Alternatives for Family & Friends
-Roxanne A., SMART Recovery® Facilitator
Chances are you were never taught how to manage a relationship with someone who is struggling with a substance abuse problem. You may find that, without the necessary skills, your role as a family member or friend of someone with addiction becomes increasingly stressful as the addiction progresses.
Ignoring the problem or attempting to change it with harsh confrontation often makes the emotional, financial and physiological problems that accompany the substance abuse even worse.
CRAFT: An approach that gets people into treatment
There is an alternate, non-confrontational, scientifically-validated approach to managing the problem. This approach is outlined in the book Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening by Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D. and Brenda L. Wolfe, Ph.D. Using Community Reinforcement And Family Training (CRAFT) this book teaches family members and friends how to improve their own lives while at the same time providing skills for improving the relationship with their loved one. In repeated clinical trials, CRAFT’s approach proved twice as likely as the Johnson intervention and six times as likely as Al-Anon to get a loved one into treatment.
SMART Recovery resources for Family & Friends use a combination of SMART Tools and CRAFT strategies.
SMART Family & Friends learn:
how to build social support and peer support networks
how to communicate with loved ones in an assertive but non-confrontational way
how to establish healthy boundaries in a relationship
how to manage emotional upsets
how to use proven behavioral principles like finding and rewarding positive behaviors to support addiction recovery
the importance of self-care and its value in the relationship
Online: SMART Recovery provides a weekly online meeting for Family & Friends for tool training and peer support. A Message Board Forum, all SMART online meetings and other website resources are open and available to provide peer support for Family & Friends.
Face-to-Face: Materials are being developed to meet the interest and demand for locally available SMART Recovery Family & Friends meetings. A pilot program is underway covering 4 metropolitan areas where local (face-to-face) SMART Recovery Family & Friends meetings will soon be held. A meeting in currently underway in Columbia, MD and meetings in Chicago and San Diego are scheduled to start in June, 2012. The start date of the fourth meeting in the pilot program has not yet been announced.
For more information, please visit SMART Recovery Family & Friends.