Subject: News & Views - February 2020

SMART Announces 'Abstinence-Oriented' Support, Unconditional Other Acceptance, and more!
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February 2020
Inside This Issue 
SMART Clarifies Position 
Moves Toward 'Abstinence-Oriented' Recovery Support
Recently, the SMART Recovery USA Board made a minor but important change by replacing the term “abstinence-based” with “abstinence-oriented” in describing our approach to helping people. This is because people with opioid addiction are dying from overdoses when their abstinence-based treatment and recovery support preclude the use of opioid agonist medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine. 

A large part of the U.S. treatment and recovery support world continues to regard the use of these medications as “substituting one drug for another.” SMART strongly opposes that position because opioid agonists help maintain tolerance to protect people from deadly overdoses when they relapse, which is common in opioid-use recovery. SMART's position is shared by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, American Medical Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, World Health Organization, and many other prominent authorities worldwide.

Moving from 'Abstinence-Based' to 
'Abstinence-Oriented' Recovery Support
While this terminology change may seem minimal to some, it is certainly not to Board President Bill Greer. To provide additional context to this important announcement, we sat down with Bill to discuss SMART's larger focus on reducing stigma that often comes with addiction terminology, why SMART's new stance in moving toward abstinence-oriented is so important, and the positive impact we hope it will have in helping those who utilize or wish to utilize medication-assisted-treatment (MAT) in their recovery.
You can find this podcast interview on: 
Reminder: Please Respond to Our Annual Survey
If you have not done so already, please participate in our 2019 Annual SurveySurvey responses will help guide strategic planning and shape the future of SMART Recovery. 
We have extended the deadline! Please respond to this year's survey by Saturday, March 14. 

Please respond to the survey only once. 

If you started the survey but did not finish, please remember to complete it before the deadline.

THANK YOU to everyone who has responded! 

TIPS & TOOLS for Recovery that Works!
Unconditional Other Acceptance (UOA)
One of the core principles in SMART Recovery is the idea of acceptance: of yourself, your life, and others in your life. 

In this Tips & Tools episode, we follow up on last month’s topic of Unconditional Self Acceptance (USA) and break down Unconditional Other Acceptance (UOA) and its powerful impact on recovery.

Inviting Change
3 Tips for Helping a Loved One
If you have someone in your life who is using substances in a problematic way, you may often wonder what you can do to help them decide to change. You may be frightened or mad at them for making bad choices. It’s also likely you have absorbed the cultural message that there isn’t anything you can do to help because that would be enabling, or that the only way they will change is when they bottom out. Science, however, offers some different options to help someone change.

A Mother's Story
"Loving my son is not about fixing him or keeping him alive. Rather, it is about understanding him at the core of his truth. It is about understanding his addiction, and then setting and holding boundaries, as well as honoring his boundaries with me. Through this understanding, I am able to reflect back at him all that I appreciate about his heart. I have regained my compassion and love in a way that has set us both free to heal."

These are just some of the powerful words provided by Sara Crosby, MSW, CSW-PIP, a SMART Recovery Family & Friends Meeting Facilitator. In this article, she provides a very raw testimony of what loving a son who has an addiction sometimes looks and feels like and how, with the help of SMART Recovery Family & Friends, she was able to move out of darkness and into a new understanding. 

Words Matter: Addiction Terminology, Accuracy, and Stigma
Dr. Richard Saitz 
Words matter to Richard Saitz, M.D., who edits medical journals and publications for accuracy surrounding addiction terminology. 

In this talk, borrowed from our collection of 2019 SMART Recovery National Conference presentations, Dr. Saitz discusses substance use disorders as health conditions; how language can promote stigma and affects policy and care; and the emergence of accurate, non-stigmatizing terminology.

Listen to Dr. Saitz's talk through one of many podcast players: 

SMART Facilitator Spotlight
Kathy Lang - Family & Friends Meeting Facilitator
In this first part of a two-part talk, hear Kathy Lang explain her journey to SMART Recovery and how she turned a personal tragedy into help for friends and families of people suffering from addiction.

If you are a meeting Facilitator and would like to be featured in our next Facilitator Spotlight Video, please email us at

Interested in Becoming a 
SMART Recovery Volunteer? 
Are you interested in helping others overcome addictive substances and/or behaviors? Did SMART Recovery help you change your life, and now you want to give others the same opportunity? Consider getting trained in the SMART Recovery program! 

Being a SMART Facilitator is an important and rewarding volunteer position. By becoming a SMART Facilitator, you support:
  • Providing free face-to-face and online mutual-support meetings 
  • Providing forums for learning about and discussing addictive behaviors 
  • Advocating for choice in help for recovery from addictive behaviors
Download this helpful e-book to learn about SMART Recovery, and if volunteering with our organization would be a good fit for you. 

Subscribe to the SMART Recovery YouTube Channel
Video storytelling is a powerful tool in recovery, and we are proud to share our SMART Recovery content free-of-charge, available anywhere, on any device. Our videos inform, entertain, and inspire anyone in the recovery community.

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Subscribe to the SMART Recovery Blog
Do you want to see this type of helpful, educational information more often? Subscribe to the SMART Recovery Blog and receive a blog digest email every Friday with links to the blog articles published during that week. 

About SMART Recovery
Self-Management and Recovery Training
Founded in 1994, SMART Recovery uses science-based techniques that have proven to be effective in helping people recover from addiction problems involving any substance or behavior, including alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating disorders, shopping, and internet use.
Each week, participants discuss recovery progress, challenges, and SMART tools at more than 3,000 weekly local meetings, daily online meetings, and 24/7 online message boards. 

Participants use SMART to take ownership of their recovery and become empowered through its 4-Point Program®
  1. Building motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life
For more information, please visit

Contact SMART Recovery online or by calling 440.951.5357.
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