SMART Recovery (Self-Mangement And Recovery Training) helps individuals gain independence from harmful addictive behaviors through its science-based program and its self-help meetings. Our program is evidence-based and evolves as scientific knowledge advances. Our program is secular; neither demanding or demeaning spiritual or religious beliefs.
SMART Recovery is a not-for-profit educational organization run by volunteers which offers free abstinence-based self-help meetings, both face-to-face and on the web, aimed at abstaining from harmful addictive behaviors.
SMART is an acronym standing for: Self- Management And Recovery Training. Within our 4 Point Program we teach people how to:
1.) enhance and maintain motivation to abstain;
2.) cope with cravings and urges;
3.) better manage thoughts, feelings and behaviors;
4.) balance short and long term satisfactions.
Once people have gained independence from harmful addictive behaviors they are invited to stay and help, but may graduate and move on with their lives if they prefer. Volunteer group facilitators can receive training in our program and how to best facilitate meetings. Volunteers may have recovered from an addiction or may have never been addicted - that seems to make no difference. What is important is that they understand the tools and strategies we offer and approach people with empathy and acceptance, and without pressure or confrontation. The facilitators are supervised and trained by volunteer Professional Advisors who also often provide much administrative assistance.
The program is culled from research on addictions and developed for implementation by the volunteer National Board of Directors. The program is reviewed by the experts on our International Advisory Panel. The program is based on choice, personal responsibility, proven principles of change and unconditional self-acceptance. The professional in this area may be interested to learn that we base the program on the principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy in particular) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy. A fuller explication of our tools and techniques, meeting and other service offerings, volunteer opportunities, basis in science, related programs, learning materials, and other opportunities to participate may be found at our web-site: www.smartrecovery.org and we appreciate people's donations, both money and volunteer time.
SMART Recovery started when the previous science-based and secular self-help group, Rational Recovery, became a for-profit that rejected self-help groups and narrowed its focus.
The Board of Directors resigned from RR, established SMART Recovery with its current name, maintained the network of self-help meetings, developed the Four Point program, and received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to publish an initial SMART Recovery Member's Manual and to provide the first of our yearly national facilitator training programs .
We have since established a web page, on-line meetings, an on-line community of support, we have started meetings in several other countries, a program for prison inmates called Inside/Out (the development of which was funded with $1,000,000 from NIAAA) and Scotland has adopted Inside/Out within their corrections system. We have been endorsed by: NIDA, ASAM and AAFP. We moved the national office of
SMART Recovery Self-Help Network
7537 Mentor Avenue, Suite #306;
Mentor, OH 44122,
and that office has recently expanded.
They can be reached at 440-951-5357 (FAX: 440-951-5358) or SRMail@aol.com. We just completed a new training video with funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) who also supported our last national training.
We advocate for the freedom of choice in the selection of treatment and self-help options, and this has been supported by a series of six court decisions regarding mandated AA/12-Step attendance in prisons and "AA inculcation" in an emergency housing situation, all of which were ruled to violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution. We are currently revising our 1996 Manual, attempting to secure public relations parity from referral agencies and the media, and looking forward to our tenth anniversary training and celebration.
Henry Steinberger, Ph.D., Professional Advisor, Member National Board of Directors,
(608) 238-5176 ext. 365,
Shari Alwood, Executive Director,
(440) 951-5357, Jim Joachim
Volunteer Facilitator, (608) 255-5922,
Office fax number: (608) 238-2727 Address:
440 Science Drive, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53711
Web Site: http://www.smartrecovery.org
By Ricky L. Wright