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CRAFT training for families helps loved ones enter substance abuse treatment

September 3, 2019




It is difficult to see a family member or loved one deal with substance abuse. Often, living close to someone who abuses substances, such as alcohol, drugs or prescription opioids, puts a strain on the entire family. A new therapy being offered in Anchorage at the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA), in partnership with ANTHC, offers hope to families who have someone that suffers from substance abuse.

Family members and friends know their loved ones best, making them some of the best people to help motivate their loved one to change their substance use behavior. Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a form of therapy that helps family members learn specific skills to motivate their loved one toward substance abuse treatment and improve their personal well-being. The approach works best for individuals who either live with or have frequent contact with their loved one so they can utilize the skills they learn at home with their loved one. 

In CRAFT therapy, a clinician helps family members strengthen their communication and problem-solving skills, increase their use of effective helping behavior and improve their own quality of life. These aspects help strengthen the relationship between family members and their loved ones and help motivate the loved one to enter substance abuse treatment. 

CRAFT is an evidenced-based treatment. Research has shown that 7 out of 10 people whose family member attend CRAFT enter treatment. Even if the therapy is unsuccessful at engaging the loved one in treatment, nearly all of CRAFT clients report improved personal well-being (e.g., reductions in anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms). Research has also found CRAFT to be effective amongst diverse groups of people.

If you’re interested in CRAFT therapy or getting more information, contact the APIA Behavioral Health Clinic at (907) 222-9764 or (844) 375-2742. The APIA Behavioral Health Clinic is located at 1131 East International Airport Road, 2nd floor. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

CRAFT services are open to individuals 18 years and older. APIA accepts multiple insurances and payment plans, including Medicaid, VA Choice Program and Indian Health Service benefits.

For more information, visit https://anthc.org/CRAFT/.


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