The addiction epidemic by every measure is staggering. Treatment systems are overwhelmed, without enough programs to help the tens of millions who need help. Drug overdose deaths, after reaching a record 72,000 in 2019, grew by 30 percent in one year to 93,000 in 2020. Three-quarters involved opioids.
In the United States, where only one in ten people with serious addiction problems seeks treatment or mutual support, there is much more work to do. With your help, we can close the gap between those who need recovery and those who benefit from SMART.
SMART Recovery is leading the future of recovery. Here’s how:
The power of choice. No single solution will work for everyone, and the availability of multiple options for recovery support makes a critical difference in successful outcomes. SMART is the leading self-empowering program for addition recovery support.
SMART Recovery works for any addictive or negative behavior. In a SMART meeting, participants with various behaviors come together to model and learn new skills for recovery and master their own integrity and willingness to change.
Our meetings are non-judgmental and stigma-free. SMART views addiction as a behavior that can be corrected, not a condition that defines a person’s identity. We discourage the use of labels such as “addict” or “alcoholic.” Research has shown that labels undermine motivation for many people.
Similarly, we don’t label those who have relapsed as “failures.” Almost everyone relapses while trying to recover. We treat these as opportunities for learning how to strengthen recovery efforts and identify what worked during the time before the relapse.
We help people before they hit “rock bottom.” We want to help people before their addiction has grown so severe that it is life-threatening. SMART Recovery for Family & Friends offers support for those with a loved one struggling with addiction. At SMART meetings, participants learn skills for coping with the anger, frustration, and anxiety that many experience. They also learn skills for improving communication, developing compassionate boundaries, and other ways to help their loved ones recover.
SMART welcomes medication-assisted treatment (MAT). SMART recognizes that prescribed medication can be critical for a person’s recovery. For those with opioid addiction, medicines such as methadone and buprenorphine protect people from fatal overdoses while they recover.
Our tools teach lasting change. With SMART tools and support at meetings, people discover the flaws in their addictive choices and behaviors, develop their authenticity, and learn to lead a life that reinforces purpose, integrity, and balance to support long-term recovery.
SMART focuses on what people can do today to create a better future. We don’t dwell on the past, which cannot be changed. Our goal is to help participants build lives with new behaviors that transcend addiction. Life Beyond Addiction is our highest goal.