recovery uses a four-point system:
- Building and maintaining motivation
- Coping with urges
- Managing thoughts, feelings, and behavior
- Living a balanced life
SMART Recovery employs ever-evolving scientific behavioral principles to change personal behavior as opposed to using a spiritual based system like a 12-Step program. The scientific principles build up a person’s self-empowerment instead of admitting a person is powerless to an addiction. SMART Recovery teaches techniques for self-directed change, not relying on an outside power source. The program provides tools and training for each of the four points. Some of these tools include:
- Change plan worksheet
- Decision making worksheet (Cost/ Benefit Analysis)
- DISARM- Destructive Images and Self-Talk Awareness
- Hierarchy of values
- Role playing and rehearsing
- Unconditional Self-Acceptance
Founded in the mid-1990s, SMART Recovery has grown to over 3000 meetings worldwide every week. All meetings are free to attend, including the online meetings. Members also have access to online message boards that are running 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Members do have the option to purchase SMART Recovery books and publications that can be useful to help them change addictive behaviors.
There are a few more ways SMART Recovery meetings differ from 12-Step programs. In SMART Recovery programs a member does not have a sponsor to directly mentor them. The program also discourages the use of the terms addict and alcoholic. The SMART program also advocates for the appropriate use of psychological treatment and prescription medications.
Some of the topics that are part of the SMART Recovery program include showing self-responsibility, using self-discipline and self-motivation during the recovery process. It is ok to be patient during the recovery time, it will take time for a person to learn to change thought patterns and behaviors. It is also important to set goals and recognize milestones throughout the recovery process.
There are several SMART Recovery meetings available each week near Avondale, Arizona.
Are Addiction Recovery Support Groups Needed in Avondale, Arizona?
Yes, there is a need for addiction recovery groups. The Coordinated Community Health Needs Assessment For Maricopa County listed statistics about alcohol and drug use.
- 49.9% of those individuals surveyed believe that alcohol abuse is one of the most important unhealthy behaviors that needs to be addressed in the community
- 35.8% of those survey believe that drug abuse is one of the most important unhealthy behaviors that needs to be addressed in the community
- 16.1% of adults surveyed reported binge drinking in Maricopa County in 2017
- There were 1304 drug related deaths in Maricopa County from December 2017 to November 2018
- 89% of drug overdose deaths were determined to be accidental
- 86% of drug overdose deaths involved more than one drug
- There were 880 opioid deaths from December 2017 to November 2018
- 71% involved prescription opioids
- There were 1078 drug overdose deaths in 2019
Signs of a Drug or Alcohol Addiction to Watch For in Someone Else
- Lack of interest in hobbies, activities, or favorite sports
- Chronically being late
- A lack of good grooming habits, wearing dirty clothes
- Requesting to borrow money
- Increased privacy, hiding to make calls or send text messages
- Poor work performance
- Declining grades or other difficulties at school
- Isolating themselves
- Aggressiveness or violent behavior
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Dropping old friends and adding unreputable new friends
- Legal problems relating to drugs or alcohol
- Having extreme mood swings
- Getting angry when confronted about drug or alcohol using
- Having to increase the amount of a substance to get the same effects
- Not paying bills
What Are Some Benefits of Support Groups?
Support groups like SMART Recovery provide empowerment and accountability. These groups do not provide professional therapy, but they can provide many learning opportunities. When members encourage each other and build each other up it becomes easier for someone to believe that they can make productive changes in their life. A sense of relief can come about when a recovering user sees that they are not the only one that needs to alter their behavior. As a person works on empowering themselves, they can assist others in making productive changes to their lives also.
Is Recovery Achievable With a Support Group?
Each person is in a different place on their journey to recovery. For someone who has a strong support group in family or friends, learning the right mental tools and building self-motivation will make it much more likely to achieve sobriety with using a support group. Those who have heavy addictions, or could suffer from dangerous withdrawal symptoms should seek professional assistance. A support group is a fantastic choice for someone who has already been through an inpatient program at a facility.
Learn More About Drug And Alcohol Recovery Meetings in Avondale, Arizona
SpringBoard Recovery wants to help propel people into their successful recovery. Going to outpatient support groups may be the best solution for some people. In addition to learning about SMART recovery meeting options other support groups are available.
There are many options for alcohol and drug addiction recovery in Avondale, Arizona. People can find the best program that will meet their individual needs for recovery. There are also programs available to help friends and family of those who are working on recovery. If you would like more information on how we can help you, contact us today.