SMART Alternative Self-Help Groups Tackle Substance Abuse

Startup of a national secular substance abuse self-help recovery program

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network, Inc. worked to solidify and expand its network of alcohol and substance abuse self-help groups, known as Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery).

SMART Recovery offers a secular alternative to spiritually based 12-step self-help programs. SMART Recovery relies on cognitive-behavioral principles and is designed to help alcohol and substance abusers achieve abstinence in a finite period (usually six months to a year), rather than relying on lifelong meeting attendance.

Key Results

  • Network member professionals and volunteers:
    • Wrote or revised manuals for SMART Recovery participants and group coordinators.
    • Ran a series of six training workshops for coordinators in New York, Houston, San Diego, Orlando, Chicago, and Boston.
    • Publicized the program to correctional facility professionals.
  • Some 20 new SMART Recovery groups for the general population joined 158 in existence prior to the grant.
  • Some 18 new groups for those in correctional institutions joined six others already in existence prior to the grant.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $49,447 from July 1996 to June 1997.

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