New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

SMART Alternative to Addiction Recovery Available


Photo of a an exit sign on the highway that says next exit sobriety.

You’ve heard the cliché before: the first step is admitting you have a problem.

But we all know it’s much more than that; once you admit you have a problem, there’s the even greater challenge of figuring out what to do about it. That couldn’t be more true for New Mexicans coping with addiction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling or anything else, addictions follow the same course.

Once we accept we need help, there’s always the challenge of what to do about it and where to go to get it. One option the New Mexico Department of Health offers at its Las Cruces Central Public Health Office is SMART Recovery.

SMART stands for “Smart Management and Recovery Training”. Weekly addiction recovery classes are held at no charge every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at 1170 N. Solano Drive Room 1107.

“Change is difficult, changing behavior even more so, I appreciate that SMART recovery meets people where they are in the acceptance of that change.” said Program Facilitator Janette Espinoza, a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who facilitates the weekly meetings and who champions SMART Recovery due to her excitement about the new approach to addiction that the program provides.

The SMART Recovery program is becoming increasingly known in New Mexico and nationwide as being a modern alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous. The program is not limited to substances such as alcohol and drugs. Those with addictions to gambling, food, the Internet, and more are also welcome.

SMART Recovery focuses on teaching people to manage urges and cravings and helping them understand the root cause of them. It’s emphasizes it’s not so much a disease as a behavior,” said Southwest Pathways Program Manager Patrick Stafford.

The program offers tools and techniques in four areas:

SMART Recovery strives to allow people to explore and process the emotions and experiences that have lead to their addictions – and give them tools to deal with the insecurities that get in the way of kicking old habits.

The leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.

“Our program shows people they aren’t powerless,” said Stafford. “Quite the opposite. We show them they have the power to change their own thinking and behavior, and the tools to make those changes”

The program is different from traditional approaches to addiction recovery because it's all about focusing on the addictive behavior itself. SMART Recovery’s approach is once you discover the underlying issues in your life that are leading to the addictive behavior, then there is no reason to turn to drugs, alcohol, food, gambling or any other counter-productive activity.

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 (NIDA), the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

For more information, you can call the Southwest Pathways Program at 575-528-5063 or visit the SMART Recovery website.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.