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By: Keith Upchurch
Original Source:
DURHAM — A group that offers an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous has been serving those with drug and alcohol problems for about a year now, and the man who organized it wants the community to know it’s available for free to anyone who needs help with addictions.
John Boren started the SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training) Recovery group in Durham. It’s part of a national organization that has about 650 groups across the United States, and some in Britain and Australia.
The self-help program has attracted some people who were dissatisfied with Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as those who are just starting to grapple with addiction and recovery.
The biggest difference in the two organizations, Boren said, is in their philosophy of what works. AA is based on a 12-step recovery program, but SMART Recovery is rooted in “cognitive behavior therapy,” he said. That means that “much of what you do is determined by what you think,” he said. “How you think about a situation determines significantly what you do in that situation.”

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