An important initiative we are promoting is offering self-help, mutual aid support groups or meetings according to the guidelines of the international, non-profit organization SMART Recovery® (see http://www.smartrecovery.org). One of our Committee members has completed the approved SMART facilitator meeting course to become certified and is a registered volunteer with the program. These meetings are open to persons with opioid (heroin, painkiller) dependency and with other drug or alcohol issues who want to connect with others experiencing the same health challenges. The intent of this special project is to support online and/or telephone activities as well as to conduct meetings several times a week in person. In remote or rural areas of New Mexico patients often want more ways for technology or telecommunication to overcome distances for service delivery. The SMART 4 Point Program and its related tools are endorsed by many national organizations, including the federal agency Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). SMART Recovery’s peer support meetings are free to the general public with donations accepted, and court-ordered participants and others referred by criminal justice agencies (jails/prisons, probation/parole offices, police) are welcomed. SMART stresses that a person seeking recovery should be fully informed about the range of recovery options and free to choose among them. The program encourages participants to take responsibility for their own recovery; meetings support their capacity to regulate their own behavior for greater self reliance. SMART Recovery International has a more harm reduction approach to recovery processes (click here for more).
The SMART Recovery Program is an alternative to 12 Step Programs such as AA and NA. SMART’s philosophy and practices differ from those of AA/NA in several major ways. SMART is a more secular and science based approach to recovery that views the individual as self empowered to make choices and have control to become independent of addictive substances and b. SMART Recovery is abstinent-oriented but not absolutistic in terms of a mandate for stopping use. There is no single path to recovery that works for everyone. It may include selected periods of abstinence or abstaining from over-involvement with certain substances. According to the individual’s recovery goals/objectives and values for self-directed change, which may vary over time, he or she may use what is desired or needed from the SMART meetings. An individual’s engagement in choosing a treatment approach offers a better foundation for success and sustainability. SMART Recovery also has a more positive position statement about using medication assisted treatment (e.g., methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone) to support the recovery process. SMART Recovery supports the scientifically informed use of psychological treatment and legally prescribed psychiatric and addiction medications.
SMART’s science-based offerings utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), more particularly Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) in conjunction with evidence-based tools which are widely accepted among professionals in the treatment of addictive behaviors. The discussion of cognitive distortions and changing irrational ones fits well with other correctional programs that focus on the root of criminal thinking errors, for example with moral reconation therapy (MRT). With the facilitator's guidance, meetings attendees use SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program® to address maintaining motivation, coping with urges, problem-solving with thoughts/beliefs/emotions and achieving lifestyle balance.
SMART Recovery offers face to face meetings and on the Internet as well as online experiences with message boards, forums, daily check-ins, chat rooms, self study courses, blogs, and podcasts. SMART Recovery meetings at the Amador Health Center, Annex Suite D (ID#4897) are open to persons currently receiving recovery support services at Amador. The days of the week for meetings may change as small groups (2-5 persons) are scheduled together during shared appointment slots. Additional meetings may also be offered by telephone or video calls. For more information you may call the Amador Recovery Helpline at 575.323.2266.
It is highly recommended that new meeting participants read/view the first two items below and join the meeting a little early to discuss SMART Recovery. If you are SMART participant, you may make an appointment to receive acudetox (auricular acupuncture) services before or after the meeting. Note that the Members Only button above is password-protected. This password is shared with participants in meetings at the Amador Health Center Annex.
After an initial visit to Amador Recovery, you may join the group via a telephone or video call. We also have a check-in WhatsApp group for those that wish contact and support between meetings. Please call the Amador Recovery Helpline at 575.323.2266 for more information about these self-help meetings.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vicent Peale