On April 25, 2018, USARA’s CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) Family Support team were honored to join more than 300 family members in Washington, D.C. who have been impacted by substance use disorders for the Addiction Policy Forum’s Family Day. They honored their loved ones lost to addiction and represented families by advocating for comprehensive solutions to support people impacted by substance use.
During their visit, they met with the offices of Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and also personally met with Congressman John Curtis to express support for the Opioid Peer Support Network Act. They were advocating to incorporate this bill as part of the Opioid Crisis Response Act.
CRAFT Family Support Coordinator Darlene Schultz said, “Utah needs funding for Peer Recovery Support Services to grow the network of peer professionals throughout the state. With additional funding we can reach more people in both rural and urban communities with recovery coaching and support for family members to help their loved ones, using the evidence-based model called CRAFT.”
USARA has been facilitating a CRAFT Family Support Group in Salt Lake County since 2008. This is a free, non-clinical, mutual aid meeting held weekly to provide support, encouragement, and teach recovery-oriented skills for concerned family members who have a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder. This group is facilitated by peer family members who share their own lived experience and are trained to facilitate the CRAFT model.
By mid-May, USARA will have 16 groups in 9 different counties throughout Utah. Two of these groups will be held in Spanish for our Spanish speaking communities looking for support.
“Together we can overcome the stigma and bring hope, encouragement, and help to all families who are suffering from addiction by addressing it like we would any other disease,” said Schultz.