Community Reinforcement Approach (CRAFT) | Addiction Treatment

Substance abuse treatment comes in many forms, styles, and various approaches. Since addiction is a lifelong disease that impacts every individual differently, the methodology behind addressing substance use disorder is similarly varied. In the United States, there’ve been over 700,000 drug overdose deaths since 2000 and nearly 20% of the population have used illicit drugs at least once. Addressing these staggering statistics, while difficult, is crucial. One such method is known as the community reinforcement approach or CRA, sometimes CRAFT for community reinforcement and family training.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, treatment is essential to overcoming issues caused by addiction. Contact AspenRidge directly for support during a crucial time at 855-281-5588

Community Reinforcement Support

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Whether it’s a problem with alcohol, Opioids, Cocaine, or any other substance, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year and impacts millions of lives. Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a chronic mental health condition.

Because it affects the brain’s normal functions, an SUD compels someone to repeatedly use substances or engage in behaviors even though they have harmful consequences. Addictions can destroy marriages, friendships, and careers and threaten a person’s basic health and safety.

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least 1 addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.
  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.
  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.

Drug addiction can start with the experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication.

While there’s a difference between addiction, dependence, and tolerance, all forms of substance abuse carry a strong potential for negative health, financial, legal, and social impacts. In order to find solutions for the millions of Americans facing problematic drug use, different approaches are being carefully studied and implemented. The community reinforcement approach is one such approach that is aimed to help individuals address SUD.

Treating Substance Use Disorder

Addiction requires individualized treatments and modalities that address the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease, as well as the consequences that substance use has on different areas of a person’s life. This includes their ability to socialize, their physical and mental health, and consequences at work, home, school, or with the law. There are many types of therapy available to effectively treat addiction.

Types of Addiction Treatment

Depending on the severity of the addiction, you or a loved one may require either 1 level of care or multiple levels to achieve long-term recovery. The following are the types of rehab where therapy programs will be utilized:

  • Detoxification: A medically managed detox program will help stabilize the patient and help them overcome the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. These programs may last a few days to weeks. Once stabilization is achieved, the patient may need an inpatient program.
  • Inpatient/Residential Rehab: Inpatient and residential rehab programs are live-in solutions where patients will receive supervised treatment and structured care plans to overcome their addiction. These programs may last anywhere from a few weeks to a number of months and may be followed by outpatient rehab. Depending on the program, patients may receive 24/7 monitoring from a licensed professional.
  • Outpatient Rehab & Intensive Outpatient Programs: Outpatient programs allow users to attend therapy and receive treatment on their own time as patients do not need to be on-site or live at the facility. Treatment may occur at a substance abuse treatment center, community health clinic, hospital-affiliated clinic, or other facilities, meeting on a regular basis. Some outpatient programs may even offer night and weekend programs which make them a favorite for those personal, family, and/or professional responsibilities that may prevent them from attending inpatient rehab.

What Is Community Reinforcement Approach

What Is Community Reinforcement Approach?

The Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) is a psychosocial intervention for individuals with alcohol and other drug use disorders that has been adapted for several populations, including adolescents (the Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach; A-CRA) and family members of individuals resistant or reluctant to enter treatment (Community Reinforcement and Family Training; CRAFT).

The focus is to help individuals find healthier, more adaptive ways to meet their social and emotional needs than using substances. It comprises a broad group of behavioral interventions that provide or withhold rewards and negative consequences quickly in response to at least one measurable behavior. We offer more information below about this approach.

How Does CRAFT Work?

CRA has three different protocols and guidelines, depending upon the population it is serving, but the overall goals are to reduce substance use and dependence, increase social stability, improve physical and mental health, and improve life satisfaction.

Individuals undergo a needs assessment and are asked to complete a self-assessment of happiness and functioning in multiple areas. Based upon these evaluations, therapists can choose from various CRA protocols that address problematic areas. These include building skills in areas such as:

  • Problem-solving
  • Stress-reducing
  • Communication skills

Additionally, they encourage participating in prosocial activities. Role-playing and behavioral rehearsal is crucial element of the skills training used in CRA. It is during these exercises that individuals learn better communication and relapse-prevention strategies. After therapy sessions, participants are given homework assignments where they practice skills learned during sessions and are encouraged to be part of positive leisure activities.

Unlike other modalities for addressing substance use disorder, CRA prioritizes improving the quality of life independent of a person’s ongoing substance use. The great benefit in this difference is that, at some point, a natural tension is created where a client’s desire to keep using substances begins to interfere with their agreed-upon life goals. In this way, an organic desire for change can begin to emerge while the client has been improving their life.

Reward System & Addiction

In the case of addiction, that experience of “reward” can drive a person to ongoing and problematic use because of how intense the reward sensation can be. Over time, this can lead to a narrowing of priorities where a person’s brain is almost exclusively focused on obtaining that reward sensation through substances.

CRA creates a system by which a client can focus on building other pathways for obtaining those reward sensations. Once an environment has been created that provides other rewarding experiences, substances start to lose some of their inherent appeals.

Craft For Addiction Treatment

AspenRidge Recovery

For any type of addiction treatment, It’s the beginning of a new, more manageable life. Our treatment offers a kind and compassionate staff who are invested in your recovery.

When you choose AspenRidge Recovery,  you’ll experience all of these benefits and more. Your initial assessment will uncover issues with which you may have dealt with for years, putting a name to the feelings you’ve never been able to understand or identify. Your recovery will begin in earnest as you learn new coping mechanisms and explore the roots of addiction to uncover triggers and more.

When you’re ready to change your life forever, call AspenRidge Recovery Centers at 855-281-5588 for kind, compassionate answers to your dual diagnosis questions. Our experienced associates are waiting to take your call, verify your insurance, and start you on the road to healing. Contact AspenRidge Recovery Centers in Colorado to address all your addiction and mental health needs in the most positive way.