The SMART Recovery program was one of many mutual aid programs examined in Elizabeth Dale’s “Systematic review of addiction recovery mutual support groups and Indigenous people of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and Hawaii”.

This study found that:

  • Indigenous people of similarly colonised countries experience high rates of morbidity and mortality due to addictions
  • Mutual support groups are a common and popular form of addiction recovery support
  • Few studies have evaluated the utility of mutual support groups for Indigenous members
  • Mutual support groups may become a more meaningful resource for Indigenous people if they were culturally modified

Liz is a descendant from the Worimi Nation currently enrolled in a clinical masters in psychology and PhD at the University of Wollongong. Liz has over 12 years of experience working in non-government and clinical settings

Considering SMART Recovery Australia’s ongoing focus on increasing the quality of our ATSI focused groups, studies like this are invaluable to us and our ongoing mission. According to the paper:

“addictions contribute significantly to the overall disease burden for Indigenous peoples of colonised countries. Mutual support groups are one of the most common addiction recovery resources, however their effectiveness for Indigenous peoples is unclear.”

We are sincerely grateful to PhD candidate Elizabeth Dale and Assoc. Prof. Peter Kelly, head of our Research Advisory Committee, for their contribution not only to wider understanding of addictions, but to our organisation’s mission.

You can read more about that at the link below: