Frequently Asked Questions | SMART Recovery Australia

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I come to a SMART group if I’m still using?

ANSWER: Yes, you can attend a SMART group if you are still using but you cannot come intoxicated to the group. Any participants that come to a SMART group intoxicated will be asked to leave.

Q. Do I have to register to attend a SMART group?

ANSWER: No, most groups are open to all community members so all you need to do is show up. However, some groups are closed so please check the meeting list, which indicates all closed groups. Click here »

Q. How do I contact SMART Recovery?

ANSWER: The National office is:
SMART Recovery Australia LTD
Suite 150, 3rd Floor
416-418 Pitt Street
Haymarket, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9373 5100
To contact us by email:

Q. How do I find out about local meetings?

ANSWER: All SMART Recovery meetings are listed on the meetings list. Click here to view the list »

Q. How do I let my parole officer/lawyer know I attended a SMART group?

ANSWER: Some individuals need to have verification that they have participated in a SMART Recovery meeting. These may be desired for a variety of reasons; including pre-court hearings, employer stipulation , a court sentence and/or to fulfil a component of probation and parole.
Facilitators will sign a record (that the participants produce) to verify that you were at a meeting, however SMART facilitators do not write letters of attendance or court reports.

Q. How do I order SMART Recovery publications?

ANSWER: Orders can be placed over the phone, fax or sent by email to the Administrative Office. Click here to place your order online. Your local meeting facilitator may also carry some publications for sale.

Q. How is SMART Recovery different from traditional Twelve Step programs?

ANSWER: SMART Recovery has a scientific foundation, not a spiritual one. SMART Recovery teaches increasing self-reliance, and does not believe we are powerless over our addictions. SMART Recovery views addictive behaviour as a maladaptive habit, rather than as a disease. SMART Recovery meetings are discussion meetings in which individuals talk with one another. It is an interactive group. SMART Recovery encourages attendance for months to years, but probably not a lifetime. There are no sponsors in SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery discourages use of labels such as “alcoholic” or “addict”. These are left up to the individual.

Q. How often do I have to attend a SMART Recovery group each week?

ANSWER: It is recommended that you attend one meeting per week although you can attend more if you feel it will assist with your motivation. SMART Recovery groups work with planning for the next 7 days. Achievable goals are outlined and discussed.

Q. What are the principles of the SMART Recovery program?

ANSWER: SMART Recovery is summarized in the Four-Point program.

SMART Recovery teaches how to:
1) Enhance and maintain motivation to abstain
2) Cope with urges
3) Problem solving
4) Lifestyle balance

Q. What does SMART Recovery stand for?

ANSWER: SMART Recovery is an acronym that stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training.

Q. What is addictive behaviour?

ANSWER: Addictive behaviour is over-involvement with substance use (e.g., psychoactive substances of all kinds, including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, illicit drugs, and prescribed medications), or over-involvement with activities (e.g., gambling, sexual behaviour, eating, spending, relationships, exercise, etc.). We assume that there are degrees of addictive behaviour, and that all individuals to some degree experience it. For some individuals the negative consequences of addictive behaviour (which can involve several substances or activities) become so great that change becomes highly desirable.

Q. What is SMART Recovery?

ANSWER: SMART Recovery is a nationwide, non-profit organization which offers free support groups to individuals who desire to gain independence from any type of addictive behaviour. SMART Recovery® USA also offers a free Internet Message Board discussion group, and sells publications related to recovery from addictive behaviour.

Q. What is the SMART Recovery website?


Alcohol Drug Information Service »

ADIS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you need information, advice or support about alcohol and other drugs you can contact the telephone support below. You can call ADIS any time of the day or week for support, information, counselling and referral to services.

Sydney metropolitan  02 9361 8000
Regional & rural NSW Freecall *  1800 422 599
ACT  6207 9977
VIC  1800 888 236
QLD  07 3837 5989
WA  08 9442 5000
SA  1300 131 340
NT (NT only)  1800 131 350
PLEASE NOTE: Freecall numbers are not free from mobile phones!