8 Ways to Help Your Child With Addiction

The kind, the compassionate approach can make a difference.

Cathy Taughinbaugh
6 min readAug 2, 2022


A heart on the beach for compassion.
Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

I was devastated when I found out my child was addicted to crystal meth. I

I felt helpless, not knowing how to help.

Like others in my situation, I got the advice to detach or let my child hit rock bottom. But this didn't feel right to me.

Then I learned about the Community Reinforcement and Family Training Approach (CRAFT) approach. Through the years, CRAFT has evolved into the Invitation to Change approach.

I have been personally touched by what I've learned from this approach to better help myself. CRAFT will give you the knowledge and strength to help you cope with your child's addiction.

Some critical things I've learned from CRAFT are:

  • As a parent, we can help. We don't need to detach, separate, or throw our child out of the house.
  • We can bring kindness, optimism, and positive strategies to bear… instead of always being angry, focusing on the negative, and worrying that nothing will change.
  • We can feel optimistic about applying the CRAFT tools because these skills are based on science, not conventional wisdom or opinions.

CRAFT is a way to help families support a child with an addiction struggle. It is a relief to realize you don't have to let go of your child. Many parents have used the CRAFT tools to help their children change. It gives families options and doesn't promote the one-size-fits-all approach.

Here are some examples of comments from parents after learning more about CRAFT:

  • "I would have been much more helpful to my child if I had known about CRAFT sooner."
  • "I like this so much better than the 'tough love approach.'"
  • "It was so refreshing to hear professionals talk about the importance of parents and not make us feel like enablers."

CRAFT and other research-based options must be available to any family member concerned about a loved one.

I found these eight strategies helpful when it comes to supporting someone with addiction:



Cathy Taughinbaugh

Parent Coach and Author of The Compassion Antidote: A Path to Change for You and Your Child Struggling with Substance Use. Learn more: www.cathytaughinbaugh.com