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How CRAFT Family Support Groups Help With Overcoming Addiction

Written on October 21, 2021
How CRAFT Family Support Groups Help With Overcoming Addiction

10% of American adults have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives. So it might not be so surprising if you or a person close to you is currently struggling with substance abuse and/or dependence. The unfortunate reality is that addiction is much more common than you think.

But while addiction can be so prevalent, it can still be tough to deal with, especially if you have to watch your loved one go through it.

If you and your family need help with addiction support, then CRAFT family support groups might help. Read on to find out what CRAFT is, as well as what the benefits are to this type of addiction support.

What are CRAFT Family Support Groups?

“CRAFT” is short for “Community Reinforcement Approach to Family Training”. It was first developed by Robert J. Meyers and William R. Miller in the 1970s. It’s actually an adaptation of the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA).

To understand more about how CRAFT works, it is helpful to have an overview of the Community Reinforcement Approach to addiction support.

With CRA, the person struggling with substance abuse goes through therapy to see how their community and surroundings can influence how often they use. Meyers and Miller took this concept and built upon it by having the person’s community play an active role in helping them achieve recovery from addiction.

CRAFT allows the loved ones of a person who’s struggling with addiction to change how they interact with them. The aim is to create a healthy and positive support system, rather than be confrontational and aggressive.

As a result, it’ll help the person with substance abuse issues to have a better chance at recovery and sobriety.

The Goals of CRAFT Addiction Support

CRAFT brings together the person with addiction and their loved ones and aims to achieve several things, all through the power of positive reinforcement.

Here are the steps and goals of CRAFT.

Identifying Triggers

First, the family members will learn to identify the triggers that drive their loved one to use. They might already be familiar with some, but talking it out and verbally identifying and confirming these triggers can help everyone see things clearly, including the one with substance abuse issues.

Breaking Patterns

Now that you’ve identified the triggers, it’s time to dig deeper. What leads up to the triggers and what happens afterward?

Once you can pinpoint the patterns that lead up to instances of substance abuse, then it’ll be easier to break and alter them.

Developing Better Communication Skills

Understandably, things can get overwhelming in life, which is what causes many people to turn to drugs and alcohol. It can be difficult to reach out for help, so self-medication seems like the only option available.

Together, the person with drug use disorder and their family members will learn better communication skills so the person can feel like they can safely and effectively express how they’re feeling and what they need to handle their triggers. And in turn, the family members can feel like they can handle difficult subjects without making their loved one feel unsafe or threatened.

Giving Resources for Addiction Treatment

When the person with addiction issues decides the time is right for them to get addiction treatment, their family CRAFT addiction supportmembers should do everything in their power to support this decision.

It can be a good idea for everyone to sit down and discuss addiction treatment options and potential rehabilitation centers where their loved one can go get the help they need.

Learning Self-Care

Many times, family members of people with addiction issues can feel obligated to spend all their time and energy helping them out. As a result, they can become burned out and not lead a fulfilling life.

It’s important that everyone takes good care of themselves. Those in CRAFT addiction support learn how to set boundaries and take care of themselves so that their loved one’s substance abuse isn’t at the center of their world. This can help keep everyone healthy and strong.

Identifying Triggers for Violence

In some cases, those with substance use disorder can become violent and lash out. It’s important to identify the triggers for violence so family members aren’t put in harm’s way.

Once the triggers are identified, it’s also vital that they come up with plans to keep everyone safe, including any children.

Benefits of CRAFT Family Support Groups

You might’ve already gleaned some benefits of CRAFT from the descriptions of the steps involved. But let’s go over some more benefits, especially when compared to other addiction support approaches such as interventions.

CRAFT is non-confrontational, which can help the loved one be more receptive to getting help. The main difference is that instead of confronting them, you’re inviting them. This sets the tone for a warm and accepting environment where the loved one can seek help when they’re ready.

Also, CRAFT teaches everyone essential communication skills. So not only is this helpful while the loved one is still using substances, but also after they’ve gone through rehab and are in recovery.

Get Addiction Support at Flatirons Recovery

After learning about CRAFT, you might be wondering about how to proceed with this type of addiction support. Thankfully, we’re here to help.

Here at Flatirons Recovery, we offer free weekly CRAFT family support group sessions via Zoom. We’ll help you and your loved ones navigate the difficult parts of addiction and recovery so you can create a wonderful support system. With the new communication skills you’ve learned, they’ll set everyone for success and healthy relationships.

If you or a loved one needs more help with recovery, then consider checking into rehab at Flatirons Recovery. We take a holistic approach to treatment and provide highly individualized care in an intimate setting.