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What Is SMART Recovery

Smart And What It Is


A popular alternative just like Alcoholics Anonymous which is a 12 step group is SMART. People with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can also benefit from SMART.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, an international organization that offers help for people battling addiction and associated disorders. It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent thoughts and feelings.

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.


SMART continually updates its techniques, which are based on present-day scientific achievements related to recovery from addictions.


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

SMART has been recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians as being one of the successful methods of beating dependency.


How Smart Is Utilised

SMART technique uses the fact that the addict has all the powered they need to top the addiction by themselves as opposed to the way Alcoholics Analytics worked. SMART has trained volunteers who work with the members, helping them identify roots to their problems and habits. Then, participants undergo self trust training, which enables them to control their dependence behaviour. The techniques used by SMART are different from the 12 point program and rely on cognitive behavioural and motivational enhancement therapies while imparting the training and any education. A 4-point program is taught to aid in mastering these skills.



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The 4 Part Programme

Every aspect of the 4-Point program is covered in the SMART Recovery Handbook. The Handbook also contains ideas and exercises to help one keep off the substance abuse.

The 4-point program is not a step-by-step program. A participant may deal with points in any order depending on what he or she needs.

If you or a loved one has participated in a 12-step program and found it unhelpful you will find SMART to be a better alternative for you. Get the help you need finding a SMART meeting close to you call 0800 246 1509.


  • Instilling Motivation and Maintaining It
  • The most important point is that one must be convinced they want to attain sobriety forever.
  • The participants can compile a list of their priorities and compare the costs and benefits of using the substance versus not using them.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • The second point studies the factors that trigger a craving.
  • Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
  • Another thing they learn is how to stop believing nonsensical thoughts about taking the substance.
  • Controlling Actions, Reactions And Reflections
  • 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 recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • It requires commitment in order for the addict to get back to living a normal kind of life.
  • It is crucial for a successful recovery that the person learns how to live a healthy and sober life.
  • At point four, all participants make a thorough inventory of their priorities.
  • People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. Each program facilitates recovering of alcohol and drug addicts by having them work through a number of assignments aimed at beating their addiction. The confidentiality of the members is also maintained in both the programs. There are success stories associated with both these programs.

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

In a SMART program, the participant is neither considered an "addict" or a "patient." SMART views these "labels" as demeaning and not productive. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. After successfully completing the program, members go on to start a new life devoid of addictions and baggage.

Sometimes, people do not join a 12-step group on their own accord simply because they don't like the idea of admitting their powerlessness and submitting to some higher power. It is the willingness of a person to overcome the dependence that is used in the SMART program.

There is always help for participants in both the programs. People choose the program they feel will suit them best. 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."


Graduating From The Recovery Process

Participants of SMART can graduate from recovery and this is a unique feature of this program. Despite the understanding that relapses can occur SMART does not consider a relapse as an essential part of the recovery process.

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.


Will Smart Suit You

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. 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. The feeling of desperation is another complication that the SMART program helps.