Addiction Therapy

SMART Recovery for Addiction


Massachusetts Center for Addiction in Quincy, MA, recognizes that the road to addiction recovery looks different for each person. This is why we offer a comprehensive range of treatments for addiction and alcoholism. As part of this, we offer the highly effective SMART recovery program. This program focuses on self-reliance and self-empowerment. It is an alternative to traditional 12-step programs. 

What Is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery was introduced in the 1990s as a science-backed alternative to 12-step programs for addiction recovery. SMART stands for Self Management and Recovery Training and is built on four main points. These points include:

  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Living a balanced life 

Traditional 12-step addiction programs are rooted in spirituality. In contrast, SMART Recovery takes a secular approach. It focuses on science-backed methods for self-management. This approach aims to help individuals feel in control of their addiction recovery.


Aerial view of a coed SMART Recovery meeting.

How is SMART Recovery Different?

SMART Recovery respects each individual’s definition of their addiction. However, its philosophy differs in how it views addiction. It does not see addiction as a physical disease. Instead, SMART Recovery considers it more as a behavioral issue. This view suggests that addiction is not directly tied to the individual’s identity.

SMART Recovery also refrains from referring to participants as addicts. Instead, it allows them to choose if that label is something they want to place upon themselves. 

The scientific foundation of SMART Recovery is built on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing techniques. However, these approaches are continually reevaluated to ensure their effectiveness and scientific relevance.

Motivational interviewing techniques are client-centered. They help individuals recognize high-risk behavior and evaluate their current behaviors. Furthermore, these techniques assist individuals in identifying ways to change high-risk behaviors and in making a plan for such changes.

The Role of SMART Recovery in Addiction Treatment     

Self-reliance and empowerment are built into the SMART Recovery program. As these attributes are acquired through SMART Recovery meetings, they can complement other treatment modalities we offer at the Massachusetts Center for Addiction. 

We integrate SMART Recovery principles into other aspects of our addiction treatment process. These include the four main points mentioned above. 

SMART Recovery aligns with many of our treatment options for both alcoholism and drug addiction. The tools and strategies developed through SMART meetings can be applied to all of our programs. This includes our partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and MAT-friendly sober living programs

Benefits of SMART Recovery for Addiction

The SMART Recovery program suits individuals seeking clear, well-defined goals. It addresses the concern that other recovery approaches may seem too binary—suggesting you’re either in the grips of addiction or completely free from it.

SMART Recovery empowers individuals to visualize their path to recovery. It helps them define their goals and motivates them to achieve these goals. Importantly, the program acknowledges the existence of an entire spectrum of recovery stages along the way. 

SMART Recovery meetings focus on helping each person set specific and attainable goals. These goals are realistic, considering where the individual is on their recovery journey.

During these meetings, individuals work on building key life skills and developing a greater sense of self-awareness. They also focus on healing relationships affected by addiction. Additionally, participants develop tools for successful relapse prevention. 

SMART Recovery Meetings at Massachusetts Center for Addiction

Massachusetts Center for Addiction offers SMART Recovery meetings in a safe, welcoming, and comfortable space. Our experienced team is knowledgeable about SMART Recovery and trained to facilitate them. 

SMART Recovery meetings typically last about thirty minutes and have a defined structure. This structure includes sharing successes and coping with activating events, guided by the 4-point program. Additionally, the group is invited to suggest topics for focus or improvement during the meeting.

Meetings conclude with participants sharing meaningful thoughts about the meeting. They also share their individual goals for the coming week.

SMART Recovery meetings are always confidential and aim to foster a supportive community environment. This ensures that every participant feels comfortable throughout the process. Our staff works hard to ensure these meetings are effective and align with each participant’s recovery goals.

Although SMART Recovery operates on a group therapy model, we always maintain a focus on the individual. We never lose sight of each person’s unique journey and needs. 

Why Choose Our SMART Recovery Program 

The Massachusetts Center for Addiction offers an evidence-based and secular Smart Recovery program. It follows a four-point approach to addiction recovery. When led by a qualified clinical team, this program has been shown to be as effective as traditional 12-step programs. However, it provides a different approach that appeals to many people.

At the Massachusetts Center for Addiction, we understand the importance of clinical expertise and a supportive environment. We are committed to ensuring you have access to comprehensive and effective addiction treatment options. SMART Recovery focuses on self-empowerment in your journey to recovery. We are here to support you every step of the way. 

Getting Started with Our Program 

If you’re ready to learn more about SMART Recovery during addiction treatment in Massachusetts, we’re here to answer your questions. The first step in participating in a SMART Recovery program is to reach out to us at the Massachusetts Center for Addiction. We offer a free, confidential phone assessment and will help guide you on the next steps toward recovery for yourself or a loved one. 

When you want to learn more about SMART Recovery or are ready to get started in the process, contact us any time of day at 844-486-0671. Your call is confidential, and we’re here to help.