SMART Recovery for Substance Abuse Treatment

1 min read · 4 sections

What is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery is a group-based, volunteer-led recovery model offering support meetings, skills learning, and scientifically based treatments to help participants overcome addiction.1  Founded in 1994, SMART Recovery,  which stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a nationwide, nonprofit organization serving as a secular alternative to AA and NA groups.2,3

SMART Recovery Uses and Goals

SMART Recovery offers online and in-person meetings to help those suffering from substance-based addiction (e.g., substance use disorders related to alcohol, marijuana, opioids, etc.) as well as behavioral-based addictions (e.g., eating disorders, gambling addictions, sex addiction, etc.). SMART Recovery was built around a 4-point recovery program involving self-empowerment and evidence-based practices that include:4

  1. Building and maintain the motivation to change.
  2. Coping with urges to use.
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors.
  4. Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.

Information taught through SMART recovery is heavily drawn from behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which focus on behavioral changes to help treat addiction.5

SMART Recovery for Veterans

Given the unique challenges of Veterans and first responders, SMART Recovery offers meetings specifically geared to this unique audience. By gathering together, these individuals and their families can work through powerful anxieties, emotions, and more that often lead people to unhealth coping mechanisms and risky behaviors.

SMART Recovery programs may be included via services a various rehab facilities (such American Addiction Center facilities) as a complement to other forms of treatment. However, they also function as stand-alone groups. In fact, you can search for Veteran and first responder meetings near you via the SMART Recovery website.

How to Find a SMART Recovery Meeting

American Addiction Centers offers multiple facilities nationwide that offer SMART Recovery meetings as a complement to treatment. Explore AAC’s nationwide rehab facilities, or search for a SMART Recovery meeting in your area via the organization’s website.


Need more info?
Take the first step towards recovery.
Make the process simple. Ensure your benefits cover treatment.
Explore American Addiction Centers locations nationwide.
View Our Treatment Centers