Community Reinforcement Approach
CRA is a comprehensive behavioural program for treating substance-abuse problems. It is based on the belief that environmental contingencies can play a powerful role in encouraging or discouraging drinking or drug use. Consequently, it utilizes social, recreational, familial, and vocational reinforces to assist consumers in the recovery process. Its goal is to make a sober lifestyle more rewarding than the use of substances. Oddly enough, however, while virtually every review of alcohol and drug treatment outcome research lists CRA among approaches with the strongest scientific evidence of efficacy,
very few clinicians who treat consumers with addictions are familiar with it.
The adult CRA program repeatedly ranks as one of the top five alcohol treatments across various reviews that examine 30-50 different treatments. This cognitive-behavioral treatment has proven successful with populations that are ethnically-diverse, and across a wide range of ages. It has proven effective with both inpatients and outpatients, as well as with severely alcohol-dependent individuals and dually-diagnosed clients.