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.

Thank You Allies in Recovery, it Worked!

Love letter

A letter to Allies in Recovery from Annie Highwater, author and speaker on substance use disorder and recovery for the family:

Wow am I excited to tell you this!! I get messages every day from someone with a son or daughter who is struggling with addiction, and whose child could be at any point along this journey

Earlier this week, a mom emailed me asking for suggestions for a therapist and updating me that her son, an IV Heroin user, had relapsed.

From Recovery to Relapse

Allies in Recovery, AiR, Dominique Simon-Levine, dominique simon levine, addiction, addiction recovery, recovery, Craft, opiates, holiday, season, relapse, therapist, love letter, treatment, natural consequences,
© Alexas_fotos via pixabay

In short, she had started a support group after her son had been in treatment for 30 days. She thought everything would be fine but I could tell they were deeply enmeshed and sick with the situation. I had stopped in a couple times and became friendly with her. But I was concerned because the family was convinced they had done all the right things and that he was most likely clean for good, just like we all hope.  Weeks after my last visit there, I got an email from her.

She said she had dropped her son off that morning at a gas station. He had already slept outside at this same station for months before he entered treatment the first time. She said she left him there and felt like she would die, but believed she had to this time.

My response to her was to express how painful I know that to be. I gave her examples of going through relapses with my own son as well as a recent story I had heard about a mother, (mentioned on our holiday podcast), who had dropped her son off at a homeless shelter between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also told her my favorite phrase going through the hardest of times, “it ain’t over yet”, which should be engraved on a plaque!

What I’ve learned from Allies in Recovery

I mentioned a few things I learned from Allies in Recovery, and asked her to write on an index card the name and number of treatment centers and other resources that he could call in a moment of clarity or desperation. Then I suggested she give him this card anytime she sees him or is able to. That would be a soft intervention and would give her something productive to do in the midst of the situation. I take these emails on with my heart!

She emailed me back yesterday saying that her son had called the night she left him there asking if he could come home. She told him no. He then asked if she would bring him his phone charger. He was going to sit inside the gas station and charge his phone. She sent her husband with the charger because she did not trust herself to see him in that condition and not cave. Or she would have gone home even more of a mess. She also sent an index card with the names and numbers she had researched.

The next morning he called one of the numbers on the card and checked himself into treatment. My heart EXPLODED when I read that! She said she never would’ve thought to do that. She knew that if she had not sent that index card, she probably would have spent the night in mourning or driving past the gas station. It would have led into another night, and more nights to follow that he would have been out there. I’m not saying that this is it for him—we know it’s a journey—but no treatment is wasted. And this is one family with hope reignited—during the holidays!

This is why I love this work. And this is why I love CRAFT, and Allies in Recovery. I will never stop being available, pouring out, and giving my heart to each and every person, one at a time.

Thank you for everything you have taught, for the heart you have for this, and for all you are doing. It matters! It mattered to this family!!!

HAD to share ❤️


A membership at Allies in Recovery brings you into contact with experts in the fields of recovery and treatment for drug and alcohol issues. Our learning platform introduces you to CRAFT and guides you through the best techniques for unblocking the situation. Together we will move your loved one towards recovery. Learn more here.

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.