Community Reinforcement Approach


CommunityReinforcement Approach

CommunityReinforcement Approach

Communityreinforcement approach (CRA) focuses on positive corroboration inoffering solution to a consistent problem such as addiction. Personsaddicted to drugs derive some desirable benefits that make themrepeat the same habit once and again. In order to assist such anindividual, the alternative to drug use should offer moresatisfaction or benefits than that derived from substance use.Studies reveal that an affirmative response to a habit reinforcestheir reoccurrence afterwards (Miller, Forcehimes &amp Zweben,2011). Community reinforcement approach aims at suppressing thepositive effect that a drug addict derives from consuming drugs usinga number of means including use of receptor blocking medication thatmakes the body of an addict less responsive. At the same time, theperson is assisted to connect to an alternative source of positivestrengthening that is not dependent on any form of drugs. The coreobjective of CRA, however, is to help an individual lead a happy,productive and rewarding life without being dependent on any drugs ormedication.

Toencourage an addict to move from addiction to sobriety, it isessential to understand their ability to cope and offer support.Compelling them to do something they are unwilling to do is counter-productive. For instance, if a client is not willing to withdrawimmediately from substance use, gradual departure by reducing portionconsumed per time period may be an effective way of strengtheningtheir coping skills. Involving the client in deciding on time toabstain and achieve sobriety motivates and make them feelresponsible, making the process more rewarding. Although the longterm goal of CRA is to help an addicted person cut down completely ondrugs they are addicted to, at the initial stage, abstinence for sometime is recommended to reduce the negative consequences of immediatewithdrawal. The counselor and the client’s loved ones have a dutyto understand difficulties of total withdrawal and appreciate theefforts portrayed (Miller, Forcehimes &amp Zweben, 2011).

Despitethe fact that CRA aims at helping a person achieve sobriety in anatural way without use of drugs, medication can offer solutions tosome problemsfor example, addictionto alcohol. Ability to deal with alcoholism has more than oneadvantage to the client as liquor triggers the desire to use otherdrugs such as tobacco and cocaine. Support from the client’s lovedones is important in helping a person to take medication such asdisulfirum commonly referred to as anti-abuse. The client need to beencouraged and motivated to take the medication which deters themfrom taking liquor due to serious sickness that follows if a personmixes it with drugs. The loved ones reinforce the client’smedication taking and must call upon the counselor if the clientshows behavior of relapsing (Miller, Forcehimes &amp Zweben, 2011).

Basedon content covered in the entire course, it is clear that knowledgein CRA and strengthening skills to cope plays a significant role inhelping a person feel encouraged to move out of addiction. By aidingclients to identify activities that they find enjoyable toparticipate in and involving the loved ones, the battle is foughtcommunally. Activities such as having fun and spending time withloved ones and friends in an environment where drugs are not used isa major way to move out of addiction. Helping clients establishhealthy interpersonal relationships is one of the strategies that CRAadopts. To achieve this, the client is assisted to identify andstrengthen areas of communication. This may involve both the clientand their loved ones who are trained on habits that strengthenrelationships such as appreciation, pleasant surprises, complements,and affection. They are also advised against habits such as nagging,blaming, and criticizing as they are negative reinforcements.

Peoplefacing drug addiction need both help from their loved ones andprofessional support in addition to their own initiative. They needto be appreciated and loved with negative reinforcements such asblame games and judgments eliminated.


Miller,R.W., Forcehimes, A.A., &amp Zweben, A. (2011). Treatingaddiction: A guide for professionals.New York: The Guilford Press.