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Old 06-11-2008, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Recovery Programs: Science-Based and Secular Recovery Options

SMART Recovery® (Self-Management and Recovery Training)

Purpose. The goal of SMART Recovery® is to help individuals gain independence from addictive behaviors. It supports individuals who have chosen to abstain or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behavior (substances or activities).

Approach. SMART® teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance. The program views addictions and compulsions as complex maladaptive behaviors with complications arising from physiological factors including intoxication and withdrawal. It teaches tools and techniques for self-directed change. SMART Recovery® encourages individuals to recover and live satisfying lives by teaching them how to change self-defeating beliefs, emotions and actions and work towards long-term satisfactions.

Meetings are educational and include open discussions. The organization advocates the appropriate use of prescribed medications and psychological treatments. As the scientific knowledge on which the program is based evolves, the program in turn evolves.

The Four Points Program. The program offers a number of specific tools and techniques for each of the four general tasks that lead to recovery:

Point 1: Enhancing and Maintaining Motivation to Abstain
Point 2: Coping with Urges
Point 3: Problem Solving (Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors)
Point 4: Lifestyle Balance (Balancing momentary and enduring satisfactions)

Scientific or evidence-based. The program is based on scientifically validated principles of change culled from "alcoholism" outcome and "natural (unaided) recovery" research. The program might best be described with phrases like: "Cognitive-Behavioral," "Self-management Skill Training," "Rational Emotive Behavioral," "Motivational Enhancement" and "Solution Focused."

Secular. Some people like the scientific basis of the program and also the fact that is secular. SMART® does not promote nor insist on a spiritual or religious commitment but leaves the spiritual or religious aspects of recovery, if any, up to the individual.

How Help is provided. SMART Recovery® offers free face-to-face and online meetings.

Find a meeting: SMART Recovery® - Meetings In Your Area

National Contact:
Address: SMART Recovery
7537 Mentor Avenue, Suite #306
Mentor, Ohio 44060-5400
Phone: 440-951-5357
E-mail: [email protected]
Office Hours are 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon ET, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Emails are checked daily. Orders for books are processed within 3 days of receipt.
Website: SMART Recovery®


Secular Organizations for Sobriety/Save Our Selves (SOS)
SOS was founded in 1986 by James Christopher, a recovering person who rejected the spiritual tenets of the 12-Step programs but embraced the social support and commitment to abstinence.

Approach. SOS's approach is "self-empowerment," using a scientific approach, a complex blending of the medical (alcoholism as a disease) model and psychological and social models to achieve sobriety (abstinence), which is its first priority.

SOS emphasizes the individual. It provides a set of recovery tools on its website. Traditionally, each person selects what works for his or her own recovery by putting together an individualized recovery program. There are some meetings in Wisconsin. Check the website for dates, times, locations and contacts. You can also find online meetings there.

National Contact:
Jim Christopher; Save Our Selves (SOS)
4773 Hollywood Blvd.; Hollywood, CA 90027
Phone: (323)-666-4295
Email: [email protected] Attn: Jim Christopher
Find Meetings at: Find an SOS Meeting
SOS Women at: SOSWomen : Turn problems into opportunities!
Email women's group: [email protected] to join
Website: index.html


LifeRing Secular Recovery. LifeRing grew out of Secular Organizations for Sobriety. It became a separate organization in 1990.

Purpose:
Make Sobriety Your (Top) Priority.

Approach: Fundamental Principles
Sobriety: Complete abstinence no matter what
Secularity: Relying on human efforts rather than divine intervention
Self-help: The key to recovery is the individual's own motivation and effort
Peer Support and Build Your Own Program
Here's how LifeRing describes its program: "LifeRing optimizes the active ingredient of every organized recovery effort: peer support. LifeRings are small circles with a conversational format, focusing on current events in participants' lives. Feedback (crosstalk) is encouraged. The LifeRing program features an open architecture: how you maintain your sobriety and how you rebuild your life is your choice. There are no steps and no sponsors. . . . Because you design and build it yourself, you become deeply invested in your recovery, planning to grow into a resilient, confident, and independent person who lives life to the fullest, free of alcohol and other addictive drugs."

Secular:
Meetings are free of religious content. Your faith or your disbelief remains private. There's no "higher power" required for LifeRing recovery. Meetings end with a round of applause for members' progress.

LifeRing suggests that, "If you're inclined to be a rebel or a misfit, if you tend to think outside the box, if you're self-reliant, if you question authority, if you're willing to give and take with other people, and you want to stop drinking and using addictive drugs, then LifeRing may be the recovery path of choice for you."

