You might have seen the previous two blog posts and thought, “I don’t think my child has a substance abuse problem but I still want to make sure they’re as informed as possible.” Whether you’re just looking to start the conversation or you think your child might be heading down a rough path and don’t know what to do, this is for you. It’s okay to feel like you’re on this slippery slope with nowhere to turn and it’s okay to ask for help.
A blog titled “How to Talk to Youth” was published two weeks ago and discussed potential questions to ask your child regarding substance abuse. In that post, I also mentioned some tips on how to have a successful conversation. The questions and tips are a good starting point but you might not be ready for that at the moment. To prepare, researching on your own about the issues you wish to discuss can be beneficial; this way, you go into the conversation with knowledge on the subject so you can have an impactful discussion.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, Partnership for Drug Free Kids is a valuable asset and has all the information you could need. They have a tab on their website titled, “Learn More,” and under this tab is a section on prevention. Within that section is a link titled “Tips for Every Age.” This goes all the way from toddler years into young adulthood and provides various scenarios you might find your child becoming a part of. The scenarios also offer talking points and tips on how to have meaningful conversations.
The helpline uses trained specialists who will listen to your story and help devise an action plan that suits your family’s needs. To increase accessibility, the helpline offers specialists fluent in both English and Spanish. The helpline offers three ways to communicate – text message, email, or a phone number you can call. The helpline is free to use, not including standard text message rates. To use the text message option, you need to include as much detail about your situation as possible to be able to receive the best course of action. For email, you fill out the contact form and include as much detail as possible; expect to hear back within one to two days. For a phone call, simply call the provided number and you can be put in contact with a trained specialist.
Parent coaching is a peer-to-peer program where you will be partnered with a trained parent volunteer who has dealt with a child’s substance use. Parent coaches provide support and guidance on how to get help and stay connected with your child. Coaching is done over the phone and lasts for five calls over a six week period. Parent coaching allows for someone to talk to another person who has been in the same situation, allowing for a connection to grow.
The parent blog is similar to parent coaching, in that it offers stories and advice from parents who have been in the same situation. The blog offers the struggles of the parents, a student’s feelings during his addiction and how his parents helped him to recovery, how to deal with a spouse who disagrees on how to approach the situation, and more.
It can be a very emotional and draining time figuring this all out and wanting the best for you child and you should always remember that you’re never alone in all of this. There are numerous resources available for you to take advantage of and you can always find a network of support.