SMART Recovery Treatment support-groups

Learning About Smart


Although 12 step programs are more common, SMART has proven to be a good alternative to these group programs. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.

People that are addicted to any form of drug can get the help in overcoming it using the Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) programs. It trains people to suppress their dependence behaviour by making them focus on subjacent 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.


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


This means that in SMART you will find methods being used that have been shown to be more 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.


How Smart Works

As contrasted with 12-step programs that make people admit helplessness about their dependence, SMART is considered a self-empowering program. 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. The patients then learn how to take mastery over those negative habits. SMART uses psychological therapy to train on how to control behaviour. There are 4 point that are involved in these program that the addicts follow.



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Smart And The Four Point Programme

Every aspect of the 4-Point program is covered in the SMART Recovery Handbook. To help the recovering user remain clean, the handbook also contains tips and exercises that can be used.

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.

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  • 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.
  • To help in the decision making, participants can make a list of the pros and cons of using or staying clean.
  • Overcoming The Desires
  • The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
  • Changing their thoughts and activities are some of the techniques used to overcome these desires.
  • They are also helpful in identifying and overcoming irrational beliefs about their urges to use the drug.
  • Participants Are Taught About Feelings 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 participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • It needs a sudden change in lifestyle for a person to stay clean.
  • It is crucial for a successful recovery that the person learns how to live a healthy and sober life.
  • At this point, the recovering user will need to make a note of the things that matter to them.
  • People are taught how to make plans for the future and set realistic goals.

Comparison To The 12 Stage Plans

Some similarities to the traditional 12-step Program will be visible in SMART. Overcoming the addiction is the main objective of the two types of programs. Both programs are private in nature and ensure that the identity of the participant remains confidential within the meetings. The objectives have been realized in both of them.

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." Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. SMART doesn't see recovery as a lifelong journey which is another major difference. Participants can proceed with their normal lives after 'graduating' from recovery.

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. Participants of SMART are encouraged to approach the process of recovery by gaining control over their lives.

You can find proper support whether you choose SMART or 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."


After Recovery

A SMART program is different in that its members do "graduate" from the program. Though some may fall back to addiction, SMART does not look at this as a given in the recovery of individuals.

The desires to use the drugs are completely gone when a person is nearing the completion of the SMART program.

They go back to a normal life where they don't have to use drugs.


Is Smart Suitable For You

SMART was created to help people suffering from any kind of addiction. It also helps those battling behaviour issues such as gambling or eating disorders. 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.