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Substance Abuse Recovery Essay

809 words - 3 pages

Despite the higher cost, a high-end substance abuse treatment center does not constitute better treatment. The support of therapists, counselors, family, friends, and peers can all be important factors in the recovery process. The most significant factor for an individual in the recovery process is a desire and a willingness to change. Many options exist for individuals that want to recover from addiction. These options include substance abuse rehabilitation centers and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery. These programs all have the same goal but use different techniques that at times even contradict other programs. Although the approach of the programs may vary, they have all been proven to work for certain individuals.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a nonprofit support group and the model it is based on has been transferred over to many other types of recovery programs. This model is known as the twelve-step program and was first published in 1939 (cite). The twelve-step program has gained mainstream acceptance as a viable option for substance abuse treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be attended at no cost and the program states that its membership is open to anyone who has a desire to change (cite). The twelve-step program views addiction as a disease that an afflicted person is powerless against (cite). According to the twelve-step model once a person becomes an addict they must remain in recovery their entire lives (cite). The twelve-step program takes a faith-based approach that requires a belief in a higher power to recover from addiction (cite). This program has helped thousands of people recover from addiction by following its steps. Critics of the twelve-step program would argue that there have been many addicts that have recovered from addiction completely without the belief of a higher power. Many reformed addicts also believe they are no longer in recovery from addiction and they simply just quit. The beliefs of the twelve-step program may not appeal to everyone but the key to the program is recognizing a problem and taking the steps to correct it.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a nonprofit support group that was founded in 1994 (cite). Whereas the twelve-step program views addiction as a disease, SMART Recovery takes the cognitive approach that addiction is a behavior that has been learned (cite). The twelve-step program and SMART Recovery also contradict each other on how long an individual must be in recovery. Because SMART Recovery views addiction as a learned behavior, the program teaches that the same behavior can be unlearned. Once the behavior has been unlearned an...

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