25 in 25 Volunteer Spotlight: Doug Hanshaw

Throughout SMART’s 25th anniversary year, culminating in our National Conference September 20 – 22 in Itasca, Illinois, we will honor volunteers representing many types of individual service.


Doug Hanshaw facilitated mutual aid meetings for addictive behavior before SMART Recovery was even established. Doug has continued this passion for helping those struggling with addiction throughout his career and in many meaningful volunteer roles with SMART.

By Hank Robb, Ph.D., Former SMART Recovery Board Member

Doug Hanshaw’s parents were field geologists, so he was able to see much of the US as he grew up. Doug was what might be called a SMART Recovery pre-early-adopter because he began facilitating mutual aid meetings for folks dealing with addictive behavior even before SMART Recovery was established! Hank Robb, Ph.D., former Board member says, “From the beginning of our contact, Doug showed curiosity and dedication to purpose.”

When efforts to establish Rational Recovery groups in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area attracted Doug’s interest, he began facilitating groups in 1989. Doug earned his master’s degree in Corrections from the University of Oregon and continued facilitating mutual self-help meetings through Rational Recovery through the 90s. He moved from Portland to Anchorage in 1992, before finally ending up in western Colorado in 2001.

Life in Colorado provided new opportunities and challenges. While raising his son and two daughters, Doug worked a supervisor for the Substance Use Disorder staff at a regional mental health center for eight years, overseeing DUI and drug court programs. In 2009, he accepted a role as the 7th Judicial District’s Problem-Solving Court Coordinator where he enjoyed working with drug court teams that served a rural district covering 10,000 square miles. In 2012, Doug wanted to help a local Colorado SMART Recovery facilitator by serving as backup. After completing his facilitator-training course, he took on a larger role as the SMART Regional Coordinator for Colorado. From 2014 to 2018 Doug also served on the SMART Court Outreach Committee.

“I got involved with SMART because it aligns with my beliefs and values,” says Doug. “I like the science-based program and the diverse opinions and experiences volunteers bring to the table.”

Christi Alicea, Assistant Executive Director of SMART Recovery, shared that Doug has contributed valuable insight to the development of key Courts and Corrections promotional efforts, as well as to the development of the 12-week InsideOut: A SMART Recovery Correctional Program® for prisons. Christi adds that, “Doug is always willing to help out whenever we call upon him for assistance, despite his incredibly busy schedule.”

When Doug gets a break from that busy schedule, he enjoys music, skiing, fishing, hiking, gardening, boating, and riding road and mountain bikes.

“I have enjoyed working with SMART because I support the important work we do,” says Doug. “I want to see SMART grow and make a difference in people’s lives and communities.”

We are so grateful for Doug and the contributions he has made not only to SMART Recovery but to the Addiction and Recovery field. Your dedication has made such a difference. Thank You!

About the 25 in 25 Volunteer Recognition Program

The heart of SMART’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2019 is the story of an extraordinary community of volunteers who have built a worldwide organization devoted to supporting individuals recovering from addiction, as well as their family members and friends. These volunteers include addiction scientists and treatment professionals who designed a self-empowering 4-Point Program®and joined people with the experience of recovery and trained them to lead mutual support group meetings.

Together they have created and refined a peer-professional mutual-support group model that combines the best science for treating addiction with the lived experience of recovering from addiction – the world’s largest and only community of its kind with more than 3,000 group meetings held each week in 23 countries. Each year, participants in these groups help each other recover at more than 150,000 meetings, in-person and online, led by volunteers trained how to use the SMART program.

Throughout SMART’s 25th anniversary year, culminating in our National Conference September 20–22 in Itasca, Illinois, we will honor volunteers representing many types of individual service.

Click here to nominate a deserving individual.

Click here to learn more about the program and to see all who have been recognized.

About SMART Recovery

Founded in 1994, SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training) uses science-based techniques that have proven to be effective in helping people recover from addiction problems involving any substance or behavior, including such things as alcohol, drugs, gambling, over-eating, shopping, and internet use.

Each week, thousands of people discuss recovery progress and challenges at more than 3,000 in-person meetings in 23 countries, daily online meetings and 24/7/365 internet message board forums and chat rooms.

Participants use SMART to assume responsibility for their own recovery and become empowered using its 4-Point Program®: building motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life.

For more information, please visit www.smartrecovery.org.

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