Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)

At times, 12 Steps is not the only answer to recovery.

Why SMART Recovery?

SMART recovery is a support program for people with addictions and behavioral disorders. In this region (Southeast Asia), 12-step fellowships are not always available nor reliable due to a number of inconvenient factors: the unavailability of meetings and fellowships.

Hence, SMART recovery is a useful program for regional clients because it does not need the requirements of 12-step programs to succeed.

It is also seen as an alternative to the 12-step program because it focuses on releasing the addict from identifying with his/her ailment. In this program, participants do not call themselves “addict/alcoholic”, but instead work a 4-point program, which even leads to an eventual graduation from recovery. 

How does the SMART program work?

First of all, SMART recognizes that the addict/alcoholic in recovery has the power to heal within. It equips its participants with skills and knowledge on how to surf their urges and uses a number of behavioral and cognitive therapies, which are enhanced with the latest in scientific research.

The main part of the program is its 4-points, which can be used in any order whatsoever:
1) Building & Maintaining Motivation – The willingness to stay sober is a priority in recovery. Participants are invited to compare the reasons they want to use against the reasons to stay sober. Costs and benefits of both sides are compared for a realistic picture of recovery.

2) Coping with urges – Urges to use are identified and suppressed through distraction techniques. Participants are also taught how to overcome urges through seeing the irrational beliefs surrounding them.

3) Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors – Participants are taught the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviors as well as learning to manage difficult thoughts and feelings such as depression and anxiety.

4) Living a Balanced Life – Living a sober life needs a daily regime that keeps one busy from idleness. Learning how to plan one’s life and take inventory to set goals for a promising future is looked at in this point.

The Differences between SMART and 12-Step Programs:


The labels of Addict and Alcoholic are not applied to participants and are seen as discouraging or even harmful to the recovery process.

Self-empowerment is the core of this program. Many participants join it because there is no compulsion to believe in any Higher Power or admit to being powerless over addiction/alcohol.

Personal empowerment to recover.

The program contains 4-points, which can be approached in any order whatsoever and used as tools on a daily basis.


Addicts/Alcoholics need to identify as such in order to acknowledge that they have an incurable illness/disease.

Acknowledging the existence of a personal Higher Power and submitting to being powerless is the cornerstone of this program.

Dependent on following the steps and adhering to the instructions and guidance of a sponsor.

The program contains 12-steps, which can only be worked on from the first to twelfth step in the order it is given with a sponsor.

The Solace Difference:

At Solace Sabah, we offer both 12 step facilitation and S.M.A.R.T focused programs. We value choice and in giving this choice to our clients, we will ensure that there will be a program of recovery suited to your/your loved one’s needs, which is our greatest concern.

SMART recovery can treat all addictions from alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, sex addiction and eating disorders. It can also treat co-morbid disorders such as depression and anxiety to name a few.

It is necessary to choose the right medium for your/your loved one’s recovery.

If you or your loved one has tried 12-step programs and found that it is not suited to your/your loved one’s needs, then try SMART recovery.

More Information about Rehab at Solace:

Solace PRIMary

Primary treatment

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Secondary Treatment

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solace continuum

18 Month Aftercare

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Family comes first

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