SMART Recovery National Conference to Celebrate Silver Anniversary Featuring Leading Addiction Scientists and Public Policy Experts

CLEVELAND, OHIO – June 2019– Renowned addiction scientists and public policy leaders will keynote the SMART Recovery Silver Anniversary National Conference Sept. 20-22 at The Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca, Illinois.

  • John F. Kelly, Ph.D., ABPP, one of the world’s foremost addiction scientists, will explore “50 Years of Addiction Research and Policy: The Shifting Paradigm Towards Long-term Recovery Management.” Kelly is the Harvard Medical School Elizabeth R. Spallin professor of psychiatry in the field of addiction medicine and founder and director of the Recovery Research Institute.
  • Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., ABPP, co-creator of the widely used Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (known generally as the Stages of Change), will cover “Are Relapse and Recycling Necessary for Addictive Behavior Change?” DiClemente is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Maryland.
  • Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM, highly regarded public policy expert, will deliver a presentation on “Words Matter: Addiction Terminology, Accuracy, and Stigma,” and lead a breakout session on “Medical Marijuana: What is the Evidence?” Saitz is the chair and professor of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Addiction Medicine.


Event Will Showcase Past, Present, and Future

Throughout the conference, including a special dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 21, SMART Recovery will celebrate the organization’s 25thyear. SMART, which stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training, was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit partnership between treatment professionals and peers (including people who have recovered or are caring for a loved one with addiction).

Professionals integrated tools and principles from evidence-based, self-empowering cognitive and motivational therapies into free mutual support group meetings to be led by peers. In 1994 there were 42 meetings. The SMART approach to addiction recovery has gained widespread recognition this decade as the number of group meetings has quintupled to well over 3,000, from 600 as recently as 2010.

Meetings are now held in more than 20 countries, and SMART has offices in Australia and the UK. This global growth prompted the formation of SMART Recovery International (SRI) in 2018. SRI Chairperson Nadene Lee and Executive Officer Kim McCreanor will speak at the Silver Anniversary Conference.

This event will recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to SMART’s history and success. Special recognitions will include:

  • The Joe Gerstein Special Award for Exemplary Service to SMART Recovery – for someone who has shown extraordinary and exemplary service to the SMART program. More details.
  • SMART Science Award– Recognizing a researcher who has made scientific contributions applicable to self-empowering mutual assistance groups.
  • SMART Recovery 25 in 25– Recognizing 25 volunteers who have made significant contributions to SMART Recovery over its 25 years in existence. More details.


World Premiere of SMART Films

Award-winning writer and director Daniel Stine will debut two creative films about SMART at the conference: a short promotional film explaining how SMART helps people recover, and a longer documentary using actors to show how individuals benefit from SMART. The Chris and Debbie Swain Charitable Foundation is generously funding the development of these films.

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SMART Recovery®(Self-Management And Recovery Training) is a global, nonprofit organization that helps people overcome problematic addictive behavior through free mutual support group meetings in person and online. Each week, many thousands of people discuss recovery progress and challenges at well over 3,000 group meetings in more than 20 countries, another 37 meetings online, and 24/7/365 internet message board forums and chat rooms. Participants use SMART to assume responsibility for their recovery and become empowered using its 4-Point Program®: building and maintaining motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life. Founded in 1994, the organization uses science-based techniques that have proven to be effective in helping individuals overcome and addictions to drugs, alcohol, and harmful activities such as gambling. SMART has been endorsed by the leading government and medical authorities in Australia, the UK, and U.S.

Contact: Mark Ruth, Executive Director

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