Beginning on May 25, the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ ROSS program (Recovery Overdose Support Services) will be hosting a weekly recovery group on Thursday afternoons at the Community Care Clinic in Nags Head. Held from 2:30 to 3:45 pm, the meetings will be facilitated by ROSS Peer Support Specialists and include two recovery approaches – SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) and WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning).
Groups are free and open to participants of the Syringe Services Program, clinic patients, and any community members who would like to explore these options for their own recovery.
SMART was founded in 1994 and is still growing in the United States and worldwide. A non-profit organization, SMART is an abstinence-oriented program that is dedicated to helping individuals gain independence from addiction of all kinds, including substances or activities (behaviors). WRAP was created in 1997 during a workshop on mental health recovery led by author and mental health advocate Mary Ellen Copeland. Aimed at creating a personal wellness toolbox, it promotes the development of a daily plan to stay on track with your life and wellness goals. The five key concepts of WRAP include hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy and support.
“In SMART, we work on building and maintaining motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life,” said Peer Support Specialist Katy Haslar. “We also focus on the present and what you want for your future rather than the past.”
While the SMART program has many similarities to the familiar community support groups such as AA and NA, what sets this program apart is that it offers those struggling with addiction the freedom and independence to choose and build their own path to recovery through evidence-based tools and group discussions.
The SMART program can be used as an alternative to, or along with, 12-step programs. The programs do not contradict each other, but SMART uses a secular (non-faith based) format. However, use of a higher power or any other faith-based belief system is not discouraged—it’s just not a requirement for our program.
“Being in recovery is individual – it means different things to different people, so we encourage you to define what recovery is for yourself,” Haslar said. “We offer support for individuals in any and all phases of their recovery process – including those working with medically assisted treatment.”
For more information on the weekly recovery groups, email RecoveryServices@darenc.gov.