1,500th SMART Recovery Meeting Opens as Fast Growth Rate Continues
The number of SMART Recovery meetings has reached the 1,500 milestone – less than three years after crossing the 1,000 mark – as more people embrace the program’s emphasis on becoming empowered to overcome addictions using science-based tools and peer support.
The 1,500th, a Friday evening weekly meeting, has opened at the Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC) in Portland, Maine. Niki Curtis, the SMART trained facilitator for the meeting, explains:
“When I first arrived, we didn’t have many non-12 step meetings, so our Program Manager asked if I would be interested in SMART Recovery training. I am so glad that I said yes because since that training two years ago, I have utilized the program’s tools in my own life and shared them with others in meetings. For instance, I found that doing SMART’s Cost/Benefit Analysis helps me with decision-making. The ABC tool helps me deal with my anger around loud neighbors, and I am using SMART’s Urge Log tool to quit smoking. I have been working at the Center for two years. I love that we offer all types of meetings and that, like SMART, we respect all types of recovery.
“It has been awesome to watch participants in our SMART meeting grow stable in their recovery, and many now want to partake in the facilitator training for the program. We went from one small meeting to being able to offer three meetings, which gives people a steady form of support throughout their week. I feel good about myself and the SMART support I have learned how to provide to others. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have at PRCC to be a peer support staff member, growing in my recovery and watching others grow in theirs.”
SMART Meetings Proliferate in Numerous Settings
SMART meetings are now hosted in state and federal prisons, Veterans Administration facilities, recovery centers, hospitals, churches, community centers, and universities. SMART Recovery’s online community is also growing at a fast pace with 35 online meetings each week serving people from around the world. This community also features message boards and 24/7 chat rooms. More than 1,800 people register for SMART online services each month.
“We’re finding more and more interest around the globe as well,” says Shari Allwood, Executive Director. “SMART is very active in the UK, Canada and Australia, with the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Sweden each coming on strong with the program. Word is traveling, especially as more people benefit from SMART and tell others, and as treatment professionals and government agencies continue to recommend SMART Recovery to their clients.”
All SMART Recovery facilitators are trained, with instruction on how to use tools and exercises from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Training is available for peers and professionals, and more people are seeing the value of donating their time to facilitate meetings in their communities. Anyone interested in doing so can join in facilitating by attending the online training. Information and many additional resources can be found at www.smartrecovery.org.