For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2017

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

jim graham

Seeing a need for a secular addiction recovery option in the area, Laurel Ridge Adjunct Professor Jim Graham started one himself. The psychology professor and certified substance abuse counselor started a SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) group that meets 7-8:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Cornerstone Hall Room 124 on the Middletown Campus.

“It’s for any type of addiction, from pornography, to gambling, to drugs, to sex, to food,” Graham  says. “It’s scientifically-based, but there’s four points.”

The four points of the program are:

  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  • Living a balanced life.

Unlike well-known recovery groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery isn’t spirituality-based, Graham said. While working for another organization with clients with addiction and behavioral issues, he met some young people who weren’t interested in the AA or NA approach. He would drive one young man to Arlington for recovery meetings.

The free meetings are face-to-face, but there is an online community as well at The program uses cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy and motivational interviewing.

“My own personal opinion is we need to find out why people find it necessary to use in the beginning,” Graham says. “Almost everybody probably uses drugs or alcohol or other addictions to change the way they feel.”




Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.