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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2008
I am so happy to recommend this book!

I was looking for a better way to get my friend into treatment and found some of the latest research on HBO's website for their series, "Addiction". The HBO website has video clips that describe the CRAFT method and how it is proven to be the most effective, so I bought this book with high hopes.

My friend decided he was ready for detox within a week of using this approach. I am grateful for tips like watching for a window and planning for treatment in advance. CRAFT is about empowerment with positive reinforcement - without anger or judgment. This book shows how important it is to avoid shame and guilt about addiction.

I wish I could give this book to everyone in Al-Anon. Al-Anon was not offering anything but a support group for feeling OK about doing nothing - "Letting Go". It did not make sense to detach from my alcoholic friend and wait for him to hit a new bottom. I did not want to isolate him further or fall back into enabling and this book explained how to take action in a healthy way.

Thank you to the authors - and to HBO for promoting CRAFT. Why isn't this more talked about?
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2011
My Boyfriend was a SEVERE binge drinker. I believe that this book saved his life, and quite possibly mine too.

I found this book from a self-help group, "SMART Recovery", that uses it as a guidebook for Friends & Family. They recommend to anyone joining their website because of their loved one's using, to read this book. Dr. Meyers has even come to speak to us via live chat.

The methods in this book are simplistic in concept, and throughout the last year they truly opened up my boyfriends ears, so that he could know help was a road he could CHOOSE. With us, the friends & family, being closest to our addicts, we have the most influence to give. By using the methods in this book, we can reach our addicts with love and compassion, and not simply ignore them.

I think this is the handbook to the real way to "detach with love". In a nutshell, the message is the same. The way we get the message across through CRAFT is the pivotal point. Positive reenforcement! We all know it works. It most probably will work for you too if you have a loved one who needs help, even if only to getting your sanity back and the communication flowing again.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The problem that most people experience when trying to get their loved one sober is that they keep trying the same tactics over and over again without success. All their nagging, pleading, bargaining, and threatening is usually counterproductive. They must find a new approach.
In their book, "Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening", authors Robert J. Meyers and Brenda L. Wolf have developed a program called CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) that uses "supportive and non-confrontational methods to engage the substance abuser in treatment." CRAFT is a program for the significant other, usually a spouse living with the substance abuser.

CRAFT teaches them to improve their own lives regardless of whether the addict enters treatment or not. Meyers and Wolf claim to have a higher success rate than Al-Anon and the Johnson Institute's traditional method of intervention.

Some of their useful advice includes:

~ Identify triggers, signs of drinking, and consequences of use.
~ Develop a roadmap for dealing with triggers, signs, and consequences.
~ Do not take responsibility for the drinker's behavior.
~ Change your reaction to their drinking behavior with a number of tools.
~ Stop fixing their messes and allow them to experience the consequences.
~ Attempt to offer a more rewarding activity than drinking (good luck with this one).
~ Speak to them using "I" statements instead of "You" statements.
~ Have treatment already lined up for when they are ready.
~ Know that lapses and mistakes are a natural part of life and are to be expected in a process of change.

They also make one important point: "If there is one overriding 'fact' in the world of behavior change, it is that people who record important information about their lives are the people most likely to succeed in making important changes in their lives." So Meyers and Wolf encourage you top keep a journal of these activities and the results. And remember that the winners in life see problems as opportunities.

