Sussex professionals, volunteers train as recovery facilitators

Professionals, volunteers train as recovery facilitators

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  • PHOTO PROVIDED A large group of Sussex County professionals and volunteers recently completed training a recovery facilitators at the Center for Prevention and Counseling's Recovery Community Center in Newton.

Several extremely dedicated community professionals and volunteers met last month at the Center for Prevention and Counseling’s Recovery Community Center, simply known as ‘The Center,’ to attend a SMART Recovery Facilitator training.

“SMART” stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training and was founded in 1994 in the United States, and is now found in many countries around the world, offering face-to-face and online meetings. SMART Recovery helps participants decide if they have a problem with an addictive behavior, builds their motivation to change and offers a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.

SMART Recovery uses a cognitive-behavioral (thinking/doing) psychotherapy called REBT which stands for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy which teaches that thinking creates feelings and leads to action. By managing the beliefs and emotions that lead them to drink or use drugs, people can empower themselves to quit. This exciting and innovative two-day training was made possible, in part, through a First Energy Foundation Grant, thanks to Jackie Espinoza, the JCP&L Area Manager in Sussex County.

Participants at the SMART training in Newton included clinical, prevention and recovery staff from the Center for Prevention and Counseling, behavioral health staff from Atlantic Health and Newton Medical Center, a counselor from the Sussex County Sheriff's Office/Bureau of Corrections and several local community volunteers. Becoming SMART facilitators enables those trained to lead SMART meetings which will assist in fulfilling Center for Prevention and Counseling’s pursuit of answering the need to provide additional recovery support opportunities for individuals and families in our community. Counseling staff at The Center sayd they are looking forward to integrating SMART Recovery tools into agency treatment programs and hope that more SMART Recovery meetings will be brought to Sussex County and beyond due to this excellent training.

SMART Recovery supports individuals who desire to abstain or are considering abstinence from any substance or activity addiction and incorporates tools based on evidence-based addiction treatments, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. SMART Recovery’s mission is to offer self-empowering, science-based, face-to-face and online support groups for abstaining from any substance or activity addiction. One of the participants from the training had this to say after attending a SMART meeting, already being held at The Center, “Create a life in recovery that is so good and so happy and satisfying that you would NEVER jeopardize it by relapse.”

The Center is located at 65 Newton-Sparta Road in Newton. It hosts SMART meetings every Monday and Wednesday evening from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The meetings are open to anyone interested in seeking or considering abstinence from any addiction.

It also hosts a family and friends group every first and third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. based on C.R.A.F.T., which is a complimentary SMART meeting for concerned significant others who want to be part of the recovery process. Interested participants in any of these recovery support meetings and other recovery friendly events and programs can find out more by going to and clicking on the “Recovery” tab or by calling (973) 940-2966.

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