The Smile and The Laugh

As we are proceeding through this year, I find myself wondering what I can do to brighten my life. What I decided I need are a few more SMILES  AND LAUGHS. So,

I Do Hereby Declare


The Year Of

                          The SMILE     


                              The LAUGH












I have since come to realize that I am not the only one who could benefit from a few more SMILES  AND LAUGHS, but that everyone in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD could probably use a few more SMILES  AND LAUGHS as well. With this in mind, I am sharing this DECLARATION with EVERYONE!!!

So, here’s a BIG, BIG SMILE  AND A HEARTHY LAUGH (HA, HA, HA) for you, your family, friends and all of the people you know and will meet in the future.

SMART Recovery® Attends Compulsive Gambling Conference

bv Rich Dowling, MA, LPC, MAC

SMART Recovery® was represented at the 8th Annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction: Responsible Gaming, Regulation and Recoery: Testing Conventional Wisdom.

The conference, co-sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), was held November 11-12, 2007 at the Paris Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. Say what? A compulsive gambling conference in the gambling capital of the world? Following my initial surprise, I found the location to be very appropriate to the purpose.

A description of SMART Recovery® was given in the conference brochure and a room was provided for a SMART Recovery® "Meeting." Six people took advantage of the opportunity to learn about and discuss the SMART Recovery@ model and its application to addictions, including gambling. The participants included individuals from South Africa, England, Jamaica, Las Vegas, and Wisconsin. Those interested in starting groups were referred to SMART Recovery@ Headquarters and for further information.

The conference was top notch in every way, providing attendees with the latest research outcomes for preventing and treating compulsive gambling disorders with CBT showing the most promise. The organizers are to be commended!! Additional information can be found at: and

As published in the SMART Recovery® News & Views.

Morris County NJ Sheriff’s Office Sponsors SMART Recovery® Conference – Part 2

By Rich Dowling, M.A., LPC. MAC, Member, SMART Recovery® Board of Directors

In the July 1999 issue of the SMART Recovery® News & Views, we promised that an update on NJ SMART Recovery® groups meeting in correctional facilities would be provided in this issue. The information follows.

Currently there are fourteen correc­tions-related SMART Recovery® groups that meet in New Jersey. The Morris County Correctional Facility (MCCF) has one group co-facilitated by SMART Recovery® volunteers Chuck Fritsch and Rich Dowling. Community Corrections Corporation (CCC), a private company that contracts with the Department of Corrections in NJ to provide residential treatment and educational services to 1200 inmates close to release, has ten groups in their four NJ facilities. The CCC SMART Recovery® groups are coor­dinated by John Blette, Director of Program Development and facilitated by John Gramuglia, Clinical Director, and twelve other members of CCC's clinical staff. Volunteers of America -Delaware Valley (VOADV), a private agency in Camden, NJ, provides three SMART Recovery® groups for the adult offenders served in a Residential Community Release Program (RCRP) who are prepar­ing to reintegrate to the community from prison and are high-risk parolees at a Day Reporting System. According to Patricia McKernan, VOADV Regional Director, the SMART Recovery® groups are facili­tated by Case Managers Christine Hastings and Eric Lowdenslager with Eric in the process of training additional clini­cal staff as group facilitators. In addition, a SMART Recovery" group will soon begin meeting in the Sussex County Correctional Facility in Newton, NJ.

So, you can see that the SMART Recovery® program is making progress within correctional facilities throughout New Jersey. For further information regard­ing SMART Recovery® for criminal justice clients in the correctional facility setting and community, contact the SMART Recovery® Central Office.

As published in the SMART Recovery® News & Views.

Morris County NJ Sheriff’s Office Sponsors SMART Recovery® Conference

by Rich Dowling. M.A., LPC, MAC

On March 26, 1999, Edward Rochford, Morris County Sheriff, Morristown, NJ, sponsored a one-day conference titled: SMART Recovery® in the Correctional Facility Setting and Community.

A notice was sent to criminal justice professionals throughout NJ with a cover letter from Sheriff Rochford, which included the following excerpts:

"Dear Criminal Justice Professionals:

Based on my experience in law enforcement, currently as Morris County Sheriff, I have come to believe that a large segment of correctional facility inmates and others involved in the criminal justice system can be reha­bilitated provided they are motivated and are offered realistic, practical pro­grams.

Two years ago I found such a pro­gram for inmates at the Morris County Correctional Facility and would like to introduce others in the criminal justice field to the SMART Recovery® Self-­Help Network…

My support for the program is based on its practical approach, the interest shown by inmates, and the benefits reported by staff and demonstrated by participants…

My experience with SMART Recovery® has been positive, therefore, I encourage you to attend the workshop and take advantage of this opportunity to learn how this cognitive-behavior based program can enhance the work you do."

