SMART Recovery Family & Friends Program Celebrates Five Years

November 5, 2015 5:35 PM0 commentsViews: 34660

SMART Recovery Family & Friends Program Celebrates Five Years

For five years, SMART Recovery® for Family & Friends has been helping people support loved ones who are fighting addiction. This program includes online weekly meetings, active message boards, face-to-face meetings and a Family & Friends Handbook that explains the use of specific tools and strategies that can be employed to help themselves and others.

Executive Director Shari Allwood has been with the organization for more than 20 years. “For the first 15 years, SMART Recovery focused solely on the individuals with addictions,” she said. “Nearly every day we received calls from friends and family members of addicted individuals who were trying to help their loved ones but didn’t know what to do. Sometimes they were just trying to maintain their own sense of balance and self-management. We sadly had to advise these callers that we didn’t have a support program for them. The day we launched the Family & Friends program was one of the most rewarding to me in all these years,” she said. The value of the program is echoed frequently by meeting participants. One remarked, “I feel so supported here and am so relieved to have a place to share thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or judgement.”

The Family & Friends program utilizes many of the same tools used by the SMART Recovery® program; such as tools to help individuals cope with emotional upsets, learn problem solving techniques, and strengthen communication. “I am here to keep learning the SMART tools to keep my sanity and serenity!! … and it’s working. Yay! Today is a good day,” said another program member.

Anyone who has a loved one struggling with addiction can visit to learn more about the many resources available.

SMART Recovery® (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a global, nonprofit organization that helps people overcome addictions through free mutual support group meetings in person and online. Each week, many thousands of people discuss recovery progress and challenges at 1,800 meetings in 13 countries, 30-plus online gatherings and 24/7 internet message board forums and chat. Participants use SMART to assume responsibility for their own recovery and become empowered using its 4-Point Program®: building and maintaining motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life. A program for Family & Friends is available for those assisting a loved one with an addiction. Founded in 1994, the program uses science-based techniques that are most effective in helping individuals abstain from addictions to substances and harmful behaviors.

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