SMART RePrograms In Georgia

Smart Recovery is a science and evidence recovery program and is not an alternative to the 12-steps, SMART Recovery Is SMART.

Here is a snapshot of what SMART Recovery is:

SMART: "Self-Management and Recovery Training."

Mission: SMART's Mission is to empower people to achieve independence from addiction problems with our science-based 4-point program.

Vision: A fulfilling and meaningful addiction-free life for all.


SMART Recovery 4-Point Program:

  • Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation

  • Point 2: Coping with Urges

  • Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

  • Point 4: Living a Balanced Life

SMART Recovery Is A Science And Evidence Based Recovery Model

The model for the recovery program is peer-driven and focuses on behavior modification. Where the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous addresses a "spiritual malady," SMART Recovery focuses on trauma, chronic relapse, and psychological issues that may hinder successful recovery exceptionally complex and difficult. Statistically, 60% of people who go to rehab relapse. SMART is designed to provide recovering persons with a history of substance abuse tools based in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) that will help them maintain sobriety by changed behavior.

The SMART Recovery Toolbox:

  • Noticing and focusing on the stages of change

  • Using the change plan ws

  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of substance abuse vs. abstinence

  • Maintaining a hierarchy of values

  • Using DISARM (Destructive Irrational Self-Talk Awareness & Refusal Method)

  • Role-playing and rehearsing to ingrain new behaviors

  • Brainstorming

  • Practicing USA (Unconditional Self-Acceptance)

  • Finding VACI (Vital Absorbing Creating Interests)

  • Reviewing the ABC's:

    • Activating event: something happens

    • Beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes triggered by A

    • Consequences of B: both thoughts and behaviors to cope with B

    • Disputes: finding arguments against original behaviors and thoughts, developing different, rational methods of handling B

    • Effects of the disputes: new emotions and behaviors based on a better understanding of self


SMART Recovery Science And Evidence Based - Peer Driven Recovery Program

The number of SMART Recovery meetings has tripled over the past three years with a total of 2,500 meetings offered worldwide. These meetings are even held in correctional and military/veterans facilities, schools, hospitals, and treatment centers. So, why SMART Recovery?


We are living during an addiction epidemic. Addiction takes the lives of nearly 160,000 people including more than 70,000 fatal drug overdoses in 2017 and the 88,000 annual deaths attributed to excessive alcohol use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We are in a state of crisis and the solutions that people have historically turned to are failing. The president of SMART, Joe Gerstein, states, "We can put to rest this notion that SMART is an 'alternative' to 12-step programs. SMART is not an alternative! SMART Recovery is SMART Recovery with a clearly defined mission to 'empower people to achieve independence from addiction problems with our science-based 4-Point Program."


SMART does not disagree with the principals of 12-step programs. In fact, 40% of our meeting attendees also visit 12-step meetings as well. We are just different…smarter.


SMART is designed to help people find the power to change within themselves, instead of adopting a sense of absolute powerlessness. Meetings are action oriented, positive and focused on the present and the future. Participants learn to be self-reliant as they choose to live more meaningful and productive lives.


SMART also works to de-stigmatize addiction: "SMART discourages the use of labels such as 'addict' and 'alcoholic,' because they can undermine motivation for many people. SMART views addiction as a behavioral problem that can be corrected, not a condition that defines a person's identity" (


Having multiple pathways to recovery is necessary for individuals so that they may choose programs best suited for their beliefs and needs. SMART Recovery provides just that. The SMART 5-year plan supports its success and adoption as a reliable form of recovery by medical professionals stating that, "addiction scientists urge clinicians to inform patients about the program due to 'the positive effects of SMART Recovery and SMART Recovery-informed interventions to enhance client-centered, collaborative care . . . tailored to the needs and preferences of the individuals."

Through conscious effort and self-exploration and, yes, often many years, SMART Meetings may no longer be beneficial to a person because they have overcome their addiction. It is a program of hope rather than hopelessness, which in itself is wholly empowering.


SMART is not against religion by any means, but simply takes a more scientific and evidence based approach to recovery. There is no judgment, only a focus on getting healthy.


SMART does allow for appropriately prescribed and monitored medications.


SMART is also not stagnant. An international forum exists to facilitate collaboration among addiction scientists worldwide. This group is intended "to ensure high standards are met, that studies complement rather than duplicate, identify investigative gaps that need to be filled, produce a formidable body of research documenting the overall effectiveness of SMART, and to identify important variations in the manner addiction affects different people, such as low-income and homeless individuals, inmates, teens, women, men, and the family members" to suggest the best type of recovery support that is needed for each group.



Want To Learn More About SMART Recovery? Give ARCH A Call Today @ 912.678.4642