LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

A different approach to intervene and get a substance user to treatment

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

Training day role-playing was part of a New Jersey Connect for Recovery session to learn world-traveled researcher Dr. Robert Meyers’ evidence-based approach to intervention and guiding those with substance use disorders to treatment.

Meyers founded the Craft Method several years ago. It stands for community reinforcement and family training. He says it’s about giving a new set of tools to therapists, parents, brothers, sisters and loved ones in dealing with someone who has a substance use disorder.

Meyers says even before that, loved ones themselves should seek help as a means of coping and introducing the substance user to treatment. He says drop hints — leave therapy appointment cards around.

Statistics show Dr. Meyers’ approach has room to make a difference in New Jersey. NJ Cares says New Jersey had nearly 100 more overdose deaths through the first four months of last year compared to this year, but is still on pace to reach quadruple digits. That’s even with naloxone being in a growing number of hands to reverse overdoses.

He says clinical trials have proven his Craft method can get seven out of 10 drinkers or users to treatment, challenging the conventional thinking on when substance users “need” to get treatment.