Smart Recovery

Smart Recovery

What is SMART Recovery?

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a program that supports individuals in overcoming addiction and substance abuse. As defined by their website, This program’s purpose is “to support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behaviors (substances or activities), by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions; and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life.” 

SMART Recovery is not a 12 step program, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Instead, this recovery program utilizes a 4 Point Program, based on scientific research. The 4 Point Program includes: 

Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation

Point 2: Coping with Urges

Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

Point 4: Living a Balanced Life 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has recognized this philosophy as an effective method of substance abuse treatment. 

Benefits of SMART Recovery

Many individuals are resistant to the idea of admitting “powerlessness” and reliance on a Higher Power, which are integral to 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. SMART Recovery calls itself “an alternative to AA.” For these individuals, or for anyone looking for alternative or supplemental methods of addiction treatment, this method may be extremely beneficial. Many people appreciate the fact that SMART Recovery is structured by evidence-based approaches. 

This methodology also does not adhere to alcoholism and addiction as a disease, and does not use labels such as “addict” and “alcoholic.” Rather than a chronic disease, SMART takes the approach that alcoholism and addiction are maladaptive behaviors.  For individuals who align with this characterization, a program such as this could prove more effective. 

Similar to 12 step programs, SMART Recovery holds in-person, as well as virtual, support group meetings, which are free to attend and open to everyone. 

Is SMART Recovery Right for Me? 

Since its inception in 1985, SMART Recovery has been an effective path of substance abuse and addiction recovery. Their evidence-based, psychological approach to addiction treatment has proven beneficial for many individuals. Ultimately, there are many paths to recovery, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some people participate in this program exclusively, while others use it in combination with other recovery programs or treatments. 
If you are considering SMART Recovery for yourself or a loved one but have questions, concerns, or want to find meetings near you, call us today. We at Rehab Carolinas are experienced in substance abuse and addiction and are here to help.