What Is SMART Recovery support-groups

Learn About Smart


A popular alternative just like Alcoholics Anonymous which is a 12 step group is SMART. People with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can also benefit from SMART.

People suffering from addictions and behavioural problems can be treated with the help of Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). The aim of this program is to help treat addiction by getting people to focus on the thoughts and emotions behind the addiction.

SMART also helps their members learn how to handle their strong urges to take the substance of their abuse and control the desire for life.


If there is a new method that can improve the treatment, SMART may update the methods that are used.


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.


How Smart Works

SMART considers itself as a program which is self-empowering, which is in sharp contrast to the 12-step program that urges participants to admit their powerlessness 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. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.



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The 4 Part Programme

The 4 point that are followed are clearly outlined in the programs manual. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.

The 4-points do not constitute a Program. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.

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  • Building And Maintaining Motivation
  • One will definitely recover if they personally wish to.
  • Then, the patient is required to make a list of advantages and disadvantages of getting sober.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses on.
  • The participants learn to use methods like various distraction techniques to suppress cravings.
  • They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
  • Controlling Mind, Emotions, And Actions
  • The desires to go back to the drugs can be eliminated by controlling your emotions, feelings and the activities you take part in and this is outlined in the third point.
  • The participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
  • The future is approached realistically by setting out attainable goals and milestones.

Comparing Smart And 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. Both programs are private ones, which means that each participant 's identity stays within the group. People attending any of the programs have been able to beat the addictions and stay sober.

The basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.

In SMART addiction isn't called a disease and the recovering users aren't identified as addicts. This is because there is a lot of negativity associated with these title. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. A participant can "graduate" from the recovery program at any stage and begin a new, sober 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.

There is always help for participants in both the programs. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. In the words written in the SMART Recovery Handbook, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same situation."


Qualifying For The Programme

Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. Despite the understanding that relapses can occur SMART does not consider a relapse as an essential part of the recovery process.

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.

They go back to a normal life where they don't have to use drugs.


Is Smart Suitable For You

SMART was created to help people suffering from any kind of addiction. 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. Those with secondary problems stemming from drug or substance abuse such as mental sickness and emotional problems will also find help at a SMART centre.