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About SMART Recovery

Learning About Smart


Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. SMART tackles other problems issues associated with addictions like mental illnesses and feelings of unhappiness.

SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a support program aimed at people who suffer from addictions and conduct disorders. The aim of this program is to help treat addiction by getting people to focus on the thoughts and emotions behind the addiction.

Participants of SMART groups master skills which enable them to manage their urges and cravings in the long run.


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


SMART is regularly updated to provide strategies researchers find most efficient.

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 How It Works

SMART works on the premise that it is an empowerment tool in itself unlike the 12 step program that encourages the members to see themselves as helpless. To get to the issues that need attention, volunteers who have been trained help the participants to examine certain behaviours. The recovering users are thereafter shown how to rely on themselves to curb the behaviours that lead to using. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.



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The 4 Stages Of Smart

The 4 point that are followed are clearly outlined in the programs manual. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.

The 4-point program is not a step-by-step program. The patients can start on any of the points following no order, but depending on the greatest area they most need to address.

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.


  • 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.
  • Overcoming The Desires
  • The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
  • Using methods that help refocus attention, patients are taught how to control the cravings.
  • Another thing they learn is how to stop believing nonsensical thoughts about taking the substance.
  • Controlling Actions, Reactions And Reflections
  • In point three, one is taught how to bring the mind, emotions, and actions under control to avoid yielding to cravings and falling back to drug abuse.
  • The feeling of loneliness and despair can be contained by the addict themselves.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • 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.
  • Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
  • People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.

Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans

Some similarities to the traditional 12-step Program will be visible in SMART. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating 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 basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.

SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." SMART views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.

The belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. SMART encourages the members to take control of their lives.

You can find proper support whether you choose SMART or 12-step programs. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. 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."


Qualifying For The Programme

A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. SMART doesn't consider relapses an integral part of recovery process, although it accepts that relapse may occur.

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.

Participants of SMART when they have reached the final stage will be considered as having the skills needed to maintain a sober life.


Would You Consider Smart

Anyone suffering from any addiction can benefit from SMART. Besides, it can be beneficial for individuals with other addictive behaviours, like eating disorders and compulsive gambling. The feeling of desperation is another complication that the SMART program helps.