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Sky Kershner presenting on Beyond Addiction Family Support Groups at the Clergy Consultation on substance use in Buckhannon, WV on May 25, 2017. With UM Bishop Sandra Steiner-Ball, Episcopal Bishop Mike Klusmeyer, and Head Presbyter Rev Ed Thompson. 

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What is CRAFT?

CRAFT stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training. That’s a long name for something that might help you a lot. (CRAFT) teaches family and friends effective strategies for helping their loved one to change and for feeling better themselves. CRAFT works to affect the loved one’s behavior by changing the way the family interacts with him or her. It is designed to accomplish three goals:

1. When a loved one is abusing substances and refusing to get help, CRAFT helps families move their loved one toward treatment.

2. CRAFT helps reduce the loved one’s alcohol and drug use, whether or not the loved one has engaged in treatment yet.

3. CRAFT helps improve the lives of the concerned family and friends.

CRAFT teaches family members how to take control of their lives, and as part of this process, to change their interactions with the substance user in ways that promote positive behavioral change. (Foote). The CRAFT family training model was developed by Robert Meyers and Jane Smith, and draws from the evidence-based addictions approach called Motivational Interviewing developed by Bill Miller and Stephen Rolnick.

Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change is a book by Jeffery Foote and colleagues which describes an approach to addiction specifically designed to empower family members in relation to their loved one’s substance use or addiction.

See the Center for Motivation and Change for more info.

In 2016, the West Virginia Council of Churches offered listening events throughout the state of WV. The goal of these listening events was to learn more about how the residents of WV view addiction and better understand the effect addiction has on family members and loved ones.  Results from the listening events are presented in this video.