What Is SMART Recovery support-groups

Learning About Smart


A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA is SMART. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.

SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a support program aimed at people who suffer from addictions and conduct 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.


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


This means that in SMART you will find methods being used that have been shown to be more effective.

Organizations like the National Institute On Drug Abuse And The American Academy Of Family Physicians have recognized SMART as an effective method of overcoming an addiction.


Features Of Smart

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 participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. A 4-point program is taught to aid in mastering these skills.



Ready to Get Help?

CALL US NOW ON 0800 246 1509



Smart And The Four Point Programme

The 4 point that are followed are clearly outlined in the programs manual. To help the recovering user remain clean, the handbook also contains tips and exercises that can be used.

The 4-point program is not a step-by-step program. Participants have the option of tackling a specific point in any order depending upon the needs they have.

If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. Ask us for help, and we'll find a SMART meeting nearby call 0800 246 1509.


  • Building And Maintaining Motivation
  • People who intend to stay sober must understand that there must have efficient willingness skills because it is an important aspect of reaching their desired goal for a long-lasting recovery.
  • Participants are encouraged to make a list of priorities and weigh the costs and benefits of using the drugs versus being sober.
  • Overpowering The Cravings
  • Point number two addresses cravings and what brings them on.
  • Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
  • They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
  • Controlling Mind, Emotions, And Actions
  • Point 3 educates participants about the need to prevent relapse by an examination of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can lead to drug use.
  • The recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
  • Living A Balanced 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.
  • 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

SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. 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 meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.

In a SMART program, the participant is neither considered an "addict" or a "patient." The reason why these labels are avoided is because they are seen as counterproductive and even discouraging. Another difference is that unlike 12-step, recovery is not an ongoing process in SMART. 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. And conversely, participants in SMART approach their recovery by taking responsibility for their own lives.

In both programs, strong and helpful support is available. 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."


Recovery Completion

Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. Though some may fall back to addiction, SMART does not look at this as a given in the recovery of individuals.

According to SMART, at the last stage of recovery, the participants already have complete self-control and don't feel temptation to use drugs anymore.

Once the SMART participants come to the last step, they have all necessary skills to live a sober life.


Is Smart Appropriate 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. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.