CRAFT Another response to children's addiction


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Colleen on another thread cited the CRAFT as the approach she and her husband are using to respond to the addiction of their son. I googled this and found several citations of books that describe CRAFT, that I list below which can be found on Amazon.

CRAFT unlike tough love or 12 step models does not involve detaching or letting go. There are several of us on the forum now, who have either never been able to detach completely, or who have come to the point where they see it as fully beneficial to themselves or their children.

The little bit of reading I have done describes CRAFT as a way to stay in the game with your child, to have both firm boundaries and give support, and influence their choices, without enabling. I for one look forward to learning more. If nothing else but to find a way to make sense of my own perplexing stance. I want to find some consistency in what I am doing.

I send my son away and then I allow him back. I do not think this is good for either one of us. Maybe this CRAFT approach will teach me tools to set limits on his behavior--that he can hear and accept--without the need to throw him out.

So here they are:

Your Loved one Sober robert meyers

Beyond Addiction: how science and kindness help people change

The parents 20 minute guide: a guide for parents about how to help their children with their substance use
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I Think the message is confusing What is the gain for the addict to be forced to leave and maybe be homeless and then be pulled back. You lost me.

Few to none of us have no contact at all, but isn't it confusing and ambiguous to say "go" and "come back?" How can you set boundaries that way.

Is this for the good of the addict or us?

Sounds wishy washy. Can you explain better?

Maybe I do this iny conversations with my son

If I do, and I do often feel wishy washy, it doesn't work. When I put the lead foot to the brakes, that is when he treats me well...but I don't always follow thrpugh. I understand this is a different situation.. phone talk only.

I would like a better grasp. The truth is, even though Son can get abusive without warning, I still talk to him because I love him, see the good in him, and like having him in my life. But I shudder to think of LIVING with him...


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Few to none of us have no contact at all, but isn't it confusing and ambiguous to say "go" and "come back?" How can you set boundaries that way.
SWOT, I am not recommending leaving and pulling back as a strategy.

Colleen in her thread mentions she is being guided by this CRAFT approach, which until today, I had forgotten about.

The approach does not advocate detachment. Rather they teach parents how to stay in relationship with their children and at the same time set firm boundaries, without enabling.

You may find it helpful in your relationship with BART. Or not.

I am struggling to find a way to stay in relationship with my son without enabling his marijuana use as a means of self-medicating and without excusing and permitting either his self-destructive or destructive behavior. I have not yet found a way.

I am wondering if this CRAFT method will help me in learning to be strong, set boundaries, without the need to throw him out which I do not see as beneficial to him or to me. It is that until now, I saw no other way.


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I listened to the book "Beyond Addiction" on Craft. To be honest I had mixed feelings about it. I found the book to be very repetitive. I also felt like when it talked about detachment it wasn't really talking about detachment with love like Alanon talks about but more of complete detachment.

When I listened to it I did wish I had listened to you it when my son was younger and we were starting on this journey... it did make me wonder if I could have approached things differently..... which kind of sent me into a what if spiral which wasn't good.

However I do think it made me think about the importance of connection and love and by staying connected to our kids we can help them.... but I came to the conclusion that only helps them if they truly want the help.

But I have come to believe that with my son at least staying connected, providing some support will help him more than completely cutting him off. I know for some here that is what worked... but all kids are different and have different issues.

I do believe boundaries are important. I really do not know what we would do if my son wanted to come back here and live. Neither my husband or I would want that but we are not facing that decision at the moment.


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TL, I do not believe in totally cutting off your loved ones. I think its cruel. I would never leave no communication open. My daughter was not homeless. She had a bad living arrangement, but she was never on the streets so I didnt have to worry about that. So we gave her nothing and she got a job and walked to and from, which was the beginning of her rejoining society. it doesn't always work. We do what we have yo do for them and us. We can detach without abandonment. We can learn not to take what they do personally, which helps us, yet we can still love them.

Copa you are in a strange spot snd I think you'd get many opininions to your dilrmma. It's a tough one...smoking pot where it is legal. I would not change my relationship with any or all my kids for smoking pot. To me that falls under none of my business. I don't even need to know if they smoke pot. I dont like it, but Im from a different generation.

