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Everyone responds differently to treatment, making personalized care plans essential during recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Facilities like West Coast Recovery Centers provide a wide range of options, including SMART Recovery and 12-Step groups. According to the What We Do page on the official website for SMART Recovery, the therapy is a “science-based approach [that] emphasizes self-empowerment and self-reliance.” Attending SMART Recovery meetings can help you cope with life stressors and maintain the positive routines established during rehabilitation. 

What Is SMART Recovery? 

Self-management and recovery training (SMART) is a form of therapeutic support that can take the place of self-help groups and 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). If you have difficulty connecting to the 12-Step philosophy, then SMART Recovery is an excellent alternative that provides equivalent support within a wide-reaching community of individuals in recovery. During rehabilitation and continuing care, you can attend SMART meetings that offer the following: 

  • A fellowship of individuals in recovery 
  • Accountability and encouragement 
  • Understanding and a nonjudgmental space

Many people in recovery have difficulty finding a sense of purpose or direction in their lives after starting treatment. A strong motivation to heal and access to a supportive community can improve mental health and reduce the risk of relapse during aftercare. SMART Recovery is a community where each member chooses the best path to maintain their sobriety. Individuals in SMART Recovery can use aspects of motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) to achieve and maintain sobriety. 

Find Inner Strength and Motivation for Lasting Change 

Motivation is an essential tool in recovery. Healthy motivations can change how you look at yourself and the world around you. Facilities like West Coast Recovery Centers use therapeutic methods, including SMART Recovery, to provide personalized care and encourage long-term changes. The peer community provided by SMART Recovery can help clients find new ways to approach the healing process. During meetings, you will hear from other people who have been in your situation and learn what helped them move forward and recover from SUD. Everyone has the determination and motivation to achieve and maintain sobriety somewhere inside of them, and SMART recovery is one tool we use to inspire clients. 

Some of the most common motivations for sobriety include: 

  • Meeting career or education goals 
  • Becoming a functioning member of society 
  • Being better able to care for loved ones 
  • Improving physical health 

Once you find the thing that will keep you motivated through the recovery process, it becomes easier to become part of a community and build a healthier future for yourself and your family. The mentor relationships developed within the SMART community can provide additional stabilization and support during early recovery.

4 Points of SMART Recovery 

Substance misuse affects all areas of your life, and part of maintaining sobriety during and after treatment includes finding healthy alternatives to replace maladaptive social interactions. Support communities like 12-Step and other self-help groups provide a safe social environment where you can feel heard. SMART Recovery is one of many alternatives, and it focuses on incorporating the following four points into your treatment and recovery. 

#1. Identifying and Maintaining Healthy Motivation 

Feeling ambivalent about recovery during the initial stages of treatment is not unusual. Identifying and maintaining healthy motivation can significantly impact rehabilitation and early recovery. Speaking with others who understand your feelings can provide a more objective viewpoint and increase your self-awareness. 

#2. Coping With Urges and Intrusive Thoughts 

Cravings and intrusive thoughts are a normal part of the recovery process. However, they can be highly disruptive and increase the risk of relapse. SMART Recovery and other forms of peer support can lower that risk by providing a safe space where you can talk about these urges and how they make you feel. Many people find that by talking about them, the urges and intrusive thoughts often lose power and decrease with time. 

#3. Managing Your Thoughts, Feelings, 
and Behaviors 

SMART recovery teaches valuable coping skills to help you manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that might otherwise interfere with rehabilitation. You will have access to an extensive support system of individuals who can provide insight, advice, and support while you build new routines.

#4. Living a Healthy and Balanced Life 

You deserve to live a healthy and balanced life. SMART Recovery can show you multiple ways to accomplish those goals by providing a support network and offering useful coping techniques. 

Benefits of SMART Recovery

Becoming an active member of the recovery community encourages healthier behaviors and self-accountability. According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, “Among peer support services available today, peer support groups are considered an important aspect of the addiction recovery process.” At West Coast Recovery Centers, we encourage clients to use whatever support resource best fits their needs and lifestyle. SMART Recovery is one of the tools we can provide to clients who feel they are not a good fit for 12-Step or other groups. 

SMART recovery is similar to 12-Step groups and provides a fellowship of individuals who all want to heal and create a healthy community. Joining a self-help group can decrease the risk of relapse and improve mental health by expanding your support system to include peers at varying levels of recovery. Not everyone feels comfortable attending 12-Step meetings, and SMART Recovery offers an excellent alternative that focuses on improving stability, community, and personal growth. Meetings focus on finding the motivation to overcome everyday challenges and make healthy lifestyle changes. A supportive community like SMART Recovery can increase your self-efficacy, self-awareness, and self-confidence by providing powerful insights about the recovery and treatment process. West Coast Recovery Centers can help you heal by creating a personalized treatment plan that includes peer support alternatives like SMART Recovery. Learn more by calling us today at (760) 492-6509.