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SMART Recovery Treatment

Smart And What It Is


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. People with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can also benefit from SMART.

Self-Management And Recovery Training [SMART] are a support system for people who are dealing with addictions and behavioural disorders. It helps people to gain control over their addictive behaviour by using the method of focusing on their underlying 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.


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


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

SMART has received recognition for its effectiveness in overcoming addiction by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Family Physicians.


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. SMART has trained volunteers who work with the members, helping them identify roots to their problems and habits. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. In order to teach these skills, SMART applies methods borrowed from motivational enhancement and cognitive behaviour therapies. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.



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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.

These are not stages that are followed. Participants have the option of tackling a specific point in any order depending upon the needs they have.

If you or your relative have tried 12-step programs in vain, SMART can be a good alternative. If you need to find a SMART group nearby, we can be of help call 0800 246 1509.


  • Creating And Keeping Up Motivation
  • Achieving recovery that lasts will depend on whether or not the recovering addict is willing to remain sober.
  • To help in the decision making, participants can make a list of the pros and cons of using or staying clean.
  • 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.
  • Restraining Feelings, Thoughts, And Behaviours
  • 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 Sober And Balanced Life
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in life.
  • Long term recovery requires that you learn how to live your life without the addictive substance.
  • Understanding what matters to you is also very key and this is stated on the fourth point.
  • Participants are also given the education they need to plan about the future by setting realistic goals for themselves.

Comparing Smart And 12 Step Programmes

There are certain common areas in SMART and 12-step programs. Both aim at helping substance addicted patients quit the habits. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. There are success stories associated with both these programs.

The definition of addiction is perhaps different in the SMART program as compared to the 12-step program.

SMART doesn't label its participants as "addicts" or as people who have an "illness." This is because there is a lot of negativity associated with these title. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. A participant can "graduate" from the recovery program at any stage and begin a new, sober life.

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.

Helpful support is, however, provided by SMART and the 12-step programs. The individual has the option of determining what is best for him or her. As the SMART Recovery Handbook says, "What works for one individual in one situation, may fail for another one 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. SMART doesn't consider relapsing as something that has to happen although it does concede that it can happen.

According to SMART, at the last stage of recovery, the participants already have complete self-control and don't feel temptation to use drugs anymore.

By graduation, the SMART members are equipped to live a drug-free life.


Is Smart Suitable For You

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. The feeling of desperation is another complication that the SMART program helps.