Help for Parents & Family Members
Parental & Family Support Groups: Many parents of children battling alcohol or drug addiction report that they've gotten tremendous benefit from attending parental support groups. The granddaddy of these groups is Al-Anon, which has helped countless people over the years deal with the chaos of a loved one’s addiction. However, because their mission is to help you take care of yourself while you live with a loved one’s addiction, you may be told it is inappropriate to ask for advice on how to help your child during a meeting.
Parents who are actively searching for ways to help their children may get more support in meetings run by other organizations. Three other well-respected organizations who run support groups for parents in numerous cities are the Caron Foundation (your child does not need to have attended their treatment program), Families Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and Learn2Cope. In addition, GRASP provides grief recovery meetings for those who’ve had a loved one die as a result of substance abuse or addiