Devon SMART Recovery groups for addicts to expand

Young men drinking alcohol
Image caption There are 80 SMART recovery groups in the UK and about 650 worldwide

A group which offers science-based support for people with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions plans to expand its service in Devon.

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) uses motivational, behavioural and cognitive methods.

The NHS Devon Drug and Alcohol Action Team is spending £4,000 to help it form more groups in the county.

SMART Recovery currently has seven groups and hopes to open a further 10 in the next two years.

The organisation said it gives people alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

'Addictive behaviour'

SMART Recovery uses a four-step plan which helps participants decide whether they have a problem, builds up their motivation to change and offers a set of techniques to support recovery, a spokesperson said.

Richard Phillips, director of SMART Recovery, said: "We have evidence that all the individual techniques work.

"Clearly AA and NA work very well for some people, for other people SMART Recovery might work better.

"Our approach is very much to place the responsibility of change within the individual, they've got the ability to choose to change their addictive behaviour."

Kristian Tomblin, from the Devon Drug and Alcohol Action Team, said it was important to have a range of services in place to accommodate different needs.

Mr Phillips said there was 650 groups worldwide with 80 in the UK.

The organisation began in the United States in 1994.

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