Being the parent of a child with a substance use disorder might be one of the biggest challenges in your life. If your child is a teenager or still lives at home, you might still have some control over their lives. But when they move out, it becomes more difficult than ever to get your child the help that they need. Some children use substances to cope with personal issues while others fall into a bad crowd and don’t know how to kick their habits. Whatever the case, you’re probably in one of three situations:
• You suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem but haven’t brought it up with them directly.
• You’ve confronted your child about the issue, and they denied that they have a problem.
• Your child has admitted that they have a problem but don’t know where to go for help.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. If you’re looking for resources for your child or simply need help starting the conversation, you can find free resources made specifically with parents in mind. Some of these resources offer direct support from specialists who can help you make the right decisions for your child. You can’t control your child’s actions, but you can let them know that you’re looking out for them and want to help them succeed.
Partnership to End Addiction
The Partnership to End Addiction offers a wealth of resources for parents who don’t know where to start with their child’s substance abuse. To start, you can connect with an expert on their website to get advice on how to proceed. You can send them a text, shoot them an email or schedule a call on their website. Once you connect with an expert, you can tell them about your child’s substance abuse and get answers to your questions. This service is 100% free to everyone and available in both English and Spanish.
If you’d rather connect with parents who are dealing with the same challenges, you can join the Partnership to End Addiction’s online support group. To get started, you can register for free online. You’ll get the chance to attend weekly Zoom meetings that cover various topics. You’re not required to attend any of these meetings, but you might want to sign in whenever you get the chance. This is your opportunity to meet other people, ask questions and learn about addiction in a safe environment.
Parent coaching is another option for struggling parents. When you sign up for this service, the Partnership to End Addiction will pair you with a volunteer who’s also struggled with their child’s substance addiction. Over the course of the next six weeks, you’ll schedule five calls with this individual. You’ll get the chance to talk about your experiences and learn how another parent handled the situation, which might help you in your own journey.
Not ready to talk to another person? The Partnership to End Addiction has a wealth of free resources like articles, news and updates, and a social media network. Their library of articles includes information about talking to your child about substance abuse, learning about treatment options, understanding your child’s issues, and preventing substance abuse before it starts. If your child doesn’t have a substance use disorder but you’re worried about their future, you can learn about prevention and early intervention on their website.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers and young adults. If you’ve ever bought car insurance for your child, you know that teenagers are expensive to insure. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2019. The best way to prevent accidents is to talk to your child about drinking and drug use — but if it’s already too late, MADD has resources for parents who want to combat their child’s addiction.
Your child doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to put their life at risk. In fact, casual drinking can lead to an accident just as much as alcoholism. If you’re worried about your child’s drinking habits, the MADD Power of Parents program offers free articles and handbooks that help you talk to your child about the issue. MADD has specific handbooks for parents of middle school and high school students as well as a free checklist for parents who want to set some rules in their household. You can also browse their free online handbooks available in both English and Spanish.
If you’re past the point of prevention, MADD has information on combating your child’s addiction and giving them strategies to stay away from alcohol. Many teens drink because they’re under high levels of stress or feel pressure from their friends. The MADD website outlines common reasons that children drink and suggests alternatives that can steer them away from a life of drinking.
Your child doesn’t have to be an older adult to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The AA website offers free videos for young adults who struggle with substance abuse. Even if your child won’t watch the videos, you can watch them yourself to gain some perspective on the situation. In addition to these clips, AA offers free videos that cover topics like addiction, recovery, and living with sobriety.
If you prefer printed materials, you can print out a free booklet specifically geared toward young adults who struggle with alcoholism. AA has a range of free pamphlets and fliers on their website as well as eBooks for sale. Once your child agrees to attend an AA meeting, you can use the search function on their website to find meetings in your area. Simply enter your zip code to find the nearest facilities, and then, check out their websites for more information about how your child can get started.
If you can catch your child’s issues in time, you might be able to keep them from spiraling into alcoholism or drug addiction. Healthy Children offers tips and advice for every stage of your child’s life. It might seem unlikely that your child will start drinking while they’re in middle school, but plenty of addicts have started using when they were 13 or younger. This website has dozens of articles that cover popular substance abuse topics.
