About SMART Recovery support-groups

Knowing What Smart Is


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. SMART tackles other problems issues associated with addictions like mental illnesses and feelings of unhappiness.

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. Getting a connection to your inner feelings is what the program advocates for when someone is trying to stop addiction.

Members get to minimise and even stop their addiction when on the SMART program.


The latest methods of stopping the dependency on drugs are used on SMART program to help the members.


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 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. The addicts get the help they need through the guidance of the help of the professionals. The participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. In order to teach these skills, SMART applies methods borrowed from motivational enhancement and cognitive behaviour therapies. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-point program.



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Smart And The Four Point Programme

SMART has a Recovery Handbook that explains each of the 4 points in its program The Handbook also contains ideas and exercises to help one keep off the substance abuse.

These are not stages that are followed. The patients can start on any of the points following no order, but depending on the greatest area they most need to address.

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. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 246 1509.


  • Building And Maintaining Motivation
  • Willing to stay sober is an important factor of success in reaching continuous recovery.
  • This may involve the addict taking a look at the disadvantages of using the drug versus the advantages of staying sober.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses on.
  • Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
  • This can also help them deal with some of the negative beliefs that cause them to use.
  • Restraining Feelings, Thoughts, And Behaviours
  • 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
  • The decision to stay sober leads to a drastic change of one's lifestyle.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • Point number four addresses what makes a patient's life valuable
  • Participants are also given the education they need to plan about the future by setting realistic goals for themselves.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

Some similarities to the traditional 12-step Program will be visible in SMART. Both aim at helping substance addicted patients quit the habits. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.

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

In a SMART program, the participant is neither considered an "addict" or a "patient." This is because there is a lot of negativity associated with these title. 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.

The idea of being powerless or having to submit to a higher power is a major reason why some people don't go for 12-step programs. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.

There is always help for participants in both the programs. The individual has the option of determining what is best 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."


Finishing Recovery

Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. The chances of a person going back to the drugs is minimal when the are on the SMART program.

By the time one is graduating from a SMART program, they are fully confident they can tackle life with no risk of relapsing into drug use.

Participants of SMART when they have reached the final stage will be considered as having the skills needed to maintain a sober life.


Is Smart Suitable For You

SMART was created to help people suffering from any kind of addiction. Besides, it can be beneficial for individuals with other addictive behaviours, like eating disorders and compulsive gambling. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.