What Is SMART Recovery support-groups

Definition Of Smart


Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. People with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can also benefit from SMART.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated disorders. It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent thoughts and feelings.

Some of the skills that people learn in SMART are useful in helping them to deal with cravings in the long term.


New methods on emerging scientific evidence to help with addiction recovery are continuously updated by SMART.


SMART is regularly updated to provide strategies researchers find most efficient.

SMART has received recognition for its effectiveness in overcoming addiction by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.


Smart And The Features

SMART works on the premise that it is an empowerment tool in itself unlike the 12 step program that encourages the members to see themselves as helpless. Well-trained voluntary servants help participants examine particular behaviours to find weak spots which need special attention. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. The participants are required to learn these skills by following a simplified four-point program.



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The 4 Part Programme

Each point of the 4-point program is described in detail in 'The SMART Recovery Handbook'. To help the recovering user remain clean, the handbook also contains tips and exercises that can be used.

The 4-points do not constitute a Program. Participants have the option of tackling a specific point in any order depending upon the needs they have.

The SMART program is the best choice for people that cannot overcome their addiction using the 12 stage program. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 772 3971.


  • Creating And Keeping Up Motivation
  • Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
  • This may involve the addict taking a look at the disadvantages of using the drug versus the advantages of staying sober.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
  • Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
  • Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
  • Controlling Actions, Reactions And Reflections
  • In point three, one is taught how to bring the mind, emotions, and actions under control to avoid yielding to cravings and falling back to drug abuse.
  • Managing difficult feelings like depression and self-acceptance are also learned by the participants.
  • Living A Good Life
  • It requires commitment in order for the addict to get back to living a normal kind of life.
  • One can overcome the addiction faster if they try as much as possible not to relapse and use the drugs.
  • At this point, the recovering user will need to make a note of the things that matter to them.
  • The recovering users are also shown how to set goals for themselves and how they can make plans for their future.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

The programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.

Dissimilar Approaches Between SMART and the 12-Step Programs.

SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. Participants can consider themselves as graduated from recovery to begin a new and a healthy life.

People in need of help resist joining a 12-Step program because they do not want to feel helpless or surrender to God. It is the willingness of a person to overcome the dependence that is used in the SMART program.

Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. It's up for the particular individual to decide which one will be most helpful for him or her. As it has been wisely pointed out within the SMART Recovery Handbook "a solution which works on an individual in a particular situation may not be suitable to the other in a similar situation."


After Recovery

Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.

The desires to use the drugs are completely gone when a person is nearing the completion of the SMART program.

It is believed that the participants have what it takes to stay clean once they get to the last stage of the program.


Is Smart Suitable For You

Anyone suffering from any addiction can benefit from SMART. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.