For teenagers, this website has information on popular substances like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and hallucinogens. Healthy Children also has resources for parents who want to talk to their children about drunk driving before they get on the highway. For young adults, this website has articles about talking to your children about drinking at college. Drinking and partying is often part of the “college experience,” which can lead to alcohol poisoning, drunk driving accidents, and other catastrophes. These resources might help you teach your child about drinking responsibly while they’re at college.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
If you suspect that your child has a drinking problem, educating yourself is the first step to tackling the issue. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has dozens of free articles that start with the basic topics and then extend into more specific areas. You can learn about basic aspects of drinking like hangovers, binge drinking, and how alcohol use affects your health.
Once you’ve covered the basics, you can get information about talking to your child about alcoholism and college drinking. The NIAAA also has resources for older adults who struggle with alcoholism. Other specific groups include Native Americans, Hispanic individuals, and pregnant women. These articles offer specific advice on dealing with alcoholism in your peer group.
Now that you’re educated on the subject of alcoholism, you can start finding help for your child. The NIAAA offers a treatment navigator with information about seeking help, finding treatment options in your area, and looking for insurance coverage. You can search for programs, doctors, and therapists in your area by entering your zip code in the form on their website. Other resources include finding support through your journey and understanding that your child might need long-term care.
If you’d rather get all your information in one place, the NIAA has an extensive, single-page guide that has everything you need to know about finding treatment. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to find the best treatment for your child. Your first instinct isn’t always the best — some people need specialized treatment to make a partial or full recovery. You can print out this page for yourself and refer to it when needed.
Finally, the NIAAA website has information about the latest research on alcoholism. You can learn about clinical trials and scientific studies that help researchers learn more about this disease. The NIAAA website also outlines their research plans for the current five-year period. If you want to stay in touch with the NIAAA, check out the news and updates on their website, and follow them on social media.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a great resource for parents and educators. If you’re a teacher, you can download free lesson plans and worksheets that educate your students about substance abuse. Similarly, you can find lessons about managing emotions and taking care of your mental health, which might reduce the likelihood of your students turning to drugs in the first place.
For parents, you can read articles and eBooks and watch videos that have more information on the subject of drug abuse. If you’d prefer a print version, you can call the NIDA to get free publications delivered to your house. The NIDA also has step-by-step guides on dealing with your child’s addiction and helping them get treatment. When you’re ready to help your child seek treatment, the NIDA offers extensive guides on finding treatment, joining support groups, paying for treatment, and other important topics.
Like the NIAAA, the NIDA sponsors research and clinical trials to help researchers learn more about alcoholism and drug addiction. You can learn more about their research on their website to stay on top of the latest news and updates. High school and college professors could incorporate this data into their lesson plans when they teach their students about addiction.
First Recovery Center
First Recovery Center is a rehab facility located in Kokomo, Indiana. We offer multiple treatment programs for people addicted to alcohol, cocaine, meth, heroin, and prescription drugs. If your child is willing to take the first step toward recovery, you can contact us at First Recovery Center to get more information about our programs. We offer several outpatient programs that allow your loved one to come in during the day and go home at night rather than stay in the facility. Some programs require a daily commitment, while others have more flexible scheduling.
We have extensive information on the types of addictions that we treat and the program that we recommend for each one. For example, if your child suffers from alcohol addiction, you can learn about the medications, behavioral therapy, and counseling that we could offer. If your child isn’t ready to commit to rehab, we also have a detox program that allows your child to withdraw from drugs and alcohol in a safe environment.
Being an addict is challenging, but being the parent of an addict comes with its own set of struggles. Sometimes, it’s hard to find support for the parents of addicts who want to help their children but don’t know where to start. These resources offer education, research, publications, and support groups that give you everything you need to know about addiction. Everyone’s situation is different, but these websites provide a starting point. You can even take part in free meetings, calls, and live chats to speak with like-minded people about your situation. Whether you’re trying to prevent an addiction, suspect that your child has an addiction, or have a child who’s admitted that they’re an addict, you can always find help from one of these online resources.