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About SMART Recovery

Smart And What It Is


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. SMART is also helpful for people were looking forward to overcoming co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression.

People suffering from addictions and behavioural problems can be treated with the help of Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). Getting a connection to your inner feelings is what the program advocates for when someone is trying to stop addiction.

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


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


SMART is also involved in ongoing efforts to update its methods to provide strategies for researchers that have found them highly effective.

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.


Smart And How It Works

SMART considers itself as a program which is self-empowering, which is in sharp contrast to the 12-step program that urges participants to admit their powerlessness over their addiction. The addicts get the help they need through the guidance of the help of the professionals. Later, these members are trained on how to overcome the behaviour on their own. 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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The Four Point Programme

Every aspect of the 4-Point program is covered in the SMART Recovery Handbook. The effective methods of staying away from the drugs are also clearly outlined in this manual.

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.

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.


  • Instilling Motivation and Maintaining It
  • 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.
  • Dealing With Cravings
  • Point two examines the trigger which causes a craving.
  • 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.
  • Handling Thoughts, Behaviours And Feelings
  • 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 recovering users are taught to accept their conditions and how to deal with matters such as depression.
  • Living A Balanced Life
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in life.
  • It is, therefore, essential that one learns how to live a fulfilling life that is also drug-free.
  • In Point 4 participants are required to make an inventory about the things that are important for them.
  • People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.

Similarities And Differences Between 12 Step Programme And Smart

There are certain common areas in SMART and 12-step programs. Overcoming the addiction is the main objective of the two types of programs. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. There are success stories associated with both these programs.

The basic difference between SMART and 12-step programs is in how these program define addiction.

SMART does not consider the participants as addicts or as people with an illness. 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. Participants can consider themselves as graduated from recovery to begin a new and a healthy life.

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. 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. Each person is encouraged to select the program they deem suitable to their need. One technique may not be efficient in helping as person but it may work for another one.


After Recovery

Graduation from recovery is one of the special aspects of SMART. Though some may fall back to addiction, SMART does not look at this as a given in the recovery of individuals.

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.

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


Would You Consider Smart

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. Besides, it can be beneficial for individuals with other addictive behaviours, like eating disorders and compulsive gambling. Smart is also used to treat underlying mental health problems such as depression.