Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a worldwide community of support groups that are similar to 12 step meetings, but also have many differences. At SMART Recovery meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with addictive behaviors, guided by their science-based 4-Point Program®.

This program includes:

  • Building and maintaining the motivation to change.
  • Coping with urges to use.
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors.
  • Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.

SMART Recovery is abstinence oriented, though is careful of ostracizing people who have recent use events, as the self-motivation should be reinforced, rather than ridiculed. They do not use labels like “addict” or “alcoholic” to talk about someone who has a substance use problem, as they have found that also not to be helpful in changing behaviors.

How SMART Recovery Works

“In SMART we focus on learning coping skills that work well short- and long-term. We base our ideas on what addiction science has shown to be effective. We have adapted these ideas into SMART’s tools for change. We are not much concerned with the past, except to learn from it. We focus on present-day events and the causes of self-destructive behaviors. We concentrate on what to do about them to achieve a positive lifestyle change, especially in the areas of our lives that are related to harmful addictive behavior.”

Areas of Focus for SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery seeks to help people look at several areas of life and how changes in them can effect the quality of their lives. These areas include:

  • Motivation
  • Beliefs
  • Emotions
  • Behaviors
The program is inclusive rather than exclusive, and prides itself on being a mental health education program, where meeting facilitators all go through the same initial training. For more information, or to locate a SMART Recovery Meeting near you, visit their website here.