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SMART Recovery

teenage girls in winter coats standing around a firepit

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART recovery) is an international non-profit organization that uses scientific principles and strategies to help people overcome addiction and other destructive behaviors. Similar to 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings where members can learn tools for addiction recovery.

SMART Recovery emphasizes four areas (referred to as the 4-point program) in the recovery process:

  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  • Living a balanced life

SMART Recovery uses scientific principles and evidence-based therapeutic techniques to facilitate change and healing in members. Among other things, the organization seeks to help people build self-reliance, promote education and open discussion in meetings, teach techniques for change and coping, and evolve as new scientific knowledge for addiction recovery is discovered.

3 Important Facts

  • SMART Recovery differs from 12 step programs like AA. Rather than using a spiritual approach, SMART Recovery emphasizes scientific evidence.
  • SMART Recovery has a program for teens and youth as well as adults.
  • SMART Recovery has operated since 1994.

Signs to Look For

SMART Recovery is a treatment program for those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. It is also used to treat gambling and sex addictions as well as other behavioral or process addictions.

What Are My Next Steps?

To learn more about SMART Recovery or to find a meeting in your community, visit http://www.smartrecovery.org/.

Commonly Asked Questions about SMART Recovery

How is SMART Recovery different from 12 step programs?

SMART Recovery has a scientific foundation rather than a spiritual one and seeks to promote self-reliance rather than emphasize powerlessness.

How effective is SMART Recovery?

The effectiveness of all self-help groups (including 12 step programs) is yet undetermined. However, many people find the network of support and coping strategies learned to be helpful in the recovery process.

How do I know I need SMART Recovery?

If you’re struggling with any sort of addiction, you may benefit from a group program such as SMART Recovery.