SMART began in 1994 in the United States. It has grown into a worldwide network of self-help meetings, both face-to-face and online, where participants can get help from others in recovery. SMART Recovery BC started in March of 2008.


The most important people to our organization are those who are trying to change their addictive behavior using our meetings and online resources. We also offer support to family members in British Columbia through our Family & Friends program and meetings. Due to the “online” nature and availability of our “tool chest” and Online meetings, SMART Recovery BC


Because of the way SMART Recovery meetings work, there is a need for a Facilitator to keep things on track. Since the meetings are our core activity, these meeting Facilitators are key. Our Facilitators, both online and at face-to-face meetings are people who are in recovery themselves and are ‘giving back’ to help others who have the kinds of problems they have themselves overcome. They give their time freely as volunteers, undergo thorough training, and follow our Facilitators code of conduct. We keep in touch with and consult with Facilitators through this website, online peer support meetings, and newsletters. A great deal of our work is making sure Facilitators have good materials, information, and training to help them run good meetings.


This is a team of SMART Recovery volunteers and staff who gather bi-monthly and whose purpose is to review successes, less-than-successful endeavours, progress, and setbacks, and to brainstorm/exchange ideas relevant to the organisation’s growth and well being.


We have a small team of paid staff who help keep SMART Recovery running and moving forwards.

SMART Recovery is not and will not become a treatment service provider.  SMARTRecoveryBC recruits & trains staff, known as Facilitators, to actually facilitate meetings. This is an important principle that will protect the movement from losing its core strength in mutual aid. As the organisation grows, there may be a need to expand the paid staff team a little, but keep the focus of the movement as a whole on the traditions and strengths of volunteering.


Like all British Columbia Not-For-Profits, we have a structure that includes volunteers who oversee the running and direction of the charity and, through regular meetings, make sure it stays within the law and has a strong future.


SMART Recovery has a Partnership scheme with professional care and treatment services. This involves us training some of their staff as ‘SMART Recovery Champions’ so that they can kick start meetings within their services, introduce service users to SMART and encourage some to become Facilitators and start their own peer-led meetings in the community. Our relationship with partners is to offer training and license our programme and materials.


SMART Recovery BC operates as a non-profit organization in many countries including the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia. SMART Recovery BC works closely with the not-for-profit organization in the USA which ‘owns’ SMART Recovery. Legally speaking, the BC charity has a non-exclusive license (or legal permission) from the US to develop and promote SMART Recovery in this country and online. We work very closely with the US team and have cross representation between the boards.

Like most charities, we are also registered as a company limited by guarantee. This legal structure means we operate for the benefit of society and do not have shareholders, but the Board of Trustees and volunteers have some legal protection if something goes badly wrong.

The SMART Recovery movement has the support of a renowned International Board of Advisors which includes many of the most influential and important researchers and psychologists in the field of addictions.