Learning How to Help


Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). Community Reinforcement and Family Training is a program that uses positive reinforcement, positive communication skills, and self-care to encourage your loved one to seek treatment. You also learn how to improve your own quality of life at the same time. Find out more about how CRAFT works. Families that have tried the CRAFT method talk about their experience with this approach in the brief video, How to Help Your Child Struggling with Substance Use. A book that explains how to use the CRAFT approach is "Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening" by Robert J. Meyers and Brenda L. Wolfe . It can be found at many retailers. Another book that is based on the CRAFT model is "Beyond Addiction:  How Science and Kindness Help People Change" by Drs  Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkens and Nicole Kosanke.


SMART Recovery is Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART). It is an approach that uses the tools of the CRAFT method. Free online groups and forums are available for families and support people. Visit the Help For Family & Friends page for more information on how to use the family and friends online groups and resource materials.


Al-Anon and Alateen group meetings provide hope and support for families of problem drinkers or substance users. Find out more about Al-Anon and if it would work for you and for Alateen. Check the meetings schedule for Shasta County here. For more local information, see the Family and Friends Resources page.


Sharing the joy. One key thing you can do for someone trying to stay sober is to help them find their place in the sober community and to find joy in naturally fun activities again. You can do that by finding an activity that you enjoy and share the experience with the person in recovery. You have one rule. You must say out loud all the things that you enjoy about the activity while you and the participant are doing the activity. If you are hiking then you would describe the good things. You might describe how fresh the air smells, the bright color of the leaves, or the rush you feel from the exercise. Talking about the joy you feel during the activity helps the participant relearn how to find joy without substances. It also draws them away from the substance-using community. A video from addictions counselor Dr. Nicolas Taylor that explains more about why this is so important. The activity chosen can be anything you both agree upon. Some ideas are cooking, yoga, sewing, crafting, or exercising. Other chances to share joy can be during holidays, weddings, graduations, and family gatherings. For more ideas, see the Fun Sober Activities page. Read an excellent article on how staying active in fun sober activities aids in recovery.


For links to articles and videos that are helpful to family and friends of someone affected by a substance use disorder, please see the Family and Friends Resources page.

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