The Bottom Line
As with 12 step groups, the SMART Recovery program can be an excellent resource for many people who are working to overcome addictions. The SMART Recovery Program shares with AA the foundation principles of accessibility, confidentiality, and mutual support, which links you to a worldwide network of help, as often and when you need it. However, the SMART Recovery Program is not as widespread or well-known.
More rigorous in approach than 12 step groups, the SMART Recovery program can provide more safety for participants in its facilitated and standardized approach to overcoming addiction.
- Free and unlimited
- No wait time
- Everyone is accepted
- The other group participants understand the problem through personal experience
- Based on a proven psychological approach (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
- Not as widespread as 12 step meetings.
- Not as well known as 12 step meetings.
- Although facilitated, still run by volunteers, so no professional accountability.
- The approach the SMART Recovery program is based on requires commitment and self-reflection.
- If you are looking for spiritual support, you probably won’t find it at the SMART Recovery Program.
- The SMART Recovery program is based on a four point process.
- Point 1: Enhancing and Maintaining Motivation
- Point 2: Coping with Urges
- Point 3: Problem Solving
- Point 4: Lifestyle Balance
- The meetings follow a standard structure which includes both teaching and participant input.
- The SMART Recovery program teaches self-empowerment, self-reliance, and tools and techniques for self-directed change.
- The SMART Recovery program takes a non-judgemental view of appropriate medication use.
- The SMART Recovery Program differs from 12 step groups, but many people choose to be involved in both groups.