SMART Recovery Australia takes great pride in our status as Australia’s leading evidence-based mutual aid addiction recovery program. A huge part of this is our dedicated volunteer Research Advisory Committee, currently chaired by Associate Professor Peter Kelly from the University of Wollongong. The RAC, whose staff lead is Dr Angela Argent, ensure that our work is scientifically sound and relevant to those we seek to help. In the past five years, we’ve been fortunate to establish an internationally recognised program of research, no mean feat for a small organisation with only seven staff.

Significant milestones in this endeavour included the first systematic review of SMART Recovery, led by Dr Alison Beck (Beck et al 2017), and the development of the SMART Routine Outcome Monitoring app, complementing the SMART Recovery program. Funding for the ROM research project was provided by the NSW Ministry of Health under the NSW Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Early Intervention Innovation Grant Scheme.

Then in 2019 we were overjoyed to see our tireless Research Advisory Committee win the NADA Excellence in Research and Evaluation Award, and then receive not one, but two NCCRED (National Centre for Clinical Research in Emerging Drugs) grants. More recently, the RAC accepted for publication an article exploring the social relationships among people attending SMART Recovery groups. These successes are tremendously exciting and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Of course, we haven’t stopped there. We have some current projects, including but not limited to the expansion of the aforementioned SMART app, SMART Start, looking at the development and feasibility of a SMART Recovery Program for young people being funded through a grant from the Hunter Medical Research Institute, and a feasibility and preliminary efficacy study of our SMART Family & Friends program, particularly with family members affected by methamphetamine being funded through a grant from the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs.

SRAU’s Research Advisory Committee is developing an international research network for researchers interested in the SMART Recovery program.

You can find out more about our Research Advisory Committee and the great work they do here: