SMART is a self-help organization that most closely matches the treatment you would get as a client at CMC. It is an addiction recover support group that addresses all kinds of compulsive behavior problems (substance use, gambling and other behaviors). It teaches tools (based on CBT) that are designed to help you self-direct the change you want in your life and on self-empowerment and self-reliance. It also advocates and supports the use of medications and other supportive psychological treatments. It is divided up into modules that will help you understand and maintain motivation, cope with cravings and urges, manage thoughts/feelings/behaviors and most importantly focuses on the development of a healthy, balanced life.
The website helps you get access to face-to-face mtgs in your area. The best thing?!! It offers daily online meetings if there are no meetings in your vicinity. There are also helpful chat rooms where you can ask questions and get advice on specific issues.
There are good meetings in the NYC area (Albert Ellis Institute) and we wish there were more across the country. We hope that more people find the support of SMART meetings as they are smart (no pun intended), progressive and based on current evidence about what works when making behavioral change.
|Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org||Narcotic Anonymous www.na.org|
These websites lead you to 12-step based support meetings that are a nationwide network of almost 60,000 groups. The websites include information about the 12-step philosophy and program, as well as the locations of meetings in your area. They also provide on-line access to meetings and descriptions of what to expect if you decide to try a meeting. The best thing about AA is it’s free and a really good way to surround yourself with other people who are trying to change.
Many women find the language (specifically the focus on powerlessness and acceptance of higher power) of the 12-step programs to be difficult. Many women also prefer to find the support within women’s only meetings. WSF is a self-help organization that focuses on self-empowerment as well as personal growth. The 13 steps of their “New Life Acceptance Program” are a nice structure and many people find they are helpful in shifting the focus from past regrets and shame to hope about the future. Interestingly, they reflect a fair amount of CBT strategies (e.g., managing focus and attending to positive thoughts instead of negative). They recommend that you read the steps daily to orient your focus for the day. We know the groups are only for women, but wonder if many men might also benefit from reading the 13-steps daily.
SOS is an interesting self-help organization that focuses on helping people achieve and maintain sobriety. They are committed to using scientific method and ration to understand and treat substance use problems. As a result, they are an appealing option for people who are uncomfortable with the religious nature and spiritual focus of the 12-step programs. Unfortunately they are more wide spread in other parts of the world and in the LA area and have not yet spread across the US. Their newsletter is interesting and the website references books that may be helpful if this sounds like an appealing way to find support.
MM is a self-help organization designed to specifically address the needs of people in the beginning stages of problematic drinking (i.e., people who are not dependent on alcohol but who are at risk or who abuse it). It is behavioral in nature and has a 9-step program (that is supported by research findings) with effective strategies for increasing awareness of healthy moderation limits, goal setting, and self-management strategies. The goal is to help people quit drinking or reduce their drinking before more serious problems develop. They also have a nice treatment locator function that can help you find moderation friendly providers across the country.
HAMS is a peer-led and free-of-charge support and informational group for anyone who wants to change their drinking habits for the better. The acronym HAMS stands for Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support. They offer information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings–as well as in the HAMS Book and the articles on this web site.