Forty-five criminal justice specialists from throughout NJ attended the Conference at the Morris County Fire and Police Academy. The participants represented a variety of public and pri­vate agencies, including: State of NJ Dept. of Corrections; NJ State Intensive Supervision Program; the FBI; Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division; Community Corrections Corporation; Volunteers of America Delaware Valley; Martin Luther King Academy, Last Chance Day Reporting Center; private treatment centers; and Correctional Facility staff members from Cape May, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex Counties.

On average, attendees rated the Conference "Very Good", and 18 expressed interest in further information and training. Several indicated they plan to incorporate SMART Recovery® into their programs, and one is interested in starting a commu­nity group. A follow-up training program is planned later this year to be held in South/Central NJ.

The fact that the program was well attended and the feedback positive demon­strates the success of the Conference and considerable interest in providing the SMART Recovery® option for criminal jus­tice clients in NJ.

Special thanks to Sheriff Rochford and the Morris County Sheriff's Office Administrative Director, Thomas S. Russo, Jr. for sponsoring and organizing the event. Appreciation is also extended to those who helped to present information related to the SMART Recovery® program, including: Joe Gerstein, MD, Immediate Past President, SMART Recovery® and Facilitator, Correctional Facility & Community SMART Recovery® groups in Massachusetts; John Gramuglia, MBA, CADC, ICADC, Clinical Director, Tulley House (Community Corrections Corporation); Melissa Lupi, M.A., Professional Advisor, SMART Recovery® and Co-Facilitator Morris County Correctional Facility (MCCF) SMART Recovery® Group for Women; Stanton Peele, Ph.D., Addiction Specialist, Author, Attorney and Member of the SMART Recovery® International Advisory Board; Christine Hastings, MSW, Case Manager & SMART Recovery® Coordinator, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley; and Rich Dowling, M.A., LPC, MAC, SMART Recovery® Professional Advisor.

There are currently 14 correctional facility meetings in New Jersey. More information will be provided in the October issue of the News & Views.

For further information regarding the SMART Recovery program for criminal justice clients or community groups, con­tact the SMART Recovery® Central Office.

As published in the SMART Recovery® News & Views.

Prison Outreach

By: Rich Dowling. MA., MAC

Thanks to Sheriff Rochford and his staff’s interest in enhancing the addictive behavior treatment program for inmates, there is now a S.M.A.R.T. Recovery group meeting in the Morris County Correctional Facility (MCCF), Morristown, NJ. The group has been meeting Wednesday evenings. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. since October 2, 1996 with an average of 10 individuals attending each meeting. Copies of the S.M.A.R.T. Recovery Member's Manual have been purchased by the correctional facility and are available to group participants. Chuck Fritsch, Coordinator. Peter LoIacono, MA, MAC, Professional Advisor and Rich Dowling. MA, MAC, Professional Advisor share the responsibility of facilitating the group. Currently S.M.A.R.T. Recovery is available to the male inmates only, but an effort is being made to recruit a woman  interested in coordinating a SMART group for female inmates.

The following is but one example of the benefit experienced by an inmate applying information received from attending the MCCF S.M.A.R.T. Recovery Self-Help group:

"I had four fights in the first three weeks of being locked up, but since coming to S.M.A.R.T. Recovery meetings the past two months I haven't had any. I came in here with a lot of anger, but when I was reading that little booklet (S.M.A.R.T. Recovery: A Sensible Primer), the part that says I'm responsible for creating my own emotional reactions -not the other guy. I decided it wasn't worth it. So, now I back away from situations that in the past would end in a fight. I feel good about that. If I can do that in here, I'm pretty sure I can do it on the street." Rich Dowling, Member, SMART Board of Directors

As published in the SMART Recovery® News & Views.

SMART Recovery Self-Help Network News from New Jersey

This summer I had the opportunity to introduce SMART Recovery to members of the addiction treatment field from around the world. For the third year in a row, I gave a Special Interest Seminar at Rutgers University's Summer School of Alcohol and Drug Studies (July 19, 1995). Fifteen individuals, including two from Germany, attended the three, one and one-half hour seminars entitled "SMART Recovery Self-Help Network: An Introduction". In addition, one hundred flyers describing SMART Recovery and displaying the national office address were distributed.

The experience was a positive one! A consensus of those attending the seminar spoke favorably of the need for self-help options.

As published in the SMART Recovery® News & Views.