SMART Recovery Australia is committed to the philosophy and practice of harm minimisation. For us, harm minimisation means prioritising and advancing the safety, health and wellbeing of SMART participants.
We value choice, dignity, respect, compassion and non-judgement. We recognise that all of us are doing the best that we can, often under imperfect circumstances. SMART Australia supports participants to realise their aspirations, meet their needs and participate fully in society.
We recognise that SMART participants have more success in changing behaviours when they make informed choices that aim to reduce the likelihood or impact of harm. Given that the risk of harm cannot be fully eliminated in any context or domain of life, SMART encourages participants to set realistic and achievable goals. We encourage participants to embrace the power of choice.
SMART enables participants to self-manage and take responsibility for their own behaviour. Learning to make healthier choices increases self-esteem, assertiveness and agency. Choice might well result in cessation of using or doing, but it need not.
The research evidence shows that harm minimisation saves and improves lives. Harm minimisation is the approach that we take to support SMART participants to stay safe, healthy and well.
This view is the position of the SMART Australia Board, based on advice from the SMART Recovery Australia Research Advisory Committee.