What is SMART Recovery?

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12-Step programs are the most recognized recovery programs in the United States. Since 1935 thousands of people have become sober from the spiritual program that a 12-Step program promotes. There are people however who find the spiritual side of a 12-Step program unappealing to have amongst their own recovery program and try to find other methods to stay sober. Total abstinence is the goal for anyone that is trying to sober, and recovery comes in all different forms for everyone.

One of the alternatives to a 12-Step program is SMART Recovery which is an acronym for Self-Management and Recovery Training. This organization was originally started in 1992 under their first name of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network (ADASHN) which switched in 1994 when they decided to make some changes in their format to become SMART Recovery.

The basis of SMART Recovery is to have non-confrontational motivational, behavioral, and cognitive methods of treatment that includes therapeutic aspects. SMART Recovery supports people who are trying to stop drinking and using with a secular and scientifically-based modality that draws attention to someone who does not want to have spirituality as part of their program. On the other hand, if someone wishes to use spirituality as part of their SMART Recovery program, they are greeted within the program the same.

Using the SMART Recovery means that an individual will begin to take up a 4-Point Program.

    • Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation


  • Point 2: Coping with Urges


  • Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
  • Point 4: Living a Balanced Life



Someone that embraces SMART Recovery will also use the tools and techniques offered to keep them sober.


  • Stages of Change


  • Change Plan Worksheet
  • Cost/Benefit Analysis (Decision Making Worksheet)
  • ABCs of REBT for Urge Coping
  • ABCs of REBT for Emotional Upsets
  • DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method)
  • Hierarchy of Values
  • Brainstorming
  • Role-playing and Rehearsing
  • USA (Unconditional Self-Acceptance)



SMART Recovery has beneficial online resources available such as information about the program along with online meetings and webinars since they have less availability for meetings especially in smaller cities. Their main purpose is not to shout their program from the rooftop, but rather to abstain from addictive behaviors while grasping sound choices that lead them to have a phenomenal lifestyle sans drugs and alcohol. Their belief is to make changes in the issues that will affect self-esteem, the thinking process, and their emotional state so that they can achieve satisfaction and a better quality of life.

Renewal Recovery Solutions uses SMART Recovery as one of our therapeutic resources to help someone who has a problem with drugs and alcohol. We want to help our clients find their own path in recovery so that they can begin to live a healthy life in sobriety,

Call us today to get started!