Community reinforcement and family training is commonly abbreviated to CRAFT.
CRAFT is an approach intended to help the loved ones of those with substance use disorders to steer their family members away from active addiction. Occasionally, people refer to CRAFT addiction or CRAFT training addiction to describe this avenue to connecting loved ones with addiction treatment.
This method can be especially effective if your loved one is in denial, a common by-product of addiction to alcohol or drugs. CRAFT might also help if your loved one insists they can control or moderate their substance use in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
With a traditional intervention, you would arrange for a group of friends and family to confront your loved one at a pre-arranged time with the aim of connecting them with the addiction treatment they need. CRAFT, by contrast, offers a less direct approach with the same overarching goal in mind.
If you choose to implement the CRAFT method, you will be classified as a CSO (close significant other) and your loved one with an addiction will be considered the IP (intended patient). Via CRAFT, CSOs use positive reinforcement to reward the IP for exercising restraint or achieving sobriety markers.
Research consistently indicates that CRAFT is effective for the family members of loved ones refusing or resistant to drug and alcohol rehab. Additionally, CRAFT can help those struggling with addiction to moderate or discontinue substance use. Employing the CRAFT method can also dramatically improve communication between family members.
What is CRAFT Therapy?
CRAFT draws from therapeutic techniques taken from CRA (community reinforcement approach) and applies those techniques to those abusing substances like alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs.
Instead of directly targeting the person with an addiction, CRAFT works with the CSOs (concerned significant others) so they can better help the IPs (identified patients).
CRA is a therapeutic style grounded on the ideas of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Underpinning CRA is the premise that rewards and punishments can influence the substance use of identified patients.
The community reinforcement approach explores the following areas:
- Family dynamics
- Social relationships
- Community-based relationships
- Work-related support
Family members of those with addictions can benefit from CRAFT in many ways, including:
- Reducing or eliminating addictive behaviors and substance use in the IP.
- Learning to change existing expectations, reactions, and behaviors toward the IP.
- Motivating the IP to engage with addiction treatment.
- Focusing on self-care, rebuilding feelings of happiness, and reducing stress.
Through the application of the Community reinforcement and family training method, CSOs can become more confident and empowered in assisting their loved ones to get the help they need.
The CRAFT method is proven effective for helping those with addiction to admit that a problem exists, and also to explore their options for appropriate addiction treatment.
This small trial showed that 74% of a group of concerned family members engaging with the CRAFT approach succeeded in getting their CSOs into treatment. Another study showed similar results. Contrast this with just 29% of concerned family members who relied on peer-support groups like Nar-Anon and Al-Anon for support.
That said, CRAFT can take time to generate results. In the above studies, family members were observed for six months before initiating the second phase of initiating treatment.
Goals of CRAFT for Addiction
There are three core goals of CRAFT in the context of addiction:
- To reduce the substance use of a loved one.
- To connect the person with suitable inpatient or outpatient treatment.
- To improve the wellbeing of all family members.
To achieve these goals, a CRAFT therapist will impart the basics of CRA over the course of eight hourly sessions, helping CSOs to decide if the CRAFT treatment model seems viable.
What to Expect from CRAFT Addiction Recovery
To achieve these goals, a CRAFT therapist will impart the basics of CRA over the course of seven hourly sessions, helping CSOs to decide if the CRAFT treatment model seems viable.
What to Expect from CRAFT Addiction Recovery
Community reinforcement and family training will help you to achieve the above goals through harnessing eight procedures to help those with addicted loved ones to alter the contingencies impacting their relationship.
Sessions focus on these areas:
- Functional analysis: CSOs learn how to identify what triggers IPs to abuse substances and also to explore the consequences of substance abuse.
- Sobriety sampling: Setting milestones for sobriety or moderating consumption.
- Treatment plan: The IP will help to create an achievable treatment plan in line with their needs and overall happiness levels.
- Behavioral skills training: IPs will strengthen skills in this area and formulate an action plan.
- Job skills: CRAFT can help those with addictions to find and maintain employment.
- Social and recreational counseling: With more time to fill, CRAFT can encourage IPs to make healthier lifestyle choices and to develop more structure in their lives.
- Relapse prevention: By predicting risky situations liable to trigger substance use, the risk of relapse can be mitigated through CRAFT.
- Relationship counseling: IPs and CSOs work together with a counselor to improve their relationship.
To shortcut the process of connecting your loved one with treatment for addiction, discover how we can help at The District Recovery.
Addiction Recovery at The District Recovery
Here at The District, we offer a variety of outpatient programs for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, and mental health disorders. For those with co-occurring addiction and mental health conditions, our dual diagnosis delivers simultaneous and evidence-based therapies so you can unpack both issues.
In addition to regular outpatient programs, we also offer more intensive programming for those who need more structure and support. Our IOP (intensive outpatient program) and PHP (partial hospitalization program) offer many of the benefits of residential rehab without the cost or the restrictions.
Whatever program makes the smoothest fit, you’ll have access to the following array of treatments:
- Psychotherapy (CBT or DBT)
- MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Family therapy
- Holistic therapies
Whether you need help for yourself or a loved one, reach out to The District today and discuss your options by calling 844.287.8506.