What are smart recovery meetings like

What does smart recovery stand for?

SMART Recovery is a four point program of an international non-profit organization which involves maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. SMART stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. This training is designed to help individuals gain independence from addictive substances; it teaches people how to control their addictive behavior by focusing on underlying thoughts and feelings.  The activities and approaches are based on scientific knowledge, and those approaches evolve as scientific knowledge evolves.

What are smart recovery meetings like?

The meetings usually start with someone reading the group welcome which gives you a quick overview. This is immediately followed by check-ins. This is the period for each person to discuss any success or challenges they seem to be having abstaining from their behavior, and discuss their progress on any life goals they have set. New members are provided the opportunity during this time to share why they are attending the meeting but can always just pass and listen. After the check-ins, the team will decide if there were any issues discussed during check-in that require further attention or deliberation. During this period, the tools of SMART are applied  to address issues so everyone can better understand, and practice, the tools.

How Long do SMART recovery meetings last ?

The SMART recovery meetings last from between 60-90 minutes. They are free and open to anyone but especially those seeking help to overcome addictive behavior . A typical meeting may have anywhere from 3 to 12 people, sometimes a few more, and all participation’s are optional.

What is the difference between SMART recovery and AA ?

Although AA and SMART recovery share many similarities by the fact that they are both run on self-help principles and the idea of bringing people who are in the same situation together, there are several differences between SMART recovery and AA. Some of these include:


AA members are expected to complete the twelve step program and live according to the principles of the twelve steps while SMART deploys a “tool box” for people to draw upon to assist in maintaining their abstinence.

Fundamental Belief

SMART is a secular organization, the program is based on scientifically researched therapies and tried and tested therapeutic methods taken from other disciplines while AA is based  on spirituality relying on a higher power


AA meetings are run by volunteers in attendance at the meeting while SMART meetings are run by trained volunteers.

Time Involvement

AA is open ended and there is expectation that people will remain committed to lifelong involvement, SMART is not open-ended, rather it anticipates that people will eventually leave the program when they are ready. READ:  Krokodil Drug






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