SMART Recovery is waiting for you!

Here is a great piece – SMART Recovery is waiting for you! This was kindly written for the blog by Heather Valsan.

SMART Recovery is waiting for you!

So.. You have decided you need to enter a rehabilitation program. But which program is the best option for you. There are inpatient rehab programs, AA, SMART recovery and more. Every program is different, and the needs and wants of each patient should be identified before beginning treatment.

One of our favorite programs is SMART recovery. Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a program that offers support while teaching individuals how to manage their addictions. The program targets negative/unhealthy thoughts and beliefs that can arise during recovery. SMART-recovery is considered a self-empowerment program, and that truly helps the individuals going through the program feel like they are in control.

SMART recovery is based off a four-point program. These four points all work together and help the individual reach the sobriety they have always dreamed of.


Point One: Building and maintaining motivation:

It can be exciting to start a new program. You realize how bright your future is and how much potential you possess. It is vital to build and continuing to fostering this motivation because there are moments that will require this kind of strength. During point one, it is common that you will have to reflect on your “bottom point,” and reflect on how far you have come. After you reevaluate your rock bottom moment, you will make a list that helps you visualize all of the benefits that being sober has over your addiction.

Point Two: Coping with urges:

Cravings can come out of nowhere. They can be extremely overwhelming and tempting to indulging. One of the best ways to avoid cravings is to understand what causes them. When you can identify what triggers your addiction based behavior, it will help you avoid falling off the wagon. When you are aware, you can avoid situations where your triggers can arise, and you will be better prepared to say no next time an urge comes along.

Point Three: Managing thoughts, behaviors and feelings: 

Addictions and use behavior do not occur on its own. Our brain plays a large part in our attitudes and actions towards our substance abuse. Irrational thoughts are covered during this point of recovery, and individuals learn how to recognize and stop distorted thinking that allows individuals to fall back into old habits. One of the biggest things to learn during this section is to understand why we think the way we do.

Point Four: Living a balanced life:

Taking care of your mental health is essential when trying to maintain a balanced life. In this last step, members learn skills that will help them throughout their future, and long-term sobriety/recovery. Some skills that are highlighted are coping skills, relapse prevention tips, and community resources that can be utilized to reach their long-term goals of living a happier and sober life.

Compared to other programs that utilize a 12 step program, or focus on God being the higher power, SMART recovery allows the individual in treatment to focus their power towards whatever they want. While SMART recovery does have four steps, they are concise and easy to understand, so there is no confusion for the individual trying to reach their long-term goal.

Every individual is different. For instance, some may prefer inpatient drug rehab in Louisville, KY, while some may prefer SMART recovery. It is important to research different types of treatment to determine which program is best for you, or your loved one in need. Recovery is possible, and with programs like SMART recovery, they are helping more individuals reach their goal of sobriety and long-term happiness.


Heather Valsan is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University. Heather has always been passionate about helping people struggling with mental health disorders and worked in the psychiatric and substance abuse field for 10 years. With the growing need for education on addiction resources, Heather combined her nursing knowledge with two of her great loves, communications and writing. She is the host of Recovery Radio, a podcast about substance abuse that provides expert advice from industry leaders in the addictions field. When Heather is not working she enjoys spending her time with her two young children and binge watching Netflix documentaries.


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