SMART Recovery Australia cut a striking, significant presence at last week’s VAADA Conference in Melbourne. The biannual VAADA conference is one of Australia’s biggest addiction conference, and draws experts, clinicians, and workers of every stripe to Victoria’s capital to discuss, collaborate, and learn from one another.

Over two days of highly educational sessions, we heard from addiction recovery approaches as diverse as healthy living, led by SRAU Research Advisory Committee members Dr Peter Kelly and Dr Amanda Baker. Our own national program manager, Dr Angela Argent, delivered a powerful lecture on the Be SMART Family & Supporters Programme.

Be SMART is built on the principles and strong evidence base for SMART Recovery, but applies it to the family and loved ones of those with addiction issues. We will soon be running a few varieties of the Be SMART service in Sydney and Melbourne. For people who might want to run a meeting, we also offer Be SMART training.

Be SMART training is a one-day SMART Recovery course aimed at those who have already completed SMART Recovery Facilitator Training. Using many of the same techniques, Be SMART empowers people who are affected by the addictive behaviour of their loved ones to make safer decisions regarding their own well being.

Following this, Dr Alison Beck delivered a presentation on the fledgling SMART ROM (Routine Outcome Monitoring) project This world-first piece of research encourages participants in SMART meetings across New South Wales to self-report on the efficacy of their meetings, and the impact their attendance is having on their lives. Using an innovative, user-friendly app called SMART Track, they are able to not only record their day-to day, and week-to-week, progress, but compare this to their overall recovery journey.

We were fortunate enough to collaborate with many organisations and individuals from all over the country and hope to use these new relationships and knowledge to improve our services not only in Victoria, but across Australia.

Today, there are thirty SMART Recovery meetings running across Victoria, but we’d love to have even more so that all Victorians can access our services if need be. If you’re based in Victoria, and you’re interested in running a SMART meeting, you can have a look at our upcoming training events here.