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.

Do I Have to Kick Her Out?

sleeping hangover
An Allies’ member’s daughter uses every night and sleeps it off all day (at home). They’ve been strict about not providing money or rides. But this mother is afraid that if she disengages completely, and kicks her out, her daughter will be alone in the world and perhaps in greater danger.

*This post originally appeared on our Member Site blog, where experts respond to members’ questions and concerns. To sign up for our special offer and benefit from the Allies in Recovery eLearning program, click here.

“Hello Allies,

One month ago our eighteen year old daughter relapsed right after coming home from a seven month residential treatment program. This was her second relapse immediately following treatment. (We live in a province in Canada where there are no structured AfterCare programs.) Her diagnosis is concurrent disorders of PTSD and substance use disorder. Every day for the past four weeks she has stayed in bed asleep for most of the day and gone out in the evening, presumably to get her drugs. When she comes home at night she sometimes talks about stopping, or about wishing she could  be in a new place. But the following morning it’s too hard for her to act on anything and the cycle continues.

I have always tried to follow the CRAFT approach, but until I joined AIlies in Recovery last week, I had not heard about the idea of distancing myself as a means of motivating behavior change. We have established strict boundaries and are not giving her ANY resources, rides, support, etc. unless it is directly related to her recovery. However, I find it difficult to believe that distancing myself is going to be helpful. She has already distanced herself from everyone who loves her and whom she loves, and my husband and I are the only people she has a positive connection with. He works out of town so I am the ONLY person left and if I distance myself, she won’t have anyone.”

Dominique Simon-Levine provides this frustrated and worried mother with a few options to help better apply her CRAFT skills

Learning Module 4, available to our members, describes what you can do when you see your loved one is not using. In a word, reward! This can include your presence, your attention, a dinner, a loving gesture. But when your loved one is using (including just before they use, while high, or in withdrawal), you want to remove rewards, allow natural consequences, and disengage. You are a reward, even when you are naggy or angry. You are their anchor and signal things are normal. Disengaging yourself signals things are not okay. You go to your room. Leave her alone.

The CRAFT method was designed to address interactions, in the short-term, pretty much in the moment. One day your loved one can be high on drugs, the next day he or she can be trying to refrain from use. Your behavior rides along behind this, reacting to how you find your loved one.

Avoid sweeping decisions

We suggest you avoid sweeping decisions over longer periods. Your loved one is always shifting, as should you. This is hard to do, but it is the power you hold to influence their behavior. Telling your loved one not to come back until they’ve kicked the habit is a lose/lose situation. You miss the moments when they are ready to try to stop, when you can help with treatment, and they miss the help line you offer by maintaining that bridge of communication between you.

Over the years of coaching families in CRAFT, we have learned to apply its short-term principles to the larger picture, including whether to allow your loved one to stay living at home, financing the car, college fees, and help with rent, to name a few.

How do I provide rewards, that can be easily removed?

Again, it’s important to think out how to provide these resources as a reward but in a way they can also be removed should your loved one be actively using and resisting treatment.

A suggestion we have made before is to put a day bed in a common room with a foot locker. Turn their bedroom into a meditation center, a place to stretch, an art room for yourself. When they are not high or drinking, the day bed is there. When they are high or drinking, ask them to wait until they sober up before coming home. The day bed is temporary, figuratively and literally, more easily given and taken away.

Your daughter is in what sounds like a rigid pattern, using every night, and sleeping it off during the day. When there is no break in this pattern, disengage yourself. Only offer her the day bed if you must. Ideally, tell her to come home only when she is willing to not use or to explore treatment again.

I live in Canada part-time and I see how limited substance abuse knowledge and treatment is up here. Even AA/NA is limited. Hopefully, you’re in the city where services are more available.

Your daughter needs to go back to treatment. Two treatment episodes didn’t work. She is in danger of overdose and should consider medication-assisted treatment (MAT), at the very least.

Is home a reward or enabling use?

Whether home is a reward or enabling use is determined by the context. If your daughter is not willing to consider MAT or further treatment and is using your home as a free comfort station, while the few bucks she has is spent on drugs, then consider whether the situation is helpful. We are not suggesting you stop communicating. Instead, we are suggesting you consider the resources you are providing and how they influence her use.

Thank you for writing in. Your question is at the heart of CRAFT.

Since 2003, Allies in Recovery has addressed substance abuse in families by providing a method for the family to change the conversation about addiction. We use Community Reinforcement & Family Training (CRAFT), a proven approach that helps the family unblock and advance the relationship towards sobriety and recovery and to engage a loved one into treatment. Learn about member benefits by following this link.

Related Posts from "Communication"

“What We All Require Is To Be Heard”: Kayla Solomon On Effective Communication and Connection

In March 2023, Allies in Recovery’s very own Kayla Solomon led a 90-minute ZOOM conversation with leaders of the East Bay chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) based in Sacramento, California. The result was a dynamic primer on the use of CRAFT, the Allies approach to building trust and connection with Loved Ones, and the vital role of listening and affirming when supporting a Loved One with mental health and/or substance use challenges. Click above to watch the recording.

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.

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.

Collaboration Vs. Ultimatum

When your loved one is returning, communicate and collaborate about your expectations, concerns, and plans. Keep on collaborating over time, so if concerns arise your loved one can take responsibility, have agency, and you’re not running the show on your own. Without their “skin in the game,” little can change. Model engagement, which is also part of the treatment process.