The community-reinforcement approach aims to move people towards recovery by eliminating positive reinforcement for drinking and drug use and enhancing positive reinforcement for non-drinking and drug using behaviors and activities. This approach integrates several treatment components, including building motivation to quit, analyzing drinking patterns, increasing pleasurable activities, learning new coping behaviors, and involving significant others in the recovery process.
Therapists may encourage patients to include another individual in their treatment with whom they spend a lot of time (e.g., significant other) to help recognize triggers that may be more difficult for the individual to notice (e.g., irritability). During the treatment, the patient learns practical skills to meet his or her goals including communication, problem solving, and assertive drink and drug refusal (i.e., effective ways to manage invitations to drink or use drugs). The overall goal of CRA is to help individuals find healthier ways to meet their social and emotional needs.
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