SMART Recovery Support Group Moves to Mt. Auburn St.

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A SMART support group holds meetings for family and friends has moved to Church on Mt. Auburn Street. Organizers sent out the following information:

When someone uses drugs or alcohol to excess, the entire family is affected. For decades people turned to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous and its family-focused support group Al-Anon. But AA isn’t for everyone.

SMART Recovery (Self-Management Addiction Recovery Training) started more than 30 years ago. It is a science-based secular alternative to AA and Al-Anon. Tailored to people struggling with substance use, it teaches new ways to self-manage addictive behavior. Since 1990, its popularity has grown, and there are now more than 3,000 free mutual-aid meetings globally.

A few years ago Family & Friends program was added to meet the needs of loved ones affected by a loved one’s use of alcohol or drugs. Concern, anxiety, worry, and depression are just a few of the emotions that family and loved ones experience. Meetings take place worldwide.

The Watertown meeting, which recently moved to the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church, 80 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, is held on Tuesday evenings, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Ellen Kolton, a local resident and member of the Watertown Task Force for Substance Use Disorder, facilitates the Watertown Family & Friends meeting. A professional patient advocate, she completed SMART Recovery’s required training course. For more information, she can be reached at

The program is aimed at getting loved ones — spouses, partners, parents, children, siblings — to start and engage in treatment. No distinction is made among addictions; so loved ones of people with any sort of addiction are invited to attend.

The Family and Friends program offers support for family and friends of people suffering from addictions, who are suffering in their own right; and teaches methods of positive reinforcement and concern rather than confrontation and conflict.

In addition to the Watertown Friends & Family meeting, a well-attended meeting has been functioning at McLean Hospital in Belmont since 2011. It is held on Saturday afternoons from 4:40-6 p.m., with a meeting for people in recovery in a room next door. For a full list of meetings check the SMART Recovery website:

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