Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SMART Recovery Offers New Solutions to Addiction

AMANDA MUCCIO ’18

SENIOR EDITOR

After a successful Wellness Fest put on by Bantams in Balance last week, Trinity students should be made aware of related programs available on campus. Among several new initiatives created by the college’s Health Center is SMART
Recovery, a weekly meeting group whose goal is to help people address issues with: alcohol, drugs, smoking/vaping, gambling, eating, spending, gaming, over-exercising, preoccupation with relationships or sex, excessive use of the internet/social media, etc. The meetings take place every Wednesday from 6:00-7:30 in Trinity Commons, Room 142.
SMART Recovery began this semester after Trinity received a grant to hold meetings for people aged 18-24 as well as “Family and Friends” meetings. Trinity SMART facilitators Pamela Mulready and Daniel Levy intend to work with other grant recipients throughout Connecticut to create a network of SMART meetings for youth.
Trinity’s program is part of a larger effort to help those impacted by addictive behavior. SMART, which stands for Self Management and Recovery Training, is an international organization that offers free self-help groups for abstaining from substance or addiction. Being a science-based program, SMART Recovery is built upon well-established, skills-based, and solution-oriented strategies that help people properly manage behavioral problems and create healthy lifestyles.
If you have concerns about a friend, Trinity’s SMART Recovery program also boasts a “Family and Friends” session. On Thursdays from 6:00-7:30 pm, students, friends, and families can gather in Trinity Commons to address and gain insight about substance use problems. These meetings involve Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), which aims to highlight the “uniquely powerful position”of a close friend or family member in helping a loved one find recovery. CRAFT maintains a modern and evidence-based approach to treatment, having over 20 years of peer-reviewed research to ensure success rates. The meetings serve as a productive alternative to tough-love, isolation, or interventions.
Pamela Mulready MS, LPC, LADC, an Alcohol and Other Drug Education Specialist and co-facilitator in SMART Recovery explains, “It is important that we have the SMART program at Trinity to provide a way for people to get support from one another and to learn skills for behavior change.” Additionally, “It is also important that we have a self-help group on campus that targets substance use as it can be taboo within this age group to acknowledge that alcohol or other drugs are causing a person consequences and distress. SMART being on campus holds space for people to question the value of their current usage patterns and to consider making a change to live a more balanced life. Often people wait, to their detriment, until they are much older to begin to acknowledge they can’t keep drinking
and drugging the way that they are and simultaneously have the life they truly want to live.”
For more information about SMART Recovery, please contact the trained facilitators in SMART Recovery, Pamela Mulready or Daniel Levy.

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