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SMART in Straight Talk!

I thought I would post this as it served as an update on how the SMART Pilot Project was doing in the UK. This article is taken from “Straight Talk” Alcohol Concern’s Quarterly Magazine.

Alcohol Concerns SMART Recovery project is gaining pace despite some initial setbacks. After successfully recruiting six pilot sites across the country (current alcohol service providers) training has finally begun and service users will be starting the first new SMART meetings.

The whole purpose of the project is to enable those with an alcohol problem to access a broader range of peer-support groups and methods. Obviously Alcoholics Anonymous is very well established across the hole of the UK but is an approach which does not suit everyone. For those people there are few alternatives. By helping SMART get a better foothold in england (it is already well established in the US and is gaining a good following in Scotland) we hope that more people suffering with an alcohol dependence will be able to access peer support.

Hopefully access to peer support will be a valuable addition to the broad range of support mechanisms already available to service users once they have completed treatment.

The current phase of the project is ell under way. This phase involves delivering a series of training sessions to service users in the pilot site areas to help them understand SMART recovery and give them the tools to set up and maintain their own meetings. An ongoing challenge will be for service providers to accept that this new peer-support model can be an invaluable resource without the need for professionals to lead the process. By the end of April we hope to have all six new SMART meetings up and running and then supporting their development and proliferation.


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