National Contact:
Address: LifeRing Service Center
1440 Broadway Suite 312; Oakland CA 94612-2023
Phone: (510) 763-0779
LifeRing Home Page
General Information About LifeRing Meetings


Moderation Management
Purpose. Moderation Management (MM) believes in early intervention for risky drinking behavior and recognizes harm reduction (reducing alcohol abuse) as a worthwhile goal, especially when the total elimination of harm or risk is not a realistic option. It is designed for beginning stage problem drinkers, not for seriously dependent drinkers or alcoholics. MM is often viewed as a less threatening first step to dealing with problem drinking than the abstinence-based approaches.

Approach. MM is a national support group network for people concerned about their drinking who want to learn to drink moderately. Moderate drinking limits are based on research and recommendations from departments of health.

Science. MM is a behavioral change program culled from research on moderate and controlled drinking.

The Nine Step program begins with a 30-day period of abstinence during which other steps, involving learning and other preparation, may be completed. If a person then decides to continue with the moderation program, he or she will drink within the moderate drinking guidelines and limits, monitor (record) his or her drinking and continue to attend the support group meetings. Goal setting techniques and self-management strategies are provided. There is no pressure to continue drinking. Many people succeed at moderation, but many others, after the first 30 days of abstinence or after attempting a period of sustained moderation, decide to continue or return to abstinence as a simpler choice. MM encourages this choice and about 30% of MM members go on to abstinence, many with the help of abstinence-based groups.

National Contact:
Moderation Management Network, Inc.
c/o HRC
22 W 27th Street; New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-871-0974
Email: [email protected]
Website: Moderation Management

WOMEN FOR SOBRIETY

Women For Sobriety is both an organization and a self-help program for women alcoholics. It is, in fact, the first national self-help program for women alcoholics.

Women For Sobriety has been providing services to women alcoholics since July, 1976. The WFS "New Life" Program grew out of one woman's search for sobriety. (See Turnabout: New Help for the Woman Alcoholic.) Now hundreds of WFS self-help groups are found all across this country and abroad.

Based upon a Thirteen Statement Program of positivity that encourages emotional and spiritual growth, the "New Life" Program has been extremely effective in helping women to overcome their alcoholism and learn a wholly new lifestyle.

As a Program, it can stand alone or be used along with other programs simultaneously.

It is being used not only by women alcoholics in small self-help groups but also in hospitals, clinics, treatment facilities, women centers, and wherever alcoholics are being treated.

What We Do:

The activities of WFS are: the establishment of self-help groups, and the distribution of literature to women who ask for our help.

Unfunded by any agency, WFS derives its operational money from group donations, sale of literature, speaking engagements, workshops, and outside donations.

Why A Program For Women Only?

Until the founding of WFS, it was assumed that any program for recovery from alcoholism would work equally well for women as for men.

When it became obvious that recovery rates for male alcoholics were higher than for females, it was then declared that women were harder to treat and were less cooperative than male alcoholics.

WFS came forth with the belief that women alcoholics require a different kind of program in recovery than the kinds of programs used for male alcoholics.

The success of the WFS "New Life" Program has shown this to be true. Although the physiological recovery from alcoholism is the same for both sexes, the psychological (emotional) needs for women are very different in recovery from those of the male alcoholic.

The "New Life" Program is directed to these specific needs of the woman alcoholic in recovery.

There are an estimated 7,500,000 women alcoholics in the United States alone. That number of women alcoholics is equal to the TOTAL population of: Maine, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, and Utah. Surely this large number of women deserve a program that speaks to their specific needs in recovery.

We know the WFS "New Life" Program does this.

Women For Sobriety has self-help groups throughout the world. In addition WFS produces and distributes booklets and literature written specifically to the needs of women alcoholics. Since WFS started in 1976, the "New Life" Program has been adapted for other addictions. In addition many men have requested the Program and Men For Sobriety groups beginning in the United States and Canada.

For additional information including the "New Life" Program and our complete recovery catalog, please contact:

WFS, Inc.
P.O. Box 618
Quakertown, PA 18951-0618
Phone: 215-536-8026
Fax: 215-538-9026
Welcome to Women For Sobriety, Inc.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you for the post of the info! I would love to see this one fed regularly to the section in case a newcomer is looking. This type of information is not so easily acquired and especially when in many circles it is not okay to talk alternatives.

Thank you!

T
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you very much.i've not heard of most of these groups,this helps alot.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know about the rest of those, but Smart Recovery is not what it claims to be.

In particular, their welcome message speaks of recovery through science.
This is not what they are concerned with.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is not science, just ask a smart admin what their position on that foul document is.

Science by vote is not science. Science by highest bid is not science.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I, too, am glad to see this posted and with some basic information filling it out.

