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Utilising SMART Recovery

Learning About Smart


Like the 12 stages of recovery implemented in Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART is another way of achieving that. SMART has also proved to be helpful for people with concurrent conditions such as comorbid depression or anxiety.

People suffering from addictions and behavioural problems can be treated with the help of Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). It helps people to gain control over their addictive behaviour by using the method of focusing on their underlying thoughts and feelings.

Some of the skills that people learn in SMART are useful in helping them to deal with cravings in the long term.


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.

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 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. To get to the issues that need attention, volunteers who have been trained help the participants to examine certain behaviours. 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 Four Point Programme

The recovery handbook provided by SMART details every step of the 4 point program. There are also advice and exercises to help to maintain a sober life in that book.

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.

The SMART program is the best choice for people that cannot overcome their addiction using the 12 stage program. Get the help you need finding a SMART meeting close to you call 0800 246 1509.


  • Creating And Keeping Up Motivation
  • 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.
  • Overcoming The Desires
  • The causes for the desires to use the drugs are also explained on the second point of the program.
  • Using methods that help refocus attention, patients are taught how to control the cravings.
  • Also, participants find and cope with irrational visions of urges to use the substance.
  • Controlling Actions, Reactions And Reflections
  • This point shows the recovering user how to check their own thoughts, emotions and actions to keep them from falling back into addiction.
  • The participants study self-acceptance and learn to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression.
  • Living A Life That Is Balanced
  • Choosing to live without depending on drugs is a huge step in life.
  • 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.

Distinctive Features To 12 Step Programmes

Some similarities to the traditional 12-step Program will be visible in SMART. Both aim at helping substance addicted patients quit the habits. In both programs, the identity of the members remains protected. 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.

SMART does not consider the participants as addicts or as people with an illness. Such labels are considered to be discouraging and ineffective. A recovery is not an ongoing process, and this is also a belief which is held by SMART and is another difference. After successfully completing the program, members go on to start a new life devoid of addictions and baggage.

The belief in the help for a higher power is what turns off some people from joining the 12-stages program. The SMART approach is preferred by some people as it allows them to take control of their lives.

Both SMART and twelve-step programs provide help and support to people. The recovering user will have to decide for themselves the option that suits them. 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

Graduation from recovery is one of the special aspects of SMART. Despite the understanding that relapses can occur SMART does not consider a relapse as an essential part of the recovery process.

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

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 Appropriate For You

All types of dependence on drugs can be completely eliminated using this program. This program is also beneficial for people who have addictive behaviours in any capacity and these behaviours could be compulsive like gambling and eating disorders. Benefits can also be derived by people who are suffering from mental disorders, which are co-occurring such as depression.