What Is the CRAFT Approach to Substance Abuse Intervention?

By Brittany Loggins for Very Well Mind

Woman hugging her depressed friend at home

The CRAFT approach to substance abuse intervention empowers families to support loved ones with substance use issues through positive reinforcement, without confrontation or shame. Developed by Robert J. Meyers and William R. Miller in the late 1970s, CRAFT helps families identify triggers, improve communication, and use consistent positive reinforcement to encourage sobriety. Through trials and reviews, CRAFT has proven effective in motivating individuals to seek treatment, offering a tailored, evidence-based approach for families navigating substance use disorders.

Here are 5 Things to Know

1. Positive Reinforcement Approach

Embrace positive reinforcement over confrontation or shame when supporting a loved one with substance use issues. The CRAFT approach focuses on rewarding positive behaviors to guide behavior change with empathy and care.

2. Behavior Change through Reward

Encourage behavior change by rewarding sobriety and control. CRAFT teaches significant others to reinforce positive behaviors, steering loved ones away from substance abuse without relying on traditional interventions.

3. Family Centered Support

Prioritize family support without relying solely on confrontational interventions. CRAFT empowers family members to play an active role in guiding their loved ones toward sobriety through positive reinforcement and effective communication.

4. Training for Families

Equip family members with effective strategies to address substance use problems. CRAFT provides training and resources to help families identify triggers, improve communication, and support treatment engagement for their loved ones.

5. Evidence Based Intervention

Implement an evidence-based intervention to motivate treatment engagement. CRAFT has demonstrated effectiveness in encouraging individuals with substance use disorders to seek treatment, offering a supportive and structured approach for families navigating challenging circumstances.

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