New SMART Recovery web app is a Scientifically Supported Recovery Alternative

Scientific evidence supports SMART Recovery's effectiveness in dealing with alcohol problems
July 12, 2013 - PRLog -- Although there have been many success stories during the 19-year history of SMART Recovery, now scientific evidence supports its effectiveness in dealing with alcohol problems. Like AA, SMART Recovery provides free mutual help for anyone desiring to abstain from alcohol. However, SMART Recovery’s approach, based on cognitive-behavior therapy, is quite different than AA. Many have questioned whether this type of alternative is helpful.

Overcoming Addictions (OA, is a web app based on SMART Recovery. A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recruited 189 heavy drinkers who were new to SMART Recovery. Participants were randomly assigned to three conditions: 1) OA alone; 2) OA+ attend SMART Recovery meetings, or 3) attend SMART Recovery meetings only. Significant others were interviewed to verify the participant’s self-report at baseline and follow-up.

Researchers assessed the percentage of day abstinent and the amount of negative alcohol/drug consequences in the 3 months prior to enrollment in the study and at follow-up. After 3 months participants in all groups increased their percentage of days abstinent from 44 to 72%, and significantly reduced their negative alcohol/drug consequences. There were no significant differences between groups. Based on the results obtained with other recovery approaches, these results are clinically significant. Individuals who find the SMART Recovery approach appealing can try it with confidence.

“I am feeling all kinds of freedom that I had not experienced in the past. I feel like I am growing and stretching and learning. There has been a lot of internal progress, and I am so grateful for my time at SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery Online really is a home base for me—my touchstone. Community meetings have been beneficial to me, as well. I had some good long lapses in the past, but I have always stayed in touch online. And I've had some darn good successes, too—I’m now almost 4 years sober and continuing to grow.” Dee, SMART Volunteer

The report of the clinical trial has just been published online at the open access Journal of Medical Internet Research (

The Overcoming Addictions App will be available to the public on September 1, via the SMART Recovery website (

Research contact information:
Reid K. Hester, Ph.D.
Director, Research Division
Behavior Therapy Associates, LLC
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Tags:Overcoming Addictions, Addiction Recovery, Addiction Clinical Trial, Addiction Research
Industry:Research, Lifestyle
Location:Ohio - United States
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