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Pick the Right Recovery Program for You

When your time in residential treatment comes to an end, it is an excellent idea to start attending meetings with others who are in recovery from a substance use disorder. But how do you know which recovery program is right for you?

In the end, you may have to give a few programs a try before deciding which best meets your needs. But in the meantime, we can offer a primer to give you a sense of several programs—and how they are alike and different.

Let’s Start with 12-Step Programs

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are probably the best known programs for people in recovery. At their heart are the 12 Steps, a set of beliefs and practices intended to provide a foundation for ongoing sobriety. Among the steps is the acknowledgement of a higher power as well as a commitment to making direct amends to all those who were harmed as a result of a person’s substance use disorder.

Those participating in AA or NA come together for meetings that often include an open invitation to share whatever is on your mind as you continue to work to maintain your sobriety. The fact that all meeting attendees have had similar experiences lends itself to an atmosphere of support and empathy. Participants also frequently have a sponsor—someone else in the program who agrees to help hold you accountable and support you during the inevitable moments when it seems like you are not going to be able to stay sober.

It Might be Smart to Consider SMART

SMART is an acronym that stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, supportive meetings are central to the program. However, SMART is far less focused on the notion of a higher power and instead calls on the individual to work toward behavioral change via a SMART’s 4-Point Program. Those four points are listed on the SMART website as:

  1. Building and maintaining the motivation to change. 
  2. Coping with urges to use. 
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors.
  4. Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.

Sending Out an S.O.S. to the S.O.S. Program

S.O.S., like SMART, is an acronym. In this case, the abbreviation stands for Secular Organizations for Sobriety. Like other recovery support programs, S.O.S. offers meetings that bring people together to provide mutual support. As is suggested by the organization’s name, the program has no religious element. Instead, it takes a wholly secular approach to getting and staying sober. 

The program’s website offers downloadable information in English and Spanish for those who are interested in learning more about S.O.S.

Looking for Other Options?

The three recovery programs we have talked about here are not the only options available. You can find more programs to consider here.

The Common Ground is in the Community Building

Each of the programs we have highlighted here has its own approach to helping people stay sober. But as we have noted, they all rely on meetings of individuals in recovery as a central practice of the program. 

Why is that important? Coming together with others who have had experiences similar to your own can address feelings of isolation and the sense that you are laboring to maintain your sobriety on your own. When you meet with other people in recovery, you have the opportunity to encourage them to stay the course—and they can do the same for you. It may seem like a small thing or it may seem like a cliché or it may seem like something you can choose not to do without consequence.

But none of that is true. Recovery meetings can be the true bedrock of your efforts to stay sober over time. A firm foundation is essential for building anything—including a life in recovery—that you want to last.

Let’s Meet to Discuss Your Path Back to Sobriety

Before you can engage with recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART, or S.O.S., you have to reclaim your sobriety. And the best way to do that is to seek treatment that includes medically supervised detoxification, a rehabilitation program that offers strategies, resources, and care for co-occurring mental health disorders, and a commitment to a continuum of care that provides ongoing support as your recovery journey gets underway.

That is what we offer at French Creek Recovery Center in Meadville, PA. Our approach to treatment is centered on expertise, experience, compassion, and a commitment to treat every person we serve as an individual. You will not encounter judgment or cookie-cutter solutions at French Creek. Instead, you will find empathy and a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs. 

When you are ready to start your journey back to sobriety, we are eager to meet with you to explain in detail how we can help.