SMART Recovery meetings offer people a different approach to addiction recovery that is not based on the 12 Steps. There are several meetings in the local area.
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What is SMART Recovery?
SMART Recovery was created in 1994. There are more than 3,000 meetings across the world. The program also has online meetings and message boards.
SMART Recovery views an addiction as a behavior that needs to be changed. This program also differs from AA or NA because it does not have a spiritual aspect to recovery. The program provides tools to learn self-reliance and self-empowerment.
SMART Recovery uses a four-point system:
- Building and maintaining motivation
- Coping with urges
- Managing thoughts, feelings, and behavior
- Living a balanced life
The SMART Recovery Toolbox lists a variety of exercises, worksheets, and methods to help people self-manage their addiction. The tools are based on developing cognitive thinking skills. The toolbox includes the following:
- The ABCs of coping with urges, from Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
- CBA – cost-benefit analysis, this worksheet allows someone to write out and see what their behaviors cost them.
- Change Plan worksheet
- Goal setting worksheet
- DIBs – Disputing Irrational Beliefs. An irrational belief is unrealistic and has no evidence to support it. Someone can change an irrational belief by writing it down as a question and then answering it.
- Unconditional self-acceptance
- Role playing
- DISARM – Destructive Images and Self-Talk Awareness and Refusal Method
- Hierarchy of values
What Happens at a SMART Recovery Meeting?
Starting something new can bring a sense of nervousness. Knowing what is likely going to happen ahead of time can be calming. At someone’s first meeting, they will be given a few papers that explain SMART Recovery.
SMART meetings last around an hour to an hour and a half. There could be anywhere from three people to a dozen people in attendance. Participation during the meeting is optional.
The meetings are run by volunteers that have gone through a training program. At the beginning, someone will read a welcome statement and then everyone checks in.
During the check-in, members talk about their experiences. They talk about challenges they have faced, and successes they have had. Members can choose to pass on their turn and just listen to the discussion.
After check-in, members review the SMART tools and how they can be used. To finish the meeting, donations are collected and someone reads a closing statement.
Why is attending an Addiction Recovery Meeting Important?
Addictions are tough to beat. Most people need a solid support system to stay clean. Recovery groups provide a type of support that people struggling with a substance can relate to. It lets people know they are not alone, someone else has been through a similar experience.
Groups like SMART Recovery and other support groups bring hope that an addiction can be stopped.
Drug use Statistics for Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Public Health Department Community Health Needs Assessment 2020 shows the following statistics for Hamilton County:
- In 2015 there were 41.4 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2016 there were 39.2 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2017 there were 54.5 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2018 there were 43.8 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2019 there were 43.2 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2019 there were 9.6 alcohol-related deaths for every 100,000 people over the age of 20.
- In 2019 18.5% of the people reported binge drinking.
The Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition annual report lists total overdose deaths according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s office.
- In 2014 there were 298 deaths
- In 2015 there were 414 deaths
- In 2016 there were 403 deaths
- In 2017 there were 570 deaths
- In 2018 there were 468 deaths
- In 2019 there were 487 deaths
- In 2020 there were 432 deaths
The same report lists the amount of drugs recovered by the Heroin Task Force in 2020:
- 30g of fentanyl
- 659.4g of cocaine
- 9.9 g of heroin
- 46.6g of acetyl fentanyl
- 18.3g of acetyl fentanyl/ heroin mixture
- 88g methamphetamine
- 19.5g other synthetics
The report noted that there were no drugs seized from March through November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fox 19 in Cincinnati reported on a drug bust on June 24, 2021. Cincinnati police made nine arrests and seized a large amount of drugs and some guns. 100 grams of fentanyl, almost a kilogram of cocaine, and an undisclosed amount of money were seized in the bust.
The DEA says that 2 milligrams of fentanyl is enough to kill someone, 50,000 lethal doses were confiscated in that drug bust.
Traveling to Arizona for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Stopping a drug or alcohol addiction is tough, but it is life-transforming. Deciding to start a drug and alcohol rehab program is the first step. The next step is to find a program that will work for each person.
Many people are now traveling to find the right program. There are many reasons, a few are:
- One big reason to travel is health insurance. Sometimes local programs are not covered by the person’s insurance. That means getting help could be too expensive. SpringBoard Recovery can check insurance coverage ahead of time.
- Going somewhere away from possible drug use triggers makes recovery easier to get through without a relapse.
- Some people may need a higher level of privacy. Going out of state can provide that level of privacy.