12 Step Program Vs Smart Recovery
12 Step Program Vs Smart Recovery | AToN Center

12 Step Program Vs Smart Recovery

What is Smart Recovery?

SMART Recovery is a non-profit organization that is abstinence oriented for people suffering from addiction problems. Through free mutual support meetings that are based on self-empowerment, you can focus on techniques and ideas to assist you with changing your life in a positive way.

The SMART Recovery program helps individuals recover from many different addictions including drug abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, substance abuse, and cocaine addiction. One of the key elements of our program is that we do not label you as an “addict” or an “alcoholic,” and it is not considered a disease.

The techniques that are used in SMART Recovery are based upon scientific and validated methods that are designed to help you feel empowered to change your life. With the support of the staff at AToN Center, you will be able to get clean and sober from drugs or alcohol and get back the life you deserve.

Components of SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change is built around our 4-Point Program:

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

History of Smart Recovery

Founded in 1944, SMART Recovery, has become a national program that offers over 2,000 local meetings all over the world. For many years, the most used program for addiction included Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), programs that are based upon spiritual principles and a higher power, specifically with the use of God. SMART Recovery became the first alternative program to the traditional 12 step program that was so widely used among treatment centers.

The original name was Rational Recovery, which was created as a non-profit organization in 1992 but later was renamed SMART Recovery and officially started in 1994. The three major funding sources for this program include publication sales, advertising, and donations.

12 Step Program for AA and NA

The 12-step program of addiction recovery was started in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as an approach to treat addiction that follows a set of guidelines or ‘steps’ toward recovery that you can revisit at anytime during or after your recovery.

Over the years, other addiction and self-help recovery center programs have adapted the 12 steps into their method of addiction treatment, such as Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in order to help the participants in their program.

What are the 12 Steps?

  1. Admitting powerlessness over the addiction
  2. Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help
  3. Deciding to turn control over to the higher power
  4. Taking a personal inventory
  5. Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done
  6. Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character
  7. Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings
  8. Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs
  9. Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person
  10. Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong
  11. Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation
  12. Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a community-based program that is used all throughout the world that addresses individuals who struggle with a drinking problem. The program works by supporting you during your recovery by offering support groups and discussion around your addiction. AA gives men and women an opportunity to be around others who share similar experiences as them and remain sober from alcohol.

The 12-step method was originally founded and started in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Although now it is widely used in other addiction rehab programs. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services it is used by over 74 percent of other treatment centers across the world.

12 Step Programs Vs Smart Recovery

The largest and most widely used alternative treatment method to the 12 Step model is SMART Recovery. It is a newer method and approach to addressing addiction and is quite different than the 12-step model. It focuses on scientific, evidence-based methods instead of using God and spirituality to cope with the struggles of addiction. The SMART Recovery process has a strong emphasis on cognitive-behavioral techniques, self-empowerment and coping with the intense cravings of substance abuse.

The 12-step model was started in Alcoholics Anonymous but is now used at many other rehab centers and programs. The original model was developed from Christian principles that sought out help with the use of a higher power and the support of other individuals that are going through a similar experience.

Multiple Program Options to Addiction Recovery

Lots of people who go to treatment would like to view alternative options to a traditional 12-step model. You may not like the idea of labeling yourself as an “addict” and are searching for other options that are unlike the traditional ‘go to’ treatment programs.

AToN Center is a program that was founded on non-12 Step treatment principles. Therefore, our center was designed as an evidence-based best practice model for treatment of addiction free from the barriers many people experience with 12 Step only treatment programs. 

Addiction Treatment Help at AToN Center

AToN Center in California, is a premier drug and alcohol treatment rehab center that offers resort style accommodations to all our clients that are admitted to our program. We focus on the individual and their needs, by tailoring each person’s treatment plan, allowing them to have the best outcomes with their recovery. Our team members focus on the needs of each client and take the time to get to know each one ensuring that trust is instilled.

When you come to AToN Center, you won’t feel like you are in a traditional treatment program. Our first-class chef prepares healthy, nutritious meals every day, as we understand the importance of not only your mental health but your physical health too. Our staff to client ratio is extremely low so that we can ensure each client receives individualized attention.

Types of Treatment

AToN Center believes there is not one type of treatment for addiction that works for every individual. It’s important to recognize the specific circumstances that the client is in and determine which treatment will produce the most successful outcomes for them.


Some of the many amenities that are offered at AToN Center include these cutting-edge, non-12 step offerings:

First Steps

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction of any kind, please reach out to one of our expert admission coordinators right away. We are here to help you with the initial assessment to determine what type of treatment is a smart option for you. We are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding insurance coverage or financing options.

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