Substance use disorders are associated with life-threatening behaviours and substance use is found to strongly trigger criminal behaviour, including intimate partner violence (IPV). Although intimate partners are often subject to aggression and injury, most substance-using offenders refuse to enter formal treatments. Community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT) was developed to help intimate partners to (a) recognize and safely respond to potential violence, (b) improve communication with the substance user; (c) decrease stress, (d) improve self efficacy, and (e) assist in encouraging the unwilling substance user to enter therapy. The underlying operant-based belief is that environmental contingencies are key in encouraging or discouraging substance use. This article discusses why CRAFT may be effective in engaging treatment-resistant patients with substance abuse disorders in formal treatment and to diminish IPV. It is asserted that intimate partners, family members and close friends can make important contributions to assist substance-using offenders.

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Keywords Addiction, Alcohol, Behavior therapy, Community reinforcement, Couples therapy, Family treatment, Intimate partner violence, Substance use disorders
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Journal Psychiatry Psychology and Law
Roozen, H.G, Blaauw, E, & Meyers, R.J. (2009). Advances in management of alcohol use disorders and intimate partner violence: Community reinforcement and family training. Psychiatry Psychology and Law, 16, S74–S80. doi:10.1080/13218710802549456