About SMART Recovery support-groups

Learn About Smart


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. The feeling of despair can be minimised by using the SMART technique.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated disorders. SMART helps the patients focus on the root causes of their addiction as well as their thoughts and feelings, and by addressing them, they learn how to control and take charge of their lives.

People are taught skills and to manage their cravings and urges for the long-term to those who decide to participate in SMART.


New methods on emerging scientific evidence to help with addiction recovery are continuously updated by SMART.


SMART's current and updated techniques have been proven to provide excellent results.

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 The Features

As contrasted with 12-step programs that make people admit helplessness about their dependence, SMART is considered a self-empowering program. 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. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. 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'. 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. 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. Contact us to help you identify a SMART facility near you call 0800 772 3971 .


  • 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.
  • Overcoming The Desires
  • The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses 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 participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
  • Living A Sober And Balanced Life
  • The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
  • One can overcome the addiction faster if they try as much as possible not to relapse and use the drugs.
  • In Point 4 participants are required to make an inventory about the things that are important for them.
  • 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 programs that use the 12 stages have some similar features to the SMART program. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. 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 believes that assigning labels to participants is both discouraging and counterproductive. Another difference is that unlike 12-step, recovery is not an ongoing process in SMART. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.

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. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.

Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. People choose the program they feel will suit them best. 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."


After Recovery

The unique feature of SMART is that its participants are able to "graduate" from recovery. 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.

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


Will Smart Suit You

SMART was designed to help every individual backing with an addiction of any type. 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.