Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.


Addressing alcohol and drug-related issues: Reducing harm and supporting positive change.

NI’s leading alcohol and drug charity ASCERT, announced their partnership with SMART Recovery UK to deliver free in person weekly meetings for adults seeking support with addictive behaviour.

The SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) Recovery Programme provides training and tools for people who want to change their problematic habits including addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

The purpose of the programme is to empower group attendees with practical skills, tools and support so that they are able to better manage their addictive behaviour and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

This programme comes at a time when need has never been greater for self help addiction support services.  ASCERT hopes to reach more people in the Lisburn and surrounding areas through this group, delivering proven strategies they can use to live their lives free from addiction.

The Health Survey (NI) 2020/2021 report published by the Department of Health recorded a 50% increase in adults aged 18 and over drinking at least once per week with a quarter of men reporting that they drink on 3 or more days each week. A fifth of people reported that they drink more alcohol since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SMART Recovery Programme is centred around 4 points, focusing on:

  • Building and Maintaining Motivation
  • Coping with Urges
  • Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours
  • Living a Balanced Life

ASCERT Interventions Manager Mary Maginn, who will be facilitating the sessions, said “When people have addictive behaviour they can easily become isolated, thinking no one understands what they are going through.  At SMART Recovery meetings we focus on the addictive behaviour and not the substance itself.  We focus on goal setting and using tools and techniques to help improve addictive behaviours”

Meetings start on Thursday 10th August 2023 taking place every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm  in the Atlas Centre, 7 Bachelors Walk, Lisburn BT28 1XJ.

Meetings are free of charge and open to anyone who would like support managing their addictive behaviour.  No pre-booking for meetings is required however, individuals are urged to arrive promptly for a 2pm start.

More information on SMART Recovery can be found at

ASCERT can be contacted by phone – 0800 254 5123 or email