On the other hand nobody smokes anything in my house. Nobody. But if my kid of your son's age smoked pot outdoors and off my property and did not keep the pot under my roof, I am not sure I'd interfer with the use by drug testing or throwing him out. I'd be more apt to send a kid his age packing for not having a job, unless he truly had a disability where he couldn't keep any job. And at your son's age, half that SS check would be rent money. That would discourage buying pot. Also make him responsible. I'm very big on making them pull their weight.

Do you really think that in CA you can stop a man your son's age from quitting pot if he doesnt want to? Apparently pot means more to him than a roof. These are very sad and bad demons you have to wrestle with. Sometimes I think you feel you have more ability to influence your son than you do.

My huge problem with pot and grown people is that daily use can stunt motivation. Not all daily pot users don't work, but a lot don't. Is your son going to become work oriented without pot? Has his early drug exposure and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) caused damage to his brain? To me these things all matter. After my own Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which was fortunately very mild, I was told it may affect me forever. It hasn't, but perhaps your son's injury was very bad and still impacts his functioning. Motorcycle crash? Brick fell onhis head? You dont have to tell us. You were told the prognosis.My bro in law was in a horrific motorcycle accident and ten years later his memory is still bad and he was forced to downscale the type of work he does. And he can't drink hardly any alcohol ir it maket him worse. It bothers him, but some TBIs change your abilities forever and his did. He's lucky to be alive.

I think we all have hard jobs. We need to take everything into consideration and decide what to do, what boundaries to set. And we all might do things differently. but with love involved there are no wrong decisions.

Your son has tricky challenges. it is probably hard to know what he can and can not do.

You have every right to ban pot intoxication from your house. Your house/your castle/your rules. I feel very sad for all of you.
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It's a tough one...smoking pot where it is legal.
SWOT. Smoking pot is not legal here--although it soon may be everywhere. What is legal is medicinal marijuana. While he did have a card use it, he has let it lapse and now buys marijuana illegally.

As long as he was more or less going with the program, and seemingly improving, I looked the other way although we had said no marijuana. It was when he exploded and busted out a wall, that I put my foot down that he had to get treatment. I gave him time to do so. He dragged his feet, but did look for residential treatment. But not fast or hard enough.

It was then that his constantly getting high became intolerable to me, because he was as if blowing smoke in my face. He was telling me what his choice was. I could not look the other way.

I have told him: If and when you are productive and more or less content in your life, living independently,what ever that means--your decision to use marijuana is your own.

Do you feel you are there? He answered, No. And added: I am not in the position to consume marijuana to the extent I do.

You see, SWOT, smoking marijuana is his whole life. All he wants. When he smokes marijuana nothing at all matters. It is not in the main about the marijuana. It is the price he pays for using it, to maintain emotional stability, or to avoid an un-altered state. It is this way of living that I cannot subsidize.

It is my fault--because I let him slip-slide and not pay half of his SSI in rent. I did not want to be hard on him. I ended up enabling.
Do you really think that in CA you can stop a man your son's age from quitting pot if he doesnt want to? Apparently pot means more to him than a roof.
I do not think I ever had the illusion that I could force him to stop or start doing anything. I know better, by experience.

But we became increasingly hemmed in by my son's behavior and choices. We did not want to kick him out. We kept trying to incentivize him to make better choices. Unfortunately we could not do it by imposing rules, or setting boundaries over his behavior.

Of course, only he can do that. Thank you for understanding the difficulty of our situation. Nobody wanted my son out. Except his choices created the situation. I am sure you understand why we could not live with him busting walls or refrigerators or doors.

This was not about pot. But pot was involved. There are better ways to respond to mental illness, than addiction. Unfortunately buying marijuana seems to be the most appealing to my son. It is in the main about the mental illness--not the pot.
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Well, Copa, I just read an article on marijuana addiction that was scary. I don't know if the article was true or a scare tactic, but if this article is true, there are many side effects. Not good ones either.

If your son can't think about anything but pot, you're right....he is at least psychologically addicted. And is choosing it over a roof over his head. I don't know that I'd want to listen to my kid of ANY age do nothing but talk about and smoke pot. I might toss the kid out too.

Such difficult decisions we have to make.