Recent research has shown that SMART is comparable to 12-step programs in terms of outcomes.
Fewer people maintained abstinence in SMART programs, but not everyone participating in SMART aims for abstinence. Many just want to moderate their drinking or drug use. Of those who specifically intended to remain abstinent, the success rate was the same as 12-step programs. Although SMART Recovery is considered an alternative to 12-step programs, the two are not mutually exclusive. SMART recognizes that everyone has different needs in recovery and doesn’t discourage anyone from attending 12-step meetings as well. People can and do attend both SMART meetings and 12-step meetings. Smart is also a good alternative for people who are put off by the need to believe in a higher power. SMART’s main goal is to give people research-backed tools to empower them to fight addiction and those tools are compatible with other programs. The more resources people have at their disposal to fight addiction, the better.
Matt Talbot have trained five people in Smart techniques to date and host a weekly closed group. One participant is hoping to use these skills to secure a support working role in a drug recovery programme that we hope will lead on to them continuing their journey into third level education and onto working in the community.
It is our ambition moving forward that our group will be open to the community and will link with other Smart based groups to provide a community-wide response in the Ballyfermot area.