Alternate Program Offering Addiction Support for Local Residents< < Back to
A support program aiming to help people suffering from dependency issues is now available in Athens, Hocking and Vinton counties.
The program, SMART recovery, stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, and offers weekly group discussions for not only those suffering from an addiction,but also for the families who want to help their loved ones, according to Ron Lucas, director of south-east Ohio branches.
The program is available for any adult dealing with addiction issues, including food and gambling. SMART is designed to be an alternative to faith-based programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Some people don’t want to go to AA, some people don’t want a faith-based program,” Earl L. Cecil, executive director of 317 Board, said. “So this gives them that choice.”
Each county holds two meetings a week, the first session of the evening is for those with dependency problems, while the second session is for families and friends with loved ones dealing with addiction.
The sessions provides peer support and the opportunity to talk about different ways to view problems, a technique called cognitive behavioral approach. Lucas says the dynamic of having a group is important for healing and can replace a lack of support for people in recovery.
“There are things that happen to people in groups when they feel safe, when they feel appreciated, and valued,” Lucas said. “It’s different then just trying to do it all on your own. When you hear someone else saying, “I have this problem too,” you don’t feel quite so alone anymore. here are things that happen to people in groups when they feel safe, when they feel appreciated, and valued. Its different then just trying to do it all on your own. When you hear someone else saying, ‘I have this problem too,’ you don’t feel quite so alone anymore. “
SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization providing group sessions for anyone affected by dependency issues. The 317 Board, an Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, holds the meetings at their office in Athens on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.