Copyright 2012 Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D.
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Overview
The Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT) intervention is a scientifically based intervention designed to help concerned significant others (CSOs) to engage treatment-refusing substance abusers into treatment. This new intervention method was developed with the belief that since family members can, and do make important contribution in other areas of addiction treatment (i.e. family and couples therapy), that the CSO can play a powerful role in helping to engage the substance user who is in denial to submit to treatment. In addition, it is often the substance user who reports that family pressure or influence is the reason sought treatment. Also, CSOs who attend the CRAFT program also benefit by becoming more independent and reducing their depression, anxiety and anger symptoms even if their loved one does not enter treatment.

CRAFT uses an overall positive approach and steers clear of any confrontation. CRAFT is a culturally sensitive program that works with the client's mores and beliefs to develop an appropriate treatment plan. The program emphasizes learning new skills to cope with old problems. Some of the components include how to stay safety, outlining the context in which substance abusing behavior occurs, teaching CSOs how to use positive reinforcers (rewards) and how to let the substance user suffer the natural consequences for their using behavior.

No one has better information about the substance user's behavior patterns than a close family member. CRAFT teaches the CSO how to use this information in a motivational way to increase the chance of the substance user entering treatment. CRAFT research has shown that almost 7 out of 10 people who use the program get their substance user to attend treatment. CRAFT has been shown to be equally effective with Hispanic and Anglo families.
Dr. Meyers with Evangelisches Krankenhaus Klinik - Bielefeld German in February 2007.

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