Ray has been facilitating meetings since May of 2019, initially it was simply because there were no SMART meetings in the area. If he wanted one, he had to lead the charge and step out of his comfort zone. Over the next six months he saw the impact SMART was having on others, as it did him. During this time, he observed other attendees that were as motivated as he was about teaching the tools SMART Recovery has to offer. After some time, Ray was granted the opportunity to be the Regional Coordinator in Arkansas. Together, with this team of facilitators starting their own meetings, SMART Recovery support meetings can be attended three times a week in public forums, as well as multiple meetings in recovery homes in the surrounding area.
Ray and his team are currently working on a venue near the college campus at the University of Arkansas to start meetings there, as well as future plans for Family and Friends meetings. Ray wanted to make sure that we all know that his motivation and passion for others to have the same freedom he has in recovery is shared by his team. The growth SMART has in this area is a direct reflection of that. He encourages others everywhere in recovery to step out of their comfort zones and become part of a team that is helping change lives for the better. Who doesn’t want to be part of that?
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I’m having the same problem in this very conservative community. Even a couple of my doctors are completely unaware of alternatives to twelve-step programs. I’ve been in the very awkward position several times now of explaining that there are evidence-based alternatives, and one doctor was under the false impression that the courts can compel attendance at AA meetings (illegal). It’s been very hard to generate interest in a SMART group here.