No one solution fits everyone...and one person's experience with any particular "method" may be very different than the next person sitting in the same room, so to speak. What works for me might not work for you. And what's working for you I might not touch with the old 10-foot pole!

Each person who really wants to get clean/sober should explore until they find what fits for them. Nobody can know what works for *you* except YOU. I'm just glad to find out there are more options than there used to be.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by weedeater64 View Post
I don't know about the rest of those, but Smart Recovery is not what it claims to be.

In particular, their welcome message speaks of recovery through science.
This is not what they are concerned with.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is not science, just ask a smart admin what their position on that foul document is.

Science by vote is not science. Science by highest bid is not science.
I'm involved with SMART Recovery, and I can't imagine what you are talking about.

OTT
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was reading on the MSNBC website and they had an article about AA. There was a link to several other recovery sites that I thought I'd post here. Some may overlap what Morning Glory posted, but I still thought it might be helpful.

Rational and Secular Programs
Many addiction professionals believe rational means (listed below), while useful, do not work by themselves for addicts and alcoholics because they do not fully address all the facets of the illness of addiction. However, professional organizations such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have endorsed rational approaches such as Smart Recovery as constituting "evidence based practice."

Addiction Alternatives (www.addictionalternatives.com)
Science based solutions not 12-step based methods to help manage addictive behaviors for life. The site includes online self-assessment tests, useful information on the philosophy of behavior change, an extensive list of alternative treatment approaches to addiction, and a variety of addiction treatment professional services including Reduction Training and Abstinence Training.

Exposure Response Prevention (www.killthecraving.com)
ERP® is a behavior therapy technique that systematically exposes an addict to simulated versions of their drugs of choice and the equipment related to its use in order to elicit powerful cravings. It is believed that as the addict learns to handle these triggers and cravings without giving into them, the desire to use becomes extinguished. ERP® therapy increases self-control and confidence, resulting in a reduced likelihood of relapse. ERP® can be done through photo cards (using their book "Kill The Craving" and their web site) or with a trained therapist (call 1-888-8-CARE-4U for more information about this version of ERP®). An outcome study documenting the effectiveness of ERP® is available on their web site.

LifeRing Secular Recovery (www.unhooked.com)
This non-religious recovery network is based on a group process self-help system of recovery. The web site provides a national meeting list organized by state, news bulletins, online scientific articles, a chat room with daily online meetings, reviews of recovery books, and extensive links organized by topic such as recovery groups, government/academic sites, and various approaches to healing.

Rational Recovery (www.rational.org)
Rational Recovery is the concept of immediate self-recovery from addiction through the learned skill of planned abstinence. Abstinence is facilitated by using an easily-learned method called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT). The is no religious or spiritual component to this method of recovery. The web site offers an online course on AVRT, an online bookstore offering Rational Recovery books, audio tapes, videotapes, discussion forums, articles and essays.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) (www.secularsobriety.org)
SOS provides a non-religious path to sobriety through a network of local group meetings. Their web site offers a 24 hour online real-time chat meeting using voice or type, a meeting locator for groups in the U.S. and Europe, a sobriety tool kit, recommended readings, and more.

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) (www.smartrecovery.org)
This nationwide not-for-profit organization provides free self-help support groups to people who want to abstain from addictive behavior. The program is based on cognitive, behavioral and educational methods that seek to change the beliefs and attitudes that can lead to addictive behavior. There is no religious or spiritual component to this method of recovery. The site has online recovery meetings, a message board, Internet discussion groups, a meeting list and recommended reading.

Sober24 (www.sober24.com)
This nationwide not-for-profit organization provides free self-help support groups to people who want to abstain from addictive behavior. The program is based on cognitive, behavioral and educational methods that seek to change the beliefs and attitudes that can lead to addictive behavior. There is no religious or spiritual component to this method of recovery. The site has online recovery meetings, a message board, Internet discussion groups, a meeting list and recommended reading.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Exclamation

Just trust someone like MSNBC to get stuff wrong. Better to take that info with a grain of salt till you go to the linked sites. I happen to know that sober24 is NOT a secular site; it's very similar to SR. On sober24, it describes itself as....................:

"...Sober24, a service of the Hazelden Foundation, provides an online fellowship for people who are sharing the journey of recovery from addiction and compulsive behaviors..."

"...Sober24's philosophy is based on the Twelve Step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, but it is not endorsed by AA World Services..."

"...We are not a Twelve Step program, nor are we affiliated with one, but we do believe that the path of recovery lies in participation in a Twelve Step program. We do not intend to be a replacement for attendance at such meetings..."

Just thought I'd put in this wee fyi.....


(o:
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