What do we do?
We run meetings
Our core activity is running a network of self-help / mutual aid meetings where, through open and confidential discussion, participants help each other and themselves with recovery from any kind of addictive behavior.
We are a Recovery Community
SMART Recovery is inspired by the traditions and history of mutual aid, both in addictions and other walks of life. We believe that being part of a community of recovery makes it more likely that we will succeed and become stronger in our own recovery journeys. It is what our experience tells us, but it is also what science is saying as well – spend more time with people who are succeeding at what you want to do and you are more likely to succeed yourself!
We run an online Community
Our community of recovery also works online. Our website includes a ‘social networking’ system to help SMART participants build up their contacts with others using SMART Recovery in their local area and across the country. For some, this will be about sharing ideas, videos and articles that have helped them, for others it will be about organizing local events or giving feedback to help improve how SMART Recovery works.
We provide training
The main focus of training is to help meeting participants become meeting Facilitators and interested professionals become SMART Recovery Champions. We run an innovative, 20 hour online learning platform which includes videos, quizzes, written exercises and reading materials. The first half of the training, ‘Getting SMART’, is also very useful for meeting participants who want to deepen their understanding of the tools and how SMART Recovery works.
We follow the science
SMART Recovery is science-based. This means that we constantly track how the scientific evidence is developing about addictions and what really works to help people change their addictive behaviours. Our programme therefore evolves as the science evolves. The way this works in practice is through an ongoing dialogue between Facilitators and a number of psychologists and researchers – we look for tools and approaches that have an evidence base but are also appropriate within the self-help / mutual aid approach of SMART Recovery. There is a process for new tools to be proposed, examined and ultimately approved or declined by the US Board of Trustees – who can draw on the expertise of our renowned International Board of Advisors.
We work in Partnership
The core of SMART Recovery is the meeting led by a trained peer Facilitator in the community, but this is not the only way of introducing people to SMART. After a pilot scheme funded by the Department of Health, UK SMART Recovery launched a Partnership scheme with care and treatment providers. This involves us training some of their staff to kick start meetings within their services, build links to the peer-led meetings in the community and encourage service users to train as peer Facilitators themselves. The Partnership does not reduce our commitment to peer led meetings, indeed the approach is helping us grow the peer led meetings very quickly.