David Allan Reeves
Author of "Running Away From Me"
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
This book is about a more positive approach to dealing with alcoholism, and anything positive in psychology tends to get my attention, as does literature concerning helping the chemically dependent. Intended for family members and other significant others in the lives of addicted individuals (although developed for working with alcoholics, the authors contend that their approach works equally well with other addictions), the emphasis is on making not using the more desirable alternative. Based on the Community Reinforcement and Family Training Model (CRAFT), the program includes components of cognitive behavioral therapy, problem solving and information processing, family, community and systems theory, motivational interviewing, self-protection, and communication skills (how's that for a quick summary?). It seems appropriate to recommend this book to nonprofessionals who are grappling with chemical dependency in a loved one (and I already have), and who may ultimately wish to get that individual into treatment. Although this book is intended for the general public, it is based on an approach that has been shown to be quite effective in the clinical setting.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
This book was a good alternative read for those who think AA is too stringent a program to follow with loved ones who won't cooperate in attaining sobriety. The theory of behavior modification is sound but the reality and practicality seems futile when faced with a problem drinker who is in total denial. It does offer suggestions that an involved person can try in order to coax the problem drinker to change, but in the end if the person is bent on drinking there's not much more that the book offers that can be done. If the drinker won't attend AA meetings or go willingly into treatment, the book does at least offers alternative behaviors for the victims of the drinkers that will help/comfort those who must suffer while the drinker actively drinks.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2008
As a family therapist who is the director of a chemical dependency program at a local hospital I have seen the information in this book...when applied with the help of a professional...transform relationships and lives. It is a difficult path vs. ultimatums and threats...but it acually works the vast majority of the time.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2013
I bought and read How To Get Your Loved One Sober after learning about the CRAFT approach in the excellent book, Inside Rehab, by Anne M. Fletcher. While Meyers and Wolfe's book contains some useful ideas/strategies, I can't see any of them working for someone other than a functional alcoholic and/or someone with a mild drinking problem, but not a "full time" addict. I'm making the distinction, even though functional alcoholics and people with drinking problems are also addicts, because the book supposes that the loved one in question is sometimes sober and functional--and therefore open to the types of strategies the book suggests. I don't know how this approach would work for dealing with someone who is continuously drunk and I certainly have no idea how it would be useful in dealing with someone with a hard drug addiction. Almost every example it gave was of the husband or wife who came home and drank to unwind from the stresses of work, inevitably ending up having one too many. This is qualitatively different from someone whose alcohol and/or drug addiction has taken over their lives to the point that using is all they do. Even though the book claims to be useful for these types of addicts as well, I don't see how it could apply.

Another gripe is this: one of the examples given in the book is of a wife who, although she is regularly raped by her drunken husband, uses the CRAFT approach to get him into therapy and "repair" their marriage. While I suppose it is that woman's prerogative to stay in that relationship, I think it's highly questionable to use this as an example of a successful application of the CRAFT approach. Really, should therapists be helping women figure out how to stay with abusive husbands? I find that ethically problematic.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2008
I have been using this program for 9 months. I know it works for me and see great progress with my afflicted one. It is uplifting, gives me hope and encouragement, and makes sense. I read passages I have underlined almost every day. I learn something almost every day. This struggle is not easy and this book helps me a great deal.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2004
For anyone who has struggled with the helplessness and the pain of loving an alcoholic, this is the book for you. Meyers and Wolfe lay out a definitive and realistic plan of ACTION. Finally someone has the courage to say "You CAN help your loved ones." This unique approach has the potential to give new hope to so many. Thank you to these authors.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2009
This is a great workbook-like solace! I helps you go through step-by-step to evaluate your own behavior and create alternatives - and it gave great options on how to welcome change for YOURSELF! it gave alternatives to "detachment" since obviously i want to stay attached to my loved one and be as much help as possible. It was recently published, so i felt the research was current and i could count on best-practices at play. Good advice for seeing the bigger picture and way to de-tangle my own identity from the situation and the alcohol, but mostly the book helped me relate to/alter my OWN emotional habits and be open to new tactics and communicative options. I also read "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop! What You Really Need to Know When Your Loved One Drinks Too Much" by Lisa Frederiksen. The early chapters went into scientific detail about what happens to the brain itself - this detail was explained in a very straightforward manner, it was new and very enlightening - helping to decouple the affects of alcohol from the individual themselves. The alcohol brain helped me understand why detaching from the situation is so important and POSSIBLE, and the SOBER book reminded me that detaching is not always necessary! In the few short weeks since i read these books, i have seem a HUGE and significant turn around in my life at home and my loved one's behavior. I take full responsibility for my actions in our goals to stay balanced with alcohol - but i only take responsibility for MY actions now and that's a HUGE relief and great progress! THANKS AUTHORS!
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