Watching a loved one struggle with a drug or alcohol problem is one of the most challenging experiences a family can undergo. Many people have heard “tough-love” advice like “You need to let them hit rock bottom” or “Helping is enabling the addiction.” These tips can feel heart-wrenching, leaving families torn and desperate.
Community Reinforcement and Family Training is an alternative option, shedding a light of hope and providing a structured approach to supporting someone you care about.
What Is CRAFT?
CRAFT is an innovative method designed to empower families. Instead of the traditional binary approach – intervening or walking away – CRAFT introduces a more nuanced way. It’s about improving your well-being, while enabling positive interactions and nurturing genuine change with your addicted loved one.
CRAFT brings together friends and family members once a week for 10 to 12 weeks. During these sessions, a trained professional will guide you through strategies you can use to have more positive interactions with the person in your life who is dealing with a substance use disorder.
Strategies CRAFT promotes include the following.
- Constructive communication: Remain positive and nonjudgmental, even in tense situations.
- Positive reinforcement: Concentrate on acknowledging progress, while allowing your loved one to experience the negative repercussions of their substance abuse.
- Self-care as a priority: Recognize that self-care isn’t selfish but a crucial part of the healing process for the entire family.
The essence of CRAFT is simple yet profound – transform your interactions with your loved one, so sobriety becomes more enticing than continuing to abuse addictive substances.
Tailoring CRAFT to Your Family’s Needs
Because the ups and downs of chemical dependency are distinct for everyone, CRAFT offers a “menu” of components and procedures families can adopt based on their unique circumstances. Starting points in the treatment process might vary depending on factors such as:
- The severity of your loved one’s addiction
- Their willingness to change
- Your emotional well-being and experiences as a family
Why Choose CRAFT?
Research supporting CRAFT consistently showcases its efficacy. Its focus on fostering positive, constructive changes for the addicted person and their family sets it apart from other intervention methods. The goal goes beyond sobriety by helping your loved one build or rebuild a meaningful life.
While traditional approaches call for either confronting or detaching from a loved one with a drinking or drug problem, CRAFT is more compassionate. Furthermore, CRAFT isn’t just about supporting your loved one – it’s equally about you. Families consistently report improved emotional well-being when engaging with the CRAFT approach.
Perhaps the most ringing endorsement of CRAFT is that people grappling with substance abuse issues are significantly more receptive to getting help when their families employ this method. Research has shown that 70% of people who participate in the CRAFT process successfully persuade their loved one to enter a treatment program.
A New Hope With CRAFT
At Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers, we understand the emotional roller coaster families undergo when grappling with addiction. We advocate for tools like CRAFT because we believe in positivity and empathy. With CRAFT, families no longer feel powerless in the face of addiction – instead, they gain actionable skills to improve their relationships and guide their loved ones toward a brighter future.