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Utilising SMART Recovery

Learning About Smart


A well-recognized alternative to twelve-step groups like those of AA 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. SMART helps the patients focus on the root causes of their addiction as well as their thoughts and feelings, and by addressing them, they learn how to control and take charge of their lives.

Members get to minimise and even stop their addiction when on the SMART program.


As new technologies and knowledge emerge, SMART adapts their training techniques accordingly.


SMART is also involved in ongoing efforts to update its methods to provide strategies for researchers that have found them highly 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 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. Volunteers who have received the training provide assistance to the participants to examine their specific behaviour and to locate the problems that need maximum attention. Then, participants undergo self trust training, which enables them to control their dependence behaviour. In order to teach these skills, SMART applies methods borrowed from motivational enhancement and cognitive behaviour therapies. Members learn these skills with the help of a 4-point program.



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The Four Point Programme

Each point of the 4-point program is described in detail 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. Participants have the option of tackling a specific point in any order depending upon the needs they have.

If a 12-Step program does not appeal to you or a loved one, give SMART a chance. 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.
  • Then, the patient is required to make a list of advantages and disadvantages of getting sober.
  • Controlling Cravings
  • Point two examines the trigger which causes a craving.
  • Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
  • Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
  • Controlling Mind, Emotions, And Actions
  • 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.
  • Managing difficult feelings like depression and self-acceptance are also learned by the participants.
  • Living A Balanced Life
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in life.
  • In order to achieve the goal of a successful recovery it is extremely important for participants to realize how to lead a sober life.
  • At this point, the recovering user will need to make a note of the things that matter to them.
  • Setting up achievable plans is another thing that the addicts are trained to do when in the program.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

SMART is somehow similar to commonly known 12-step programs. In both cases, the recovering users try to overcome their addictions by getting past some challenges. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. Also, with the help of both programs, lots of people have won a victory over their addiction.

Dissimilar Approaches Between SMART and the 12-Step 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 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.

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."


Graduating From The Recovery Process

One can overcome addiction when in the SMART program as soon as they are ready. 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.

Once the SMART participants come to the last step, they have all necessary skills to live a sober life.


Would You Consider Smart

SMART helps people with all kinds of substance abuse issues. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. Those who have co-occurring mental disorders, e.g. depressions, also may derive benefit from it.