About SMART Recovery support-groups

Learning About Smart


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. 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.


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


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.


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. SMART has trained volunteers who work with the members, helping them identify roots to their problems and habits. The participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. Psychology and self motivation is mostly used in the treatment when using SMART program. A 4-point program introduces the recovering users to these methods.



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The 4 Stages Of Smart

Every aspect of the 4-Point program is covered in the SMART Recovery Handbook. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.

The 4 point program is unlike step programs, which have been designed by other organizations. 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 your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. Get the help you need finding a SMART meeting close to you call 0800 246 1509.


  • Creating And Keeping Up 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.
  • 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.
  • Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
  • 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 feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
  • Living A Fulfilling Life
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in 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
  • The recovering users are also shown how to set goals for themselves and how they can make plans for their future.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. Overcoming the addiction is the main objective of the two types of programs. In both cases, the identity of the participants is kept secret. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.

The meaning of overdependence on the drugs is what tends to be the contradicting factor between the two set of programs.

SMART does not consider the participants as addicts or as people with an illness. The reason why these labels are avoided is because they are seen as counterproductive and even discouraging. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.

People in need of help resist joining a 12-Step program because they do not want to feel helpless or surrender to God. SMART encourages the members to take control of their lives.

Helpful support is, however, provided by SMART and the 12-step programs. People choose the program they feel will suit them best. There is no one size fit all program; SMART says, "What works for one person in one situation may not work for another in the same position."


Qualifying For The Programme

One can overcome addiction when in the SMART program as soon as they are ready. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.

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.

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


Would You Consider Smart

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.