Subject: News & Views - May 2019

8 Tips for Successful Addiction Recovery, What We Can Learn, We Can Unlearn, and more! 
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May 2019
Inside This Issue 
8 Tips for Successful Addiction Recovery
How Decision Fatigue Affects Willpower and Self-Control
Recent research on the topic of willpower shows that we, as human beings, have limited decision-making capacity. That is, in any given day, we may simply run out of the mental energy that is required to make decisions. Researcher Roy Baumeister, PhD calls this depletion of mental energy “decision fatigue.”

Why is this important for recovery from substance misuse? Because the choice to not use is a decision.

What We Can Learn, We Can Unlearn
Neuroplasticity and Addiction Recovery
For most of the twentieth century, the consensus among neuroscientists was that the brain was relatively fixed and immutable after a certain critical period during early childhood. This belief has been challenged by new findings and evidence, especially detailed brain imaging that has conclusively proven that our brains retain plasticity (a significant ability to change) into adulthood, and even old age. 

This characteristic of the brain, called neuroplasticity, is responsible not only for our ability to learn and unlearn, but also for the ability of some people to recover from serious injuries, strokes, and diseases that disable or disrupt some of their brain functions.

Tips for Family & Friends
You Can Live a Happier Life, Even If Your Loved One Has an Addiction
At SMART Recovery, we want you to know that you can live a happier life, even if your loved one has an addiction.

You may be thinking, “WHAT?!?! Is that even possible?” We are here to tell you: yes, it is possible. It requires the acceptance of two basic beliefs: 
  1. You are not the cause of your loved one’s addiction, therefore you are not to blame.
  2. You have the right to reclaim control of your life. 
This helpful reflection piece provides an example of how one family member learned to live a happier life despite a loved one still practicing their addiction. 

Podcast Feature: 
What Happens After You First Get Sober?
SMART Recovery Featured in NPR 1-A Podcast 
SMART Recovery was recently featured on NPR's 1-A podcast, a program that has 4 million listeners each week on 354 public radio stations across America. 

Barry Grant is Director of Outpatient Services with Hope House Treatment Centers in Annapolis, Maryland, and a long-time SMART Recovery volunteer and advocate. In this episode he highlights the importance of choice in recovery, multiple pathways, and the need for medication-assisted treatment 
 principles that are supported in the SMART Recovery 4-Point Program®.

This is a great resource available on the current state of addiction recovery, where the industry is headed, and the impact of SMART Recovery's tools.

Call for Nominations
The Joseph Gerstein Special Award for Exemplary Service to SMART Recovery®
The Joseph Gerstein Award selection committee is calling for nominations for the 2019 Joseph Gerstein Award. 

If you know someone who has shown extraordinary and exemplary service to the SMART program, please submit your nomination using this link

The award will be presented at the SMART National Conference held September 2022 in Itasca, Illinois. Look for a feature in the October issue of News & Views.

Deadline for nominations is August 1, 2019.

2019 SMART Recovery National Conference
Agenda & Speakers Coming Soon!
The 2019 SMART Recovery National Conference will be held September 2022 at The Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca (a suburb of Chicago and close to O’Hare Airport). Hotel room and conference facilities are located on the same premises. 

The conference will include educational presentations and provide opportunities for networking with treatment professionals and SMART facilitators across the U.S. and Canada, along with healthcare professionals, volunteers, participants, and friends of the SMART community.

We will be announcing our conference agenda and speakers in the coming weeks. Please be sure to watch your inbox! 
Special Thanks to Our 
2019 Silver Anniversary Conference Supporters
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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, over-eating, shopping and internet use.
Each week, thousands of people discuss recovery progress, challenges and SMART tools at more than 3,000 local meetingsdaily online meetings and 24x7 online message boards and chat rooms.
Participants use SMART to assume responsibility for their own recovery and become empowered through its 4-Point Program®: Building motivation; Coping with urges; Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and Living a balanced life.
For more information, please visit

Contact SMART Recovery at or 866.951.5357.
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Your donation to SMART Recovery helps empower millions worldwide
with the tools to abstain from any substance or activity addiction.
Information about alternative giving options: Send email to

SMART Recovery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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