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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

SMART recovery



SMART (Self-management and recovery training) recovery offers face-to-face and online counselling groups to people in the community who require help managing and overcoming their addictive behaviours and associated problems. Run by SMART Recovery Australia, this program is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The group helps people to understand, manage, and change their automatic thoughts and actions. The SMART recovery program comprises four key points:

SMART recovery offers an alternative to the 12-step programs (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) in the community. The emphasis is on self-management and learning practical skills in order to gain and maintain abstinence. The program can be adapted to fit specific populations, and SMART Recovery Australia aims to work with more Aboriginal populations to adapt the program accordingly. The program is run in all correctional facilities in New South Wales and Tasmania. Rekindling the Spirit - an Aboriginal community organisation in Lismore - also run the SMART recovery program.

SMART Recovery Australia has also launched a new program for families and carers - the Berecovery for family and carers of individuals struggling with alcohol and other drug use. It uses similar principles to those of SMART recovery, such as giving participants practical coping tools and encouraging self-management. Be SMART has also been designed to encourage families and carers to focus on themselves and find a greater sense of fulfilment in their own lives.

SMART program, which has been adapted from SMART


SMART Recovery Australia
Suite 150, 416-418 Pitt Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9373 5100

Related publications

Getting SMART: moderate intensity substance abuse program and SMART Recovery [information for offenders and their families] (2009)

Queensland Corrective Services


Last updated: 31 July 2015
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