Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA)

Used as a behavioral intervention, A-CRA seeks to increase the family, social and educational/vocational reinforcers of an adolescent to support recovery from substance abuse and dependence. The program targets youth between the ages of 12 and 25 with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and includes guidelines for three types of sessions: adolescents alone, caregivers alone and adolescents and caregivers together. According to the adolescent’s needs and self-assessment of happiness in multiple areas of functioning, therapists choose from among 17 A-CRA procedures that address, for example, problem-solving skills to cope with stressors, communication skills and participation in positive social and recreational activities with the goal of improving life satisfaction and eliminating substance use problems.