CRAFT: Community Reinforcement & Family Training

In supportive efforts, it is important to determine and apply effective strategies for the families to help their loved ones change the way they see themselves for the better. It is through the cohesive agreement of the family to change the way they interact with their loved one in efforts to support a behavioral change. The CRAFT method works to attain three goals:

1.   By using CRAFT, families help direct their loved one toward treatment when they are abusing substances yet refusing to get help.

2.   Although the loved one may yet to be engaged with a treatment plan, often CRAFT can help preemptively reduce the use of drugs or alcohol.

3.   Families and friends that use CRAFT find an improvement in their lives by working to avoid detachment and confrontation. 

CRAFT is a program that impacts many areas of family’s lives. By applying this skills-based approach, improvement in self-care, problem solving, goal setting, and pleasurable activities often occurs. The CRAFT method also speaks to the resistance to change. It also helps families learn strategies for motivational and behavioral communications with their loved one. One example is learning how the power of positive reinforcement (and removing it) can affect positive behavior. It also teaches families and friends how to maximize their influence through collaboration and positive communication.


Whether or not treatment and help have been accepted, or is underway, the skills taught by CRAFT can be quite helpful for the family. These lessons lend themselves to the long-term relationships between the loved one and family. It offers guidance in staying on track with positive outcomes for not only the loved one but also themselves. While CRAFT is not an overnight solution, it does work to benefit both the family and the substance user when paired with a positive outlook and holistic action plan. 


·      CRAFT is a model based on research that shows motivational approaches to treatment tend to outperform confrontational methods.

·      Over two-thirds of substance users that are approached with the CRAFT method by their families are positively engaged in treatment.

·      Research suggests when a substance user is approached with a confrontational intervention method, they are more likely to relapse than if they had been approached by a motivational method.

·      Using CRAFT allows for an improvement in life among the family and friends of the substance user. They often see an increase in mental, physical, and emotional health than those applying another approach.

·      Applying the CRAFT method lends to a higher likelihood of engaging loved ones through to success.