More About Smart recovery

SMART Recovery is a group program providing a safe and supportive environment for people to learn how to manage substance use disorder, or any kind of problematic behaviours.

Guided by trained peers and professionals, participants come to help themselves and each other using a variety of evidence based tools and techniques found in our handbooks and materials.

This includes rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as well as a positive reinforcement support program for families and friends who want to be helpful to their loved one in recovery.

SMART Recovery meetings held weekly by volunteers are free of charge. Meetings are 60-90 mins long. You can join us online or in-person where meetings are held.

4 Points Program

1. Build and maintain motivation.
2. Cope with urges and cravings.
3. Manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
4. Live a balanced life.


- Weekly peer led groups.
- Online and In-person meetings.
- All facilitators are trained by our organization.
- Practical meeting structure presents evidence-based recovery tools and we engage in cross talk discussions.

Our Approach

- Focus on behaviour changes.
- Self management and personal strength building activities.
- Harm reduction supportive.
- Unhelpful labels are discouraged.

The Outcome

- We go through a path of self discovery..
- We replace our SUD or problematic behaviour with activities that are aligned with our values and that we enjoy.
- We rebuild and maintain meaningful relationships and find purpose living our lives.

Why Become A Member?

Self-Management and Recovery Training is a self empowerment approach for mental health and substance use disorder and problematic behaviour change. With compassion and empathy, we provide a non-judgemental environment where people learn new ways of coping with life's daily challenges. As a member you can access more services and be more engaged.

  • Our program uses evidence-based tools and techniques drawn from rational emotive and cognitive behavioural therapy, positive reinforcement and motivational interviewing techniques as well as mindfulness activities.
  • We update our training as the evidence changes.
  • Offering non-clinical meetings that provide community, social emotional support as well as experiential knowledge and information exchange.
  • Training is essential for all of our meeting facilitators (both professional clinicians and peers who have attended the program).
  • Our volunteers provide weekly online and in-person support meetings.
  • We present a practical and solution focused approach.
  • Supporting people through their personal journey.
  • Prioritising personal well-being including harm reduction support when applicable.
  • We encourage participants to engage in the work supported by peers and trained facilitators.
  • Tailoring information, and strategies to enable participants to work towards behaviour change, on their own terms and in their own time frame. Respectfully, what works best for the individual is best for them.
  • We continue to play a vital role filling significant gaps in mental health and addiction services, supporting continuity of self-care and the development of recovery capital. Recovery capital is the internal and external resources needed for an individual to not only initiate, but maintain recovery from substance use disorder and other forms of addictive behaviours. We acknowledge that individuals require different levels of support and respond to different types of resources to achieve their recovery goals. This is divided into four types: Physical, Human, Family/Social and community.
How is SMART different from other mutual-aid models?

- We provide a 4 Points Program structure.
- We teach self empowerment and self reliance.
- We provide support for a range of behaviours of concern.
- non-judgemental and inclusive for all participants.
- Participants set their own goals, which may or may not include abstinence.
- Focus on the ‘here and now’ and supports enduring behaviour change starting with the present, irrespective of how the behaviour of concern arrived.
- Encourages active participation, engagement and problem solving.
- Participants learn to build and exercise an internal locus of control.
- Groups have the added benefit of accessibility, with no cost incurred, no waiting list and -- no registration necessary, although we encourage participants to become a member to access added benefits from the program.
- We evolve as science evolves in mental health and addiction recovery.
- We meet people where they are in recovery in referring to the 5 Stages of Change.
- We do not require people to believe in a higher power (although it's supported if you do)
- We don't require you to commit to abstinence for life (we help you aim to achieve your personal goals and you are welcome at our meetings as long as they are helpful to you)
- We are stamping out the stigma associated with Mental health and addiction therefore we do not require participants to use the terms "addict" or "alcoholic" when they check in at our meetings. We discourage the use unhelpful Labels.
- We believe in the power of choice and there are many choices to be made in recovery.

Where are SMART meetings held / who are meetings for?

- SMART Recovery groups are widely available in Canada across a range of regions and health districts  
- anyone wishing to attend. Meetings are free to attend.
- SMART Recovery groups are held in the community as well as inpatient, outpatient and clinical health Agencies.
- organisations including private, public and not for profit mental health and addiction services.
- Meetings happen In-person and online.
- SMART Family and Friends meetings provide support for those who have loved ones with mental health and any type of addiction problems.
- SMART Inside Out supports participants to change behaviours who are incarcerated.

How does SMART Recovery work?

- We present social, emotional and practical support by building cognitive and coping skills as well as a sense of community.
- Support problem solving and action planning (each participant works towards an individualised seven-day plan)
- Encourage active coping and practice
- help participants attain goals via behavioural activation and between session work
- Build self-efficacy (including self-efficacy to refuse) and confidence
- Support practical cognitive restructuring and grow flexible thinking
- develop self-efficacy and self-empowerment.
- Build and expand social networks beyond addiction service-related settings/reduce social isolation
- Grow group cohesion and connection within the group supports change
- Provide hope through providing positive role models and concrete examples of self efficacy.
- Provide a program and meeting structure for engaging behaviour change.

Who accesses SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery meetings are held across over 25 countries, supporting more than an estimated one million participants.