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What Is SMART Recovery

Learn About Smart


SMART Recovery is another organization that assists addicts beat their habit worldwide. 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.

SMART also helps their members learn how to handle their strong urges to take the substance of their abuse and control the desire for life.


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


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


Features Of Smart

SMART is a self-empowering program which is quite different from the 12-step program where the participants have to admit that they have no power over their addiction. Well-trained voluntary servants help participants examine particular behaviours to find weak spots which need special attention. Then, participants undergo self trust training, which enables them to control their dependence behaviour. Psychology and self motivation is mostly used in the treatment when using SMART program. The participants are required to learn these skills by following a simplified four-point program.



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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.

These are not stages that are followed. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.

If a 12-Step program does not appeal to you or a loved one, give SMART a chance. Get the help you need finding a SMART meeting close to you call 0800 246 1509.


  • Getting And Remaining Interested
  • The most important point is that one must be convinced they want to attain sobriety forever.
  • Participants are encouraged to make a list of priorities and weigh the costs and benefits of using the drugs versus being sober.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
  • Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
  • Another thing they learn is how to stop believing nonsensical thoughts about taking the substance.
  • Participants Are Taught About Feelings And Behaviours
  • This point shows the recovering user how to check their own thoughts, emotions and actions to keep them from falling back into addiction.
  • The patients learn how to love and appreciate themselves and how to tackle stressful situations and feelings of helplessness.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • The decision to stay sober leads to a drastic change of one's lifestyle.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • Point number four addresses what makes a patient's life valuable
  • The future is approached realistically by setting out attainable goals and milestones.

Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans

SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. Both programs have been designed for recovering alcohol and drug users by working through a series of assignments to overcome their addiction. Both programs are private ones, which means that each participant 's identity stays within the group. The objectives have been realized in both of them.

The approach to what addiction is about is one of the differences in these 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. 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 belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.

Helpful support is, however, provided by SMART and the 12-step programs. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."


Recovery Completion

A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.

The desires to use the drugs are completely gone when a person is nearing the completion of the SMART program.

It is believed that the participants have what it takes to stay clean once they get to the last stage of the program.


Is Smart Right For You

SMART was designed to help every individual backing with an addiction of any type. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.