What Is SMART Recovery support-groups

Learn About Smart


SMART Recovery is another organization that assists addicts beat their habit worldwide. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.

People that are addicted to any form of drug can get the help in overcoming it using the Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) programs. It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent thoughts and feelings.

People are taught skills and to manage their cravings and urges for the long-term to those who decide to participate in SMART.


SMART continually updates its techniques, which are based on present-day scientific achievements related to recovery from addictions.


SMART is also involved in ongoing efforts to update its methods to provide strategies for researchers that have found them highly effective.

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 How It Works

SMART is a self-empowering program which is quite different from the 12-step program where the participants have to admit that they have no power over their addiction. Volunteers who have received the training provide assistance to the participants to examine their specific behaviour and to locate the problems that need maximum attention. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. In order to teach these skills, SMART applies methods borrowed from motivational enhancement and cognitive behaviour therapies. A 4-point program introduces the recovering users to these methods.



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The 4 Part Programme

Every aspect of the 4-Point program is covered in the SMART Recovery Handbook. The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.

These are not stages that are followed. They just need to adhere to all the steps and not necessarily required to follow in step form.

If you or a loved one has participated in a 12-step program and found it unhelpful you will find SMART to be a better alternative for you. Ask us for help, and we'll find a SMART meeting nearby call 0800 246 1509.


  • Getting And Remaining Interested
  • Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
  • To help in the decision making, participants can make a list of the pros and cons of using or staying clean.
  • Dealing With Cravings
  • The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
  • Using methods that help refocus attention, patients are taught how to control the cravings.
  • They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
  • Participants Are Taught About Feelings And Behaviours
  • This point shows the recovering user how to check their own thoughts, emotions and actions to keep them from falling back into addiction.
  • The feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
  • Living A Sober And Balanced Life
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in life.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • At point four, all participants make a thorough inventory of their priorities.
  • The recovering users are also shown how to set goals for themselves and how they can make plans for their future.

Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans

The programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. The objectives have been realized in both of them.

The definition of addiction is perhaps different in the SMART program as compared to the 12-step program.

In SMART addiction isn't called a disease and the recovering users aren't identified as addicts. SMART believes that assigning labels to participants is both discouraging and counterproductive. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. One can easily stop the addiction when they are ready.

The 12-step program is not considered voluntarily by many people because they do not prefer to believe that they are powerless against their addiction or giving themselves away to a higher power. Participants of SMART are encouraged to approach the process of recovery by gaining control over their lives.

Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. One technique may not be efficient in helping as person but it may work for another one.


Finishing Recovery

A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.

In the final stages of recovery participants will begin to experience overall self-control over their lives and will no longer feel tempted to use the drugs again, and this is a belief which is held by SMART.

By graduation, the SMART members are equipped to live a drug-free life.


Is Smart Suitable For You

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. This program is also beneficial for people who have addictive behaviours in any capacity and these behaviours could be compulsive like gambling and eating disorders. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.