Darlene holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah and taught first grade for 35 years, yet her extensive knowledge of substance use disorders and recovery came from the lived experience of family members that struggled with the disease. She began her journey with USARA (Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness) as a participant in the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) Family Support Group in 2010. Since then, she has been trained by the originator and author of the CRAFT model, Dr. Robert Meyers, and has co-written a workbook to go along with the book “Get Your Loved One Sober” used in USARA’s Family Support groups. As a trainer herself, she holds workshops throughout Utah for those interested in the facilitation of the CRAFT model for family support. She has also trained in New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Indiana with the CRAFT Family Support Group Model which is now being implemented in those states. Before Covid19 she had 17 in-person CRAFT Family Support Groups in 10 different Utah counties. Darlene has since set up virtual CRAFT groups to temporarily replace the face to face groups until it is safe to meet again in-person. Her USARA CRAFT team also provides non-clinical phone coaching from trained peer family support facilitators.
Darlene is a wife, mother, and a proud Nana to two very special kids. She lost her son, Adam, to an overdose in 2012, yet continues to change the hearts and minds of people with negative perceptions toward substance use disorders. She has proven herself to USARA through her deep sense of purpose and commitment to the CRAFT Family Support Program.