About SMART Recovery support-groups

Learn About Smart


A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. SMART tackles other problems issues associated with addictions like mental illnesses and feelings of unhappiness.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated disorders. Getting a connection to your inner feelings is what the program advocates for when someone is trying to stop 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.


As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.


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

The positive effects of the SMART program have been appreciated even by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.


Smart And The Features

SMART technique uses the fact that the addict has all the powered they need to top the addiction by themselves as opposed to the way Alcoholics Analytics worked. The addicts get the help they need through the guidance of the help of the professionals. The recovering users are thereafter shown how to rely on themselves to curb the behaviours that lead to using. The techniques used by SMART are different from the 12 point program and rely on cognitive behavioural and motivational enhancement therapies while imparting the training and any education. 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'. The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.

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.

If a 12-Step program does not appeal to you or a loved one, give SMART a chance. The SMART programs are everywhere and you can locate one close to you today call 0800 246 1509.


  • Maintaining And Building Motivation
  • Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
  • Participants are encouraged to make a list of priorities and weigh the costs and benefits of using the drugs versus being sober.
  • Dealing With Cravings
  • The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
  • Using distraction techniques and other methods, the participants learn how to deal with their cravings.
  • They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
  • Handling Thoughts, Behaviours And Feelings
  • 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 patients learn how to love and appreciate themselves and how to tackle stressful situations and feelings of helplessness.
  • Living A Good Life
  • The decision to stay sober leads to a drastic change of one's lifestyle.
  • One can overcome the addiction faster if they try as much as possible not to relapse and use the drugs.
  • Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
  • Participants are also given the education they need to plan about the future by setting realistic goals for themselves.

Similarities And Differences Between 12 Step Programme And Smart

The SMART 4-Point and the 12-Step programs do share some similar approaches. Both programs have been designed for recovering alcohol and drug users by working through a series of assignments to overcome their addiction. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.

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 views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. 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 belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. 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. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."


After Recovery

One can overcome addiction when in the SMART program as soon as they are ready. Despite the understanding that relapses can occur SMART does not consider a relapse as an essential part of the recovery process.

According to SMART, the participants don't feel the urge to use at the end of the program and they have total control over their lives.

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


Would You Consider Smart

SMART helps people with all kinds of substance abuse issues. The addiction to food and betting can also be suppressed by this technique. Those who have co-occurring mental disorders, e.g. depressions, also may derive benefit from it.