Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

We Thought we Had Lost Her, but CRAFT Worked

Pink Cherry Tree and Mountain Painting

This mother shares a raw and painful account of the horrors her loved one – and family – endured. She shines a light of hope for all of us, having her daughter back, sober and part of the family again. Thanks to CRAFT.

*This post originally appeared on our Member Site blog, where experts respond to members’ questions and concerns. To take advantage of our current special offer and get full access to the Allies in Recovery eLearning program for families, click here.

Our daughter’s story

“My daughter has been struggling with Heroin addiction for some time. She first went to treatment when she was 16 and she has been to treatment probably another 20 times since then. We went through all the phases of coming to terms with her disease and felt we had been to hell and back. But with every rehab we learned a bit more and adjusted our approach. We held our boundaries and applied the tough love approach.

About two years ago she was in detox and didn’t receive proper care. She ended up throwing up in her sleep and aspirated vomit into her lungs and was too overly medicated to wake up. She ended up in the ICU for 10 weeks and almost died several times. It was the most stressful time for our family. When she came through, we felt maybe this was god’s way of helping her stop the drugs. She eventually regained her strength, learned how to walk again and went to rehab. She returned home and got a job and really started to rebuild her life.

Then we started using CRAFT

After 8 months of sobriety, she relapsed and this time we didn’t feel we would get her back. For four months she was hitting it hard. She was homeless and very sick and living 6 hours from us. This is when we started using CRAFT. We kept in contact instead of blocking her number. We looked for times we felt she was open to hearing about rehab again. And kept the lines of communication open as much as you can with someone who is homeless.

Late one night she called crying to say she had been gang raped and could I get her a room because she had nowhere to sleep. I got the room for her and made plans to drive to see her. When I got there she still wasn’t ready to get help so I left her alone and told her to think about it. That night she was raped again and I went to pick her up and take her to hospital. She still didn’t want help. So, I took her to my hotel and told her I would be leaving in the morning and if she wanted help I would get her help.

I was not very hopeful but in the morning she said yes. I took her to detox and that started her journey back to the living. She went to rehab again and slowly rebuilt her life. She has 5 months sober now and has a good job and is even planning for her future. Looking at college and becoming a nurse.

On guard but hopeful

We really have done and seen it all, but CRAFT was the first time we were able to bridge the gap between tough love and keeping in contact. My daughter says I saved her life and she seems really grateful and is in a good place. She is buying our old car from us and making payments. She is helpful around the house and just really has a good outlook on things. I hope this is a start for a better life but we will always be on guard for relapses in the future.”

CRAFT really works

It is heartbreaking that your daughter and your family had to endure this trauma before finding a path out. But you found a path. Your story – with all of the painful twists and turns it contains – is a gift. CRAFT works. A family member can learn to intervene and get a loved one into treatment.

You have given us a tremendous lesson. It is an amazing account, of the horrors of addiction, the juggernaut addiction causes in the family… and of hope, plain and simple. Thank you. We will be affected by what you have written for a long time.

Yes, the family DOES have a role to play. Your stance, behavior, and choices DO make a difference. At Allies in Recovery we are absolutely convinced of this. “Tough love” is not a successful technique. Our learning platform is set up to help family members learn the techniques that will reduce conflict, build that bridge of communication, and be effective in guiding your loved one into treatment. Together we will move your loved one towards recovery. Learn more here.

image © pixel2013 via pixabay


Related Posts from "CRAFT"

Trusting A Loved One in Early Recovery

Her husband is in early recovery, but he doesn’t want to share details with her. She’s nervous and struggling with trust due to his history of SUD and lying. She’s reluctant to let him come home, and unsure how to talk to him about it. Dominique weighs in with an idea of what to say based on the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach that we use at

How CRAFT Can Help: Supporting Your Partner to Successfully Moderate Opiate Use

His partner is trying to moderate her use of heroin and methamphetamine with no formal support. Her use consumes so much of his partner’s life that it’s hard to see her “moderation” as progress. But his loved one wants him to acknowledge how “well” she’s doing, and there hasn’t been room for more discussion. Read on for suggested strategies from to engage his partner into treatment, using the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach.

How to Use the CRAFT Approach to Communicate with a Loved One Living with Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder can often involve volatile emotions on all sides. When family members use the CRAFT approach that we teach at, it can help disentangle emotions from practicalities, leading to greater calm and more effective outcomes. This mom recently had an exchange with her son who is struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), but held back from responding in fear it would end in a heated argument. So, she to turned to Allies for guidance. Read on for some pointers on how best to communicate with a loved one in active addiction using the CRAFT approach.

He’s on Suboxone and Hiding Away for Most of the Day. We are Worried.

Her son was using heroin, and he just got out of jail. He reached out for mom’s help and asked to live at home as he starts recovery, and he is getting MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment), specifically Suboxone. But he’s secluding himself so much at home she can’t tell what he’s up to. He’s accessing counseling and groups remotely, but he stays holed up in his room all the time and rarely emerges. Mom worries about his isolating so much and whether he might be using. We weigh in with some thoughts about the varied aspects of early recovery, and with some reminders about practicing CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training.)

Real Allies in Recovery Success Stories: Families Share How CRAFT Helped Their Loved Ones with SUD

Read real success stories from families who used the CRAFT approach to help their loved ones with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Learn how CRAFT helped them engage their loved ones into treatment, and how it improved their relationships and reduced stress levels. Discover how you can use the CRAFT method to help your loved ones find recovery, and visit for more stories and resources.

How Do I Prepare for My Daughter with SUD to Come Home? And What About Her Boyfriend?

Her daughter is involved with a man who may be sabotaging her efforts to stop using substances. But she’s expressed some readiness to get help, and mom wants to support her in any way that she can. Mom’s working on ignoring the bad-news boyfriend while setting up guidelines for her return home. She needs guidance on the details…Allies in Recovery weighs in with some CRAFT-based tips.

Her Partner is Not Improving from Substance Use Disorder. Is There an Underlying Mental Health Condition?

One of our members as been artfully following the CRAFT principles and yet her loved one is not showing signs of improvement. Engaging in extreme behavior, barely ever sleeping, misusing his ADHD medication, lying, and now, stealing… Is it all on the addiction or could her partner suffer from an underlying, undiagnosed and untreated mental health condition?

Shall We Dance?

CRAFT as choreography? Our hosts step into the metaphor of a dance with your loved one. This isn’t a traditional dance – it’s a look at the steps to see what works and what doesn’t, to CRAFT a new dance and change your role. The idea is to learn new tools, practice them, and see where they fit in. Be patient. It’s a process.

The Important Difference Between Bribes, Incentives, and Positive Reinforcement

A mom wrote in asking for guidance on whether she should offer to reward her son for attending addiction recovery group meetings. However, she is unsure if she’s implementing the CRAFT concept of “rewards” correctly. Laurie MacDougall, an Allies in Recovery virtual program trainer – who herself has a loved one with SUD – explains the important differences between bribes, incentives, and positive reinforcement. Laurie advises steering away from the first two and sticking with positive reinforcement instead.