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Addiction recovery techniques discussed at SMART Recovery conference, hosted by LSBU

London South Bank University’s (LSBU) Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research hosts second annual UK SMART Recovery conference
12 March 2018

This one-day event, held in January 2018, was attended by academics, clinicians, service managers and commissioners from around the UK and focused on assessing the effectiveness of the SMART Recovery mutual aid model for the treatment of addictive behaviours.

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a science-based programme designed to help addicts manage their recovery from any type of addictive behaviour. This includes addictive behaviour involving substances such as alcohol, Nicotine or drugs and compulsive behaviours such as gambling, sex, eating, shopping and self-harming. 

The SMART recovery approach helps people recover from destructive addictive behaviour to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. The approach employed by SMART recovery trainers is secular and science-based, making use of motivational, behavioural and cognitive methods. The organisation runs a network of self-help meetings and also partners with care professionals.

SMART recovery as an organisation advocates that no single approach to recovery is right for everyone. Their training motto is that various combined recovery methods and therapies or ‘mutual aid’ can better aid an individual’s recovery.

Speaking at the conference, Angie King, Chief Executive of UK SMART Recovery, said: “Our annual conference aims to provide a unique forum for discussion about addiction recovery. It’s an accessible event that prides itself on embracing emerging clinical, practice and research evidence on the application of the SMART Recovery model.”

The event was chaired by Professor Ian Albery, lead academic at LSBU’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research and organised by Professor Marcantonio Spada, Deputy Lead at the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. Professor Spada took part in the panel discussion and spoke about the importance of reviewing the scientific evidence for the SMART Recovery model.

Clinicians and service users also had the opportunity to present evidence of the SMART Recovery model in action. Discussion topics included the effectiveness of SMART Recovery techniques applied in prison settings, the military and local communities, while the panel also heard personal testimonies of successful recovery from addiction.

Professor Marcantonio Spada said:“We are delighted to be working with UK SMART Recovery to give service managers, clinicians, service users and researchers around the country the chance to network and share some great tips and advice.”

Find out more about the work of LSBU's Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research.