Recovery Bulletin
June 28, 2017  | 

Organization Highlight: Allies In Recovery

Allies in Recovery is a web-based program teaching family members of those struggling with substance use disorders the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement & Family Training) approach.

Developed by a team of health and wellness professionals in 2003, Allies in Recovery was the first comprehensive center in the country to use the CRAFT approach to serve all the needs of families dealing with the substance use disorder of a loved one. The CRAFT approach is an evidence based, family-centered approach, that teaches the stance and actions loved ones can take to promote treatment and recovery.

Learn More About the CRA & CRAFT Approaches

“Families are an important and influential part of the immediate environment surrounding a person struggling with addiction. Yet, family members are not prepared to manage the complexities of addiction. They often rely on their own ideas or suggestions made by well-meaning but untrained family and friends. When a family is trained, they can engage a loved one in treatment 70% of the time and can keep a loved one in treatment 6 times longer.”

-Dominique Simon-Levine, PhD, MPH, Founder & Director of Allies In Recovery

Allies in Recovery is completely web-based, allowing the program to reach a large audience at low cost. The CRAFT approach is one of the best researched methods available, and scientifically proven to reduce use and increase engagement and adherence to treatment. The approach is unique in it’s focus on the needs of all family members, not just parents.

The Allies in Recovery program itself was formed by taking a 290-page clinical manual on CRAFT, and transforming it into 8 modules, using brief videos and empirically supported exercises. Experts are available on the site to respond to members’ questions, and a member directory and internal email system giving members the opportunity to reach out to one another to build a supportive community.

“Families have a role to play in the course of a loved one’s addiction and recovery. There are specific actions a family can take to discourage use and to reinforce non-use. There is a skill-set that, once acquired, a family can use to intervene early in the progression to a more serious substance use disorder.”

-Dominique Simon-Levine

Allies in Recovery has helped over 1000 families, using a social entrepreneurial for-profit model. Institutions purchase yearly memberships for their constituents, such as the state of Massachusetts, which pays one licensing fee to give all residents and professionals in the state access to the program. Families not covered by an institution pay a small charge, however, the social mission of Allies in Recovery is to be accessible to all families, so no one is turned away.


“We need to get families on board. While being aware of the limits, we need to help families understand the actions they can take to support recovery.”

-Dominique Simon-Levine


Learn More About the CRA & CRAFT Approaches

Learn more about Allies in Recovery on their website.