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Many people dislike the rigid structure of 12-Step Programs or the spiritual aspect required to attend. Smart Recovery Meetings uses Smart Tools designed to produce abstinence, but the difference is you decide which tools to use and when. This approach is gaining popularity as a non-12-Step treatment for addictions.

What Is Smart Recovery?

Founded in 1994, Smart Recovery is an addiction recovery support group focused on self-empowerment. It uses the latest scientific research to help people recovery from all addictions; physical, emotional, and chemical. Just like 12-Step Programs, Smart Recovery offers meetings, on-line meetings, sponsorship, message boards, and literature designed to help stop addictive behaviors.

Smart Recovery is a non-12-Step treatment as it does not require a spiritual foundation for recovery.

Smart Recovery’s 4 Point Program

As a non-12-Step treatment, Smart Recovery uses a four-point program instead of 12 steps.

The 4 Points as found on Smart Recovery’s website are:

1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
2: Coping with Urges
3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
4: Living a Balanced Life

These four points are part of REBT or Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as defined by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955. The basic concept of REBT is that people act as they feel and feel as they think. To change an action such as addictive behaviors, one must change how he or she thinks about these actions.

How Does One Change How One Thinks?

REBT focuses on change through emphasizing self-discipline, self-motivation, and self-responsibility. This is seen in the Stages of Change Model.

Stages of Change:

  1. Pre-Contemplative
  2. Contemplative
  3. Preparation/Determination
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Exit

These stages happen in a natural progression from being confronted there is a problem by someone outside yourself and doubting it to accepting the problem and solving it. The difference between the 12-Step Program and this non-12-Step treatment is that you are expected to leave the program. Most people who use Smart Recovery only stay in the program six months to two years. After stabilizing in recovery, people move on with their lives. Some people stay in the program to become facilitators for new temporary members.

Non-12-Step Treatment Gains Recognition in Addiction Recovery

Smart Recovery stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training based on cognitive-behavioral therapy. In the 22 years of treatment, Smart Recovery has gained recognition by organizations across America.

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • The Center for Health Care Evaluation
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
  • and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Smart Recovery is a secular, science-based, non-12-Step treatment based on Dr. Ellis’ work and the work of Dr. Robert Meyers. Dr. Meyers developed the CRAFT model, Community Reinforcement Approach & Family Training. CRAFT is featured on the popular HBO series, Addiction.

Ready to Change How You think About Addictive Behaviors?

If you are ready to change how you think about addictive behaviors and need a non-12-Step treatment, call Northlake Recovery to learn more about Smart Recovery as an alternative. Call (561)-770-6616 to speak to an addiction specialist now.

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