What is CRAFT? | Opioid Addiction and Treatment

What is CRAFT?

After HBO’s Addiction series showcased CRAFT, it’s become a hot topic among recovery centers. Can you or your family use CRAFT to recover from opioid addiction? As opioid addiction impacts families on an epidemic scale, it’s not reasonable to exclude any intervention or recovery options available.


For those who contracted an addiction because of a medical prescription or have progressed through addiction, moving from one opioid to another, you need any help you can get. Here we’ll dive into what CRAFT is and how it differs from traditional recovery methods.


An Alternative to Traditional Methods

Not too long ago, many people thought that the best recovery method was to go cold turkey and sweat it out. Then recovering addicts were expected to carry on with their normal lives as if nothing had happened. The recovery community now knows that this course is unreasonable, has unpredictable results, and is overall, ineffective.


So as the recovery community worked together to help those new to the journey of sobriety, the 12-step program grew in popularity. Although Alcoholics Anonymous or AA, the first major 12-step program was founded in 1935, it didn’t really flourish until the 1950s and since then has continued to expand. Now with 12-step programs for even opioid addiction, this format is often the recovery method of choice.


Another traditional method is the Johnson method, which relies on seven components to cultivate effective rehabilitation.


However, there are alternatives to traditional treatment methods, and CRAFT is becoming the biggest contender for those looking to move outside of the general 12-step realm.


CRAFT Overview

While the 12-steps focus on working on intrapersonal development with steps including:

  • “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
  • “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
  • “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.”


These steps place responsibility for past and future actions on the person in recovery. This concept is something that both recovering addicts and the general public can easily understand. But the 12-step programs aren’t for everyone. With a heavy Christian sentiment, many people feel a disconnect and seek alternative routes.


What CRAFT does is instead focus on the abilities, skills, and family element of the person. CRAFT is short for “Community Reinforce and Family Training,” which means that you need a strong network of support for this to work.


The program not only works with the person recovering but their friends, and family as well. They come together to focus on implementing change, building life skills, and cultivating communication skills.



There are three primary goals of CRAFT. First, to help families persuade someone to accept treatment. Second, to reduce the use of drug use or in some cases, alcoholism. Third, to improve the lives of the family member and friends.


When you look at these goals, it’s clear that the focus is on those people who are closes to the person who needs help. This approach can have a huge impact and the moral payoff for the family and friends of those experiencing addiction. The question is, though, is it effective for addiction rehabilitate and recovery?


Is it Effective?

Because CRAFT is a skills-based program, there are many advantages for both the person in recovery and their family. While the family will learn to understand triggers and communicate effectively, the recovering person will learn self-care and to focus on problem-solving.


These same traits that people learn and take away from the program can lead to damaging behavior, though. No good program comes without some risk, and in this case, the emphasis on family may allow the recovering person to shift responsibility away from themselves.


Additionally, close friends and family members may be tricked into manipulative behaviors or misread triggers. The CRAFT program can be very useful. However, for a determined person who is not ready to give up their opioid addiction can use it to control the people around them into further enabling behaviors.


Proven Rehabilitation Methods at Rehab Carolinas

CRAFT may be right for your family, or you may need a blend of new and traditional recovery methods. When finding a recovery center that is right for you and your family, look for a flexible plan.


Contact Rehab Carolinas now for help towards becoming sober. Whether you struggle with alcohol or drug abuse, you can cultivate a sober lifestyle and move past your addiction. Call now to find out which options may suit you.