First Step 4 Life

DeeAnna Nichols and Cari Myers with First Step 4 Life Recovery and Resource Center will hold an Open House Wednesday from Nov. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m., located at 155 Main St., Suite C.

First Step 4 Life is excited to announce their new outreach pilot office located at 155 Main St, Suite C, in Orofino. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p. m.

The First Step 4 Life Recovery, Re-Entry, and Resource Center is a private, nonprofit organization serving people in recovery from substance use disorders and/or mental health illness.

The center builds on strengths and empowers individuals, families, and the community to end discrimination and promote recovery. They support all types of individuals in recovery: from alcohol, drugs, mental health illness, food, grief, and many more.

Services provided

Recovery Coaching – a process in which people with life experience in recovery meet one on one with those new to recovery, providing them with help and mentoring to reach the goals they have set for themselves. Everyone’s recovery is different and recovery coaches meet individuals where they are at with no expectations.

Referrals – the Recovery Center also serves as “information brokers” providing details on services provided in Nez Perce, Asotin, Lewis, and Clearwater counties. These include referrals to countless programs that are aimed at getting people healthy, safe, sheltered, fed and on their way to where they want to be.

Life Skills – the Center offers a variety of different life skills groups and meetings every month. Budgeting, art, resume writing, mental health first aid, tobacco cessation, socialization and others have all been offered through the Center.

Computer Lab – a resource open to the public. Please feel free to use the lab to build your resume, a job search, check email, print off applications, research schooling, and much more.

Services are free to the public. First Step 4 Life looks forward to supporting the community by offering family support and job readiness skills in the near future.

Mental Health

First Aid Training

Coming up this week is two consecutive four-hour workshops for “Mental Health First Aid Training” Wednesday and Thursday evening, Nov. 13 and 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. The course is free of charge and certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health. The class will be facilitated by Executive Director Tammy Lish Watson, and Stacey Rosecrans, Director of Gem County Recovery Community Center.

What is

SMART Recovery?

SMART or Self-Management and Recovery Training is a support program for people with addictions and behavioral disorders. It teaches people how to control their addictive behavior by focusing on underlying thoughts and feelings. Participants in SMART learn skills to manage their cravings and urges for the long term.

SMART is continuously updated to provide strategies researchers have found most effective based on emerging scientific evidence in addiction recovery.

How does SMART work?

In contrast to 12-step programs that require participants to admit powerlessness over their habit, SMART considers itself a self-empowering program. Trained volunteers help participants examine specific behaviors to determine which problems need the most attention.

Participants are then taught self-reliance to control their addictive behavior. SMART uses techniques from cognitive behavioral and motivational enhancement therapies to teach these skills following a four-point program.

The four-point program is not a step program. Participants can tackle a specific point in any order based on their needs.

Building and maintaining motivation. Having the proper willingness to stay sober is an important part of reaching long-lasting recovery. Participants may make a list of priorities and weigh the costs and benefits of using versus being sober.

Coping with urges. The second point examines what triggers a craving. Participants learn how to suppress cravings through methods such as distraction techniques. They also identify and overcome irrational beliefs about urges to use.

Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Point three teaches how to prevent relapse by examining thoughts, feelings and behaviors that lead to drug use. Participants learn self-acceptance and how to manage difficult feelings like depression.

Living a balanced life. Deciding to be sober is a drastic lifestyle change. Learning how to live a sober life is important for a successful recovery.

In point four, participants take an inventory of what’s important to them. They are also taught realistic goal setting and planning for the future.

Similarities & differences

to 12-Step programs

SMART has some similarities to traditional 12-step programs. Each consists of recovering alcohol and drug users working through a series of assignments to beat their addiction.

Both programs are private, meaning the identity of each participant stays within meetings. And in both programs, people have successfully overcome their addiction.

A difference between 12-step programs and SMART is how each program defines addiction.

SMART does not label participants as “addicts” or as having a “disease.” These labels are considered discouraging and unproductive.

Another difference is that recovery is not a lifelong process in SMART. Participants can “graduate” from recovery and begin a new, healthy life.

Some people don’t join a 12-step group voluntarily because they don’t like the idea of admitting powerlessness or submitting to a higher power. Participants in SMART approach recovery by taking charge of their lives instead.

Both 12-step programs and SMART provide helpful support. It’s up to the individual to determine which is best for him or her. What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same situation.

First Step 4 Life receives funding from Nez Perce County and other sources, including donations from interested individuals, who help to keep the doors open to anyone on the path to recovery.

Open House Nov. 20

Don’t miss the chance to visit First Step 4 Life Open House coming up Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m.

For further information, call 208-476-3881.

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