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SMART Recovery in Alaska
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SMART Recovery in Alaska

According to recent findings, many people in Alaska are known to have a drug and/or alcohol abuse problem. Fortunately, there are a wide range of support and recovery options available in the state. Alaska has twice as many problem drinkers (14% of the population) than the national average, therefore the demand for recovery services is high. SMART recovery in Alaska is one of the most accessible programs available. The core principle of SMART recovery is that addicts can become self-empowered in their struggle against addiction, and this will enable them to get and stay clean and sober.

SMART stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training. The methodology can be used to help people recover from any type of substance abuse, as well as other types of addiction, such as gambling. Many people consider this method of therapy to be an alternative to spiritually based programs. Although, it can be a powerful aid to these programs as well. SMART recovery in Alaska is a 4-point program, during which addicts learn to replace negative or irrational thinking with positive thinking. A brief summary of these points follows.

Point 1 – is about building and maintaining motivation

Motivation is the emotional force that drives us towards our goals. People who lack motivation will find it difficult to make meaningful changes in their lives, since they see no valid reason for doing so. SMART recovery in Alaska encourages people and teaches them how to become motivated. The fact that people join the program, shows that they are motivated to change.

Point 2 – teaches people to cope with urges

Cravings and urges affect everyone, but they can make addicts relapse. In a SMART revovery program, addicts learn techniques for coping with these unavoidable urges. One of the acronyms an addict may learn during therapy is ‘DEADS.’

  • D is for Delay. All urges will eventually disappear. By learning to delay the action that the urge is demanding, the intensity will weaken and the frequency will reduce.
  • E is for Escape. People are taught to remove themselves from situations that contribute to urges.
  • A is for Accept. Since there is no way to avoid urges, people learn to accept them, and to understand that they will pass.
  • D is for Dispute. People learn to put forward cogent and powerful reasons as to why they should not yield to cravings or urges.
  • S is for Substitute. Substituting another activity for the one the urge is demanding, is an effective way to help withstand urges.

Point 3 – is about managing or controlling thoughts, feelings and behaviors

People are introduced to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Our actions are motivated by our perception of the world. Changing that perception empowers us to change behavior.

Point 4 – is about maintaining a balanced lifestyle

People may get a boost from abusing drugs or alcohol, but that is only temporary. SMART recovery teaches people to see the benefits of developing interests and undertaking activities that give more meaningful, and longer-lasting rewards.

Who can benefit from SMART Recovery in Alaska?

Any person with an addiction to a substance or activity can benefit from this program. It differs from programs such as Alcohol Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), in that self-empowerment is critical. The 12-steps program offered by AA or NA is, in contrast, spiritually based. People are asked to accept that their success involves them relinquishing their destiny to a higher power. That means only candidates with religious beliefs will likely succeed at AA or NA, whereas anyone can succeed with SMART recovery in Alaska.

How does it work?

People can access the SMART recovery program online. Face-to-face meetings are also available in several locations. If there are no local meetings, people may consider setting up their own group for SMART recovery in Alaska. They get free support from the SMART organization to help them do this. People can sign up online to get started with the SMART program.

If you or a loved one is battling a substance use disorder, then reach out to an addiction specialist to learn more about SMART recovery in Alaska today.