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What Is 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 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. It helps people to gain control over their addictive behaviour by using the method of focusing on their underlying thoughts and feelings.

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.


New techniques of getting rid of addiction are always added to this program to make it better.

Organizations like the National Institute On Drug Abuse And The American Academy Of Family Physicians have recognized SMART as an effective method of overcoming an addiction.


How Smart Is Utilised

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. Well-trained voluntary servants help participants examine particular behaviours to find weak spots which need special attention. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. Cognitive behavioural techniques and motivational enhancement are some of the methods used in SMART. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-point program.



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Smart And The Four Point Programme

Each point of the 4-point program is described in detail in 'The SMART Recovery Handbook'. Tips for exercising and to maintain sobriety in life are also provided by the handbook.

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.

SMART may be just what you need if you or someone else hasn't gained from other programs. Contact us to help you identify a SMART facility near 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.
  • Coping With The Urges
  • The triggers behind the urge to use is what the second point focuses on.
  • Participants are taught how to suppress their cravings through different methods, including distraction techniques.
  • This can also help them deal with some of the negative beliefs that cause them to use.
  • Restraining Feelings, Thoughts, And Behaviours
  • 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 patients learn how to love and appreciate themselves and how to tackle stressful situations and feelings of helplessness.
  • Living A Balanced Life
  • The decision to stay sober can bring about drastic changes in the lifestyles of the participants.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
  • The future is approached realistically by setting out attainable goals and milestones.

4 Point Vs 12 Step Programme

There are certain common areas in SMART and 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. Both programs are private ones, which means that each participant 's identity stays within the group. Both programs have been successful in helping participants to overcome their addiction.

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

In SMART addiction isn't called a disease and the recovering users aren't identified as addicts. SMART believes that assigning labels to participants is both discouraging and counterproductive. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.

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. And conversely, participants in SMART approach their recovery by taking responsibility for their own 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 the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one in the same situation."


Qualifying For The Programme

The unique feature of SMART is that its participants are able to "graduate" from recovery. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.

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.


Is Smart Right For You

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. Those with secondary problems stemming from drug or substance abuse such as mental sickness and emotional problems will also find help at a SMART centre.