Which SMART resources do people find helpful? Results from 2015 survey

check list color doodle, speech bubbleEach year, SMART Recovery issues an annual survey to gain feedback from SMART participants. Respondents range from people who are actively in recovery and using SMART’s resources to family and friends, SMART volunteers, and treatment professionals. This year, 1,325 people responded – making it the largest response since the survey was launched in 2008.

Most survey respondents identified themselves as currently in recovery, with just over half saying they’ve been in recovery less than a year. Over 60% are seeking help in SMART for issues with alcohol, 20% for drug use (including prescription medications), 12% for behavioral addictions (e.g., gambling) and 2% for help quitting smoking. Most learn about SMART through an online search, but some are referred through a counselor or therapist, treatment program (either inpatient or outpatient) and/or from a family members or friend.

Which SMART resources do participants find most helpful?


Overall, an impressive 77% said they found SMART to be an ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ resource in their recovery process; another 16% found it a ‘good’ resource. Just over half of participants say they use the SMART Recovery website on a regular basis; many also said they take advantage of the face-to-face meetings and message boards.


When asked which SMART resources in particular they have found most important when it comes to their own recovery, over 90% said that realizing ‘I have the power of choice’ has been very – or extremely – important. And specific resources that over half of participants cited as very or extremely important to their recovery include the SMART tools, SMART website, SMART Recovery handbook, 4-Point Program, and face-to-face meetings.

What other resources do participants find useful?

Over half of those who responded also participate in other programs, in addition to SMART Recovery. Of these, the most frequently mentioned was AA/NA or another 12-step program, listed by over half of those participating in other programs. Other programs mentioned by multiple people included: faith/religious/spirituality-based programs, outpatient treatment programs, Women for Sobriety, LifeRing and others.

Finally, participants were asked what other resources – aside from SMART – they’ve found helpful when it comes to meeting their recovery goals. Over half apiece said they’ve found the following useful: books and publications, hobbies and personal interests, and meditation or mindfulness. In addition to those listed in Chart 2, over a quarter mentioned other resources they have found helpful; these include therapy, exercise, talking with family and friends, volunteering, and medication.

The full results from the 2015 SMART Recovery participant survey can be found at: Results

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