Recovery from substance abuse takes hard work, commitment and determination, but you don’t have to go it alone.   There are numerous tools to educate you about your disease, connect you with others who are also in recovery, and help you avoid relapse.  Below we’ve explored five tools you can use on your recovery journey.

1. Smart Recovery Program® – Self Management and Recovery Training

Smart Recovery is an international addiction recovery support program. Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in free, face-to-face meetings and online support groups.  The program is based around a four point program and offers tools and techniques at each point.

The four points include:

  • Building and Maintaining Motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing Thoughts,Feelings and Behaviors
  • Living a Balanced Life

Smart Recovery is a recognized resource for addiction recovery by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Center for Health Care Evaluation, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

2.     Alcoholics Anonymous – Literature/Materials

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith.   AA states that its “primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.” AA is based around a 12 step program that guides people in their recovery from addictions. AA meetings are held internally and there’s no cost or dues with becoming a member.  All they require for membership is a willingness to stop drinking.  In addition, the AA website offers numerous downloadable brochures, pamphlets and eBooks addressing different recovery topics.

Several AA resources include:

3.     Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Recovery Support

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.  Their website contains resources for mental health professionals, families, teens and those in recovery.

Below are a few SAMHSA publications that might be helpful for people in recovery.

  • Educational Comic Book: Co-occurring Disorders – Tells the story of people who are dealing with co-occurring disorders. Presents a hopeful message of recovery for people with a substance use disorder and mental illness, and provides resources for more information.
  • Faces of Change: Do I Have a Problem With Alcohol or Drugs? – Explores the lives of five characters with different alcohol abuse and drug abuse problems and to illustrate the stages of change and the value of treatment, recovery, and motivational incentives. Includes a change plan worksheet.

4.     iPromise

iPromise is a free, addiction recovery app that can be downloaded onto your phone.

The app allows you to:

  • Add your triggers, so you get alerted to call your sponsor if you indicate a high-risk behavior
  • Monitor your moods overtime
  • Find an AA meeting anywhere in the US and Canada
  • Add friends to create a support network
  • Receive daily encouraging messages

To download iPromise click here.

5.     Recovery Box App

Recovery Box App is an iPhone app designed to hold those in recovery accountable for their actions.  The app tracks and breaks down daily activities and helps you examine why you do things, when you do things, and creates goals to break unhealthy behaviors.  This app costs $1.99 and can be used by those recovering from a variety of addictions including drugs, gambling, pornography and alcohol.

To download Recovery Box App click here.

Substance abuse recovery is difficult, but there are resources and support out there to help you.  I hope you will take the time to explore the suggested resources above and I wish you continued success in your recovery journey.

About the Author:

Joseph Dunn, LADC1 is a Massachusetts Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (Level One) with over 18 years of clinical experience in the field of addictions recovery with a degree in Criminal Justice and a Certificate on The Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency Treatment Services Program from the University of Massachusetts – Boston.  Mr. Dunn also provides group therapy, individual counseling and consultations on substance abuse. In his personal life, he enjoys spending time with family, fishing, ESPN and music therapy.