Do They Use SMART Recovery in Sober Livings?

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Sober living facilities are optional residential group homes for individuals recovering from substance abuse and/ or addiction. They provide a strictly drug and alcohol-free environment that is slightly less structured than an inpatient substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, to enable its residents the ability to create sustainable daily routines where they can foster and build a robust foundation for leading a sober life. Yes, some sober livings use SMART Recovery, as there are a variety of sober living options available for those in need. Most sober living facilities are privately owned, and as such will impose their own set of house rules and regulations as well as corresponding consequences for violations. Sober living homes each hold distinct characteristics, are in different geographical areas, offer a variety of wide-ranging amenities, and many specialize in accommodating individual’s nuanced needs. Sober living facilities are beneficial in that they offer an individual in recovery an opportunity to continue to practice implementing the lessons learned during his or her treatment program, without being exposed to the triggers that may otherwise present when immediately returning to one’s home environment.

What Is SMART Recovery?

SMART is an acronym for Self-Management And Recovery Training. It is a “global community of mutual-support groups…to help one another resolve problems with any addiction (to drugs or alcohol or to activities such as gambling or over-eating).” Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) that are based on a twelve-step program, SMART recovery is built around by a four-point program, which include the following, as provided by SMART Recovery International:

  • Building and maintaining the motivation to change.
  • Coping with urges to use.
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors.
  • Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.

Akin to individuals that follow a twelve-step treatment approach, those that utilize a non-twelve step approach to recovery such as SMART recovery, also have the option to transition into a sober living facility. Many sober living facilities are open to individuals in recovery regardless of whether they are following a twelve-step model, the SMART recovery model, or another substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment model. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of time an individual spends in substance abuse treatment, including residing in a sober living, can directly increase his or her outcome in recovery. The additional time surrounded by individuals that prioritize sobriety and additional structure can strengthen one’s foundation of for continuing to lead a sober life.

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at

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