Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment

Talk Recovery Radio

This week on Talk Recovery Radio

Dr. Robert J Meyers discusses his book ““Motivating Substance Abusers to Enter Treatment: Working with Family Members” and many more books Dr. Meyers has written. 

Addiction recovery book.About the Book:

Filling a crucial need, this book presents Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), a time- and cost-effective therapy program oriented to individuals who want to motivate a loved one to seek help. The authors’ nonconfrontational approach teaches concerned significant others (CSOs) how to change their own behavior in order to reward sobriety, discourage substance use, and ultimately to help get the substance abuser into treatment. The CSO also gains valuable skills for problem solving and self-care. Step-by-step instructions for implementing CRAFT are accompanied by helpful case examples and reproducible.

Where to buy the book:


About Dr. Meyers

Addiction Recovery AuthorDr. Meyers has been in the addiction field for 39 years with 23 of those years being at the University of New Mexico.  He is currently the director of Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D. & Associates and a Research Associate Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of New Mexico’s Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addiction.  He has been involved in over a dozen clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health, including three CRAFT trials, Project Match and the Clinical Trials Network

Dr. Meyers began his work with the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) in 1976.  At that time he helped develop the first CRA outpatient procedures, which were used in the seminal study published by Dr. Nathan Azrin and colleagues in 1982.  In the late 1990’s Dr. Meyers helped design and evaluate the adolescent version of CRA (A-CRA).  Dr. Meyers also developed the new innovative “intervention” program used to engage resistant substance abusers to enter treatment.  This new intervention called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), an evidence-based protocol, has shown superior positive outcomes then traditional interventions styles in several randomized clinical trials.  His CRAFT work has led Dr. Meyers and CRAFT to be one of the 14 featured segments of the Emmy Award-winning HBO Addiction series. Dr. Meyers has also been featured in Oprah magazine for his outstanding work using the Community Reinforcement Approach.

Dr. Robert J Meyers has been in the addictions field for 39 years. What got him interested in the field is that when he was a kid his father has a horrible alcohol addiction and his mother struggled with mental health and abuse was a big part of Dr. Meyers childhood growing up. When he was 17, he joined the navy and had some very interesting experiences while in Vietnam. When he retuned to the United States Dr. Meyers did a placement at one of the state hospitals and was seeing how they were doing alcohol and drugs treatment and while in the placement he kept thinking about his mother and how horrible her life was, as she died at 45 years old.

Dr. Meyers won an award for having the best article in alcohol and drug treatment in the United States. After he won the award, he was asked if he had written any books and Dr. Meyers said he had one book which was unofficially called “How to get your Loved Ones Sober” but the book got rejected about 8 times to get published and Dr. Meyers did not want to send it out again because he did not want to get rejected again. The president of Betty Ford Centre who gave Dr. Meyers the award asked for a copy and said they are going to publish it the next day.

When asked why Dr. Meyer’s book was not picked up right away by publishing companies, Dr. Meyers says the CRAFT theory was so new like new technology in the addiction’s treatment world. Even through it was on HBO he says it was not picked up by the mainstream addiction treatment industry. CRAFT is Community Reinforcement and Family Training. It is an intervention approach to dealing with addictions, but Dr. Meyers says he did not want to get that mixed up with the intervention known to society like TV shows where interventions are used to deal with addiction and get loved ones into addiction treatment in a mean approach.

Dr. Meyers has worked in the addiction treatment field for many decades, and he has noticed a change when it comes to motivating substances abusers to enter treatment. He says a long time ago it was much easier to give suggestions to people who use drugs and alcohol to make change but in todays addiction treatment society it is much more challenging. Dr. Meyers also speaks on the idea that clients have to hit bottom before they ask for help, he says he would much rather someone ask for help before the addiction hits the “bottom” then there could be less damage caused to the person and the loved ones effected by the addiction.

Two books that Dr. Meyers has co written, one with his colleague and one with his wife, the first one “Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening” was written in an 8th grade level, so they could have more people understand it, the language is very simple, so more people get it. To show how powerful the book is they did a clinical trial, one group got CRAFT in a group, half of the 50 people got a group to work with. The other half of the 50 people they just gave them the book and said read this, good luck, see you in 6 months or so. When the whole study was over, they got over 70 percent of people who worked in the group into treatment but the people who just read the book got 40 percent of people into treatment.

Dr. Meyers talks about addiction treatment and the different services individuals get depending on their occupation, he talks with Giuseppe about for instance someone who has more Recovery Capital like an airline pilot who might seem to need better and quicker services because they have more to get back to than someone who may be homeless. Dr. Meyers expresses that he feels everyone should get the best addiction treatment possible when they need it.

Dr. Meyers Website:

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