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Can SMART Recovery Work For Me?

by Landmark Recovery

September 4, 2020
A man standing on a rock at sunset with his hands in the air because he is happy that a SMART Recovery program is working

Everyone has a different path to recovery. SMART could be yours.


SMART Recovery is a global non-profit organization that has helped countless individuals achieve wellness and sobriety. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. It is a four-point program that supports its members in maintaining continued and long-term sobriety.


AA vs. SMART Recovery

Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and other 12-step programs, SMART Recovery does not ascribe to the notion of a higher power. It is a scientific and secular recovery program with a basis in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and self-empowerment.


AA, on the other hand, utilizes a model of powerlessness in the face of addiction and encourages its participants to give their lives over to God, who can return them to sanity and wellness. While many individuals in recovery find peace and healing through their faith, this path does not make sense to everyone.


SMART allows you to take back your power through self-reliance and a variety of effective coping mechanisms. Participants in this program learn how to shift their urges and destructive thought patterns towards a healthier mind frame.



A man standing on a rock at sunset with his hands in the air because he is happy that a SMART Recovery program is working

So what does it mean to be SMART about your wellness journey?


1.      Building and Maintaining Motivation

Getting sober is one thing. Staying sober is another. We know that the motivation to live sober waxes and wanes. SMART allows you to genuinely realize what addiction is taking away from you so you can rediscover the joy in life. SMART also helps you set and achieve attainable goals that motivate you to stay on the path of wellness.


2.      Coping with Urges

One of the most challenging aspects of sobriety is getting your impulses under control. SMART teaches an array of tools and techniques for combating unhealthy urges when they arise. Participants are encouraged to use mindfulness to identify these tendencies, and distraction strategies to redirect from them. You can learn how to ride out urges, and, in time, even know how to avoid them.


3.      Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

Utilizing CBT methodology, the SMART program helps you unpack the mindset and thought patterns that underscore your addiction. Distorted thinking can cause addicted individuals to relapse. SMART enables you to recognize the scenarios and feelings that trigger your addiction so you can avoid and overcome them.


4.      Living a Balanced Life

As addiction takes hold, the urge to use substances can become all-consuming. Your addiction becomes a central part of your life, so much so that it throws every other aspect of your identity off-balance. The last step of SMART Recovery is learning how to re-balance your life and find the things that offer meaning and fulfillment. You’ll learn how to set both long and short-term goals and be provided with personal and community resources to aid in your continued recovery.


Landmark Recovery’s SMART Recovery program is available for individuals in the American Midwest. From Indiana to Ohio, our SMART Recovery programs help you take back control of your life.


If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, you don’t have to face it on your own. Reach out today to learn more about our rehab and recovery programs.


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Choose Recovery Over Addiction

We're here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.

About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.