SMART Recovery® Podcast

SMART Recovery® Podcast

SMART Recovery® Podcast, a library of talks on addiction from the leading self-empowering peer support recovery group in the world. Enjoy entertaining, thought-provoking discussion with experts in the field of science-based addiction treatment and recovery. SMART Recovery provides services for those overcoming addictions of all types.


January 27, 2023 25 min

As SMART's Director of Meetings and Volunteers, Melina Gilbert often gets to experience a volunteer meeting facilitator's passion for what they do, and that makes her feel very fortunate. To keep that energy moving, Melina and her team are currently working hard on helping facilitators grow their skills by making the Facilitator Mentoring Program bigger and better.

In this podcast, Melina talks about the purpose, benefits, ...

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The question of an individual's ability to control a substance or behavioral addiction has been long-debated. More than 20 years ago Dr. Jeffrey Schaler made his stance clear in his book Addiction is a Choice.

Dr. Schaler remains steadfast in his conclusion that addiction is a behavior and behaviors are choices. The existential therapist and former professor at both American and Johns Hopkins Universities continues writing, spe...

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January 6, 2023 33 min

Gee Matamoros' journey to recovery included some very dark passages. Now he travels a brighter road, and insists on enjoying life as much as possible. Fortunately for us, one of the things he enjoys most is spreading the word about SMART.  


In this podcast, Gee talks about:

  • How his substance misuse and poor choices landed him in a psychiatric ward
  • Why his life was everything to the extreme
  • Walking the tight rope of his identity...
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    Dr. Stanton Peele is a lawyer, professor, psychologist, psychotherapist, and author. Of all of these titles, he’s probably best known as an advocate and pioneer in the addiction and treatment world. His new memoir, A Scientific Life on the Edge: My Lonely Quest to Change How We See Addiction, is his 16th book that tackles addiction issues.  


    In this podcast, Stanton talks about:

  • The reaction from when his first book, Love and Add...
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    October 31, 2022 36 min

    Johnny Allison’s substance use started as a way to cope with the trauma of war and chaos of military life. His recovery started as a way to become the soldier and person he knew he was and could be. Today, he is a Veteran, SMART Facilitator, and the Lead of the SMART UK Veterans Program.

    In this podcast, Johnny talks about:

  • What motivated him to join the British Army
  • The ties between his boxing career and serving in the military
  • Why ...
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    Years ago, Brett Macdonald and his friends had the time of their lives backpacking across Australia. After many conversations, they realized that heavy alcohol use had become a staple in their lives. This led them to creating a “sober competition” to see who could abstain from drinking the longest. From this, a global fundraising and awareness initiative was born. Brett is now the Managing Director of EzyRaise, a global fundraising...

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    Katie Lain is the co-founder of Thrive Alcohol Recovery, an organization that uses the Sinclair Method to help treat alcohol use disorder (AUD).

    Katie struggled a decade trying to get her drinking under control, but no programs or treatments worked. In searching the internet for answers, she found a TedX featuring Claudia Christian, How I Overcame Alcoholism, and thought what she was saying was too good to be true.

    Developed b...

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    September 26, 2022 33 min

    September is National Recovery Month, but many advocates point out we can certainly recognize recovery year-round, including Keegan Wicks. He is the National Advocacy and Outreach Manager for Faces & Voices of Recovery. He works to ensure that the recovery spectrum of services is available and funded for anyone who needs them.

    In this podcast, Keegan talks about:
  • Why it’s okay to say “Happy” Recovery Month
  • How Recovery Month sta...
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    September 8, 2022 28 min

    David Koss, JD, is a member of the SMART Recovery Board of Directors and the Director of Government Relations. In his role as director, David monitors what the federal government is doing in terms of addiction and recovery legislation, and advocates for SMART and people with substance use disorders.

    David works directly with members of Congress to pass legislation that helps those with substance use disorders receive the care an...

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    August 18, 2022 34 min

    SMART participant wellnessandhope( her screen name) says her “destruction of choice” started in her freshman year and continued throughout college. While her friends were graduating, she was in rehab. This was not how she thought her life was supposed to go. Eventually, though, it put her on a path to recovery and led to helping teens and young adults going through the same experiences. Today, wellnessandhope is a licensed mental h...

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    Mercy Bell’s relationship with alcohol started in college as a way to thwart the uneasiness she felt inside. It led her to a “recovery or else” situation. She used multiple paths and experiences along her journey to recovery. Today, Mercy is the co-owner of Sober Voices and Sourcing Voices, with Alyssa Hart. Their mission is “to amplify and celebrate all voices and all experiences on the journey of recovery and mental health”, espe...

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    Alex Colyer realized she really didn’t know about addiction and recovery after losing her best friend Reed McGregor to an overdose in January 2021. To honor Reed’s memory and legacy, Alex started the Albertus Project, a nonprofit organization that is transforming the way the world views addiction.

    In this podcast, Alex talks about:
  • Holding old, stigmatized views of addiction—without knowing the truth
  • What Reed McGregor meant to so m...
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    July 5, 2022 27 min

    Steve Kind of Mankato, Minnesota, is a SMART Facilitator and new SMART employee. His alcohol struggles began in high school and continued into adulthood. After his second DUI, he was about to lose everything, including his wife. Then an open-minded, forward-thinking counselor suggested he look into SMART as a new path to recovery. Now he is living his Life Beyond Addiction.  

    In this podcast, Steve talks about:

  • His struggle wi...
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    Courts everywhere have mandated that secular, evidence-based addiction treatments, like SMART Recovery, must be offered to individuals as alternatives to 12-Step and other faith-based programs, if they so choose. Much of this is largely thanks to the tireless work of individuals like Sarah Levin.

    Sarah is founder and principal of Secular Strategies, a firm specializing in defending the separation of church and state, advocating for...

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    Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), recently published an article in Health Affairs Magazine that many in the recovery community consider “a game changer” in how it challenged received wisdom and old assumptions in the treatment of addicted individuals. In this interview, Dr. Tom Horvath, co-founder of SMART Recovery, assesses the article’s impact and how it may change the face of the recov...

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    June 14, 2022 40 min

    Alex received his first video game station at the age of two. His love and eventual addiction to video gaming continued throughout his life. It wasn’t until recently that Alex found SMART Recovery, and has made positive changes to his life and began managing his problematic behavior.

    In this interview, Alex talks about:
  • His dad buying him a VecTrex at two years old
  • The progression of gaming systems and how the technology over time
  • Th...
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    June 2, 2022 39 min

    Alicia Renegar is a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach and SMART Facilitator in Columbus, Indiana. As a gay woman, she faced much adversity and discrimination throughout her life. She shares how she has turned this negativity into strength and is helping others on their path to recovery.  

    In this podcast, she talks about:

  • The challenges and discrimination she faced from administrators and peers during her school years
  • How peop...
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    Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning, best-selling author and opinion writer, whose focus is on changing the narrative of addiction and recovery. Two of her books Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction and Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, are among a long list of publications that address this issue.

    In this podcast, she talks about:

  • Her New York Times opini...
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    Dr. Nora Volkow recently spoke to the SMART Recovery community about the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) holistic approach to helping those with substance use issues. As a follow up to that conversation, we talked with Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of NIDA and Dr. Will Aklin, Director of the Behavioral Therapy Development Program, about research on the health aspects and treatment of substance use disorders.

    In this ...

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    March 23, 2022 32 min

    Ted Perkins, aka the “Tips & Tools Guy” is a SMART facilitator and producer of our popular SMART Recovery video series including Tips & Tools for Recovery That Works, Life Beyond Addiction, Facilitator Spotlights, and more.  A natural skeptic and avid humanist, he has always been open to ways to better himself, especially in his recovery. One way in which he’s done this is looking into the possible therapeutic value of psyc...

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