SMART Recovery stands for Self Management And Recovery Training and is a relatively new self help group. They are a product of a schism in Rational Recovery. They follow a much less rigid format than AA and some of the other groups. Usually a group will start with a “check in”. This is where people introduce themselves and will usually say their drug of choice. A drug of choice can be anything from methamphetamine or heroin to booze or cigarettes. Some people will say they are alcoholics others will not. If you don’t feel like talking you can pass. There are no religious overtones. The meeting might be coordinated by a lay person, a professional volunteering to help, or even students working on their Graduate and Doctoral degrees.
Cross talk is encouraged in the group. People who need extra time because they may be having a stressful week that could trigger them to use again are given extra time. The organization’s formal stance is that alcoholism is a disease and that problem drinkers should abstain. My group doesn’t encourage or discourage abstinence as an answer to alcoholism or alcohol abuse. Most of the people there have attempted moderation and failed. So, we generally follow the alcoholism as a disease theory of recovery. It is, however, perfectly acceptable for people to decide they just want to moderate their drinking. There is no finger pointing or people telling you that you are in denial. Most people there will hope that you will be able to because they will hope you will share your secret with them. My group, at least, is about getting you to where you want to be. This organization also has online meetings for those who can’t find one or who can’t travel to get to one.