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About SMART Recovery

Knowing What Smart Is


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 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.

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


The latest methods of stopping the dependency on drugs are used on SMART program to help the members.


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

As contrasted with 12-step programs that make people admit helplessness about their dependence, SMART is considered a self-empowering program. The addicts get the help they need through the guidance of the help of the professionals. The participants are thereafter given training on self-reliance to gain control over their addictive behaviour. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-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. They just need to adhere to all the steps and not necessarily required to follow in step form.

The SMART program is the best choice for people that cannot overcome their addiction using the 12 stage program. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help 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.
  • This may involve the addict taking a look at the disadvantages of using the drug versus the advantages of staying sober.
  • Overpowering The Cravings
  • Point number two addresses cravings and what brings them on.
  • Using distraction techniques and other methods, the participants learn how to deal with their cravings.
  • This can also help them deal with some of the negative beliefs that cause them to use.
  • 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 recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
  • Living A Balanced 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.
  • 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.

Comparing Smart And 12 Step Programmes

The SMART 4-Point and the 12-Step programs do share some similar approaches. Both aim at helping substance addicted patients quit the habits. In both cases, the identity of the participants is kept secret. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.

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

SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. The duration taken for recovering from the addiction is not long in the SMART technique. After successfully completing the program, members go on to start a new life devoid of addictions and baggage.

The idea of being powerless or having to submit to a higher power is a major reason why some people don't go for 12-step programs. It is the willingness of a person to overcome the dependence that is used in the SMART program.

You can find proper support whether you choose SMART or 12-step programs. The individual has the option of determining what is best for him or her. 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

Graduation from recovery is one of the special aspects of SMART. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.

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.


Would You Consider Smart

SMART was created to help people suffering from any kind of addiction. People with other compulsive behaviours such as eating disorders and gambling can also benefit from this program. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.