FORT HOOD HERALD – New addiction treatment program offered to soldiers at Fort Hood

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • SMART Recovery, a nationwide nonprofit, is now available in the Fort Hood area thanks to Howard. Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery is non-religious and science-based.“AA has not changed since its introduction,” Howard said. “SMART Recovery changes with advancements in science … it teaches increasing self-reliance, rather than powerlessness. Individuals talk with one another, rather than to one another.”
  • For Howard, the desire to see alternative substance abuse programs around military bases stems from a personal place.“My husband began to self-medicate with alcohol heavily after returning from his last tour in Iraq,” Howard said. After two inpatient stays, the couple realized the 12-step approach used by AA was not successful for their situation, as it did little to address the underlying issues. Howard’s husband had to jump through hoops to receive treatment for his alcohol issue, which was paired with post traumatic stress disorder, Howard said.
  • Andy Kasehagen, grants and database administrator for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is working with Howard to determine if Tricare will cover alternative treatment programs like SMART Recovery.In Howard’s husband’s case, it did not.“We’re trying to see if this is an isolated situation or if it is throughout the Tricare system,” Kasehagen said. His organization works to ensure service members are protected from unconstitutional religious influence, and at this time, the majority of covered programs are religion-based.

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  1. Mike Challman

    I think it’s great that another support program will be made available. My sense that I get from the content of this article is that the SMART program will be offered IN ADDITION TO other established programs such as AA…. i hope that is the case. AA has been a tremendous help to many people, both religious and nonreligious (and including me, sober now for nearly 27 years). It would be very unfortunate if such a program were eliminated as an on-base option. As well, while I’m sure the SMART program is helpful to some, it also has its critics and is certainly not an addiction panacea. But the option of having both programs available is fantastic. The more help that is available, the better.

  2. LTC Guy C. Lamunyon RET

    SMART Recovery is a stand alone program. Many people participate in both SMART and 12 step programs. AA has a 75 percent dropout rate . . . see AA Effectiveness on Wikipedia.

    Guy C. Lamunyon
    SMART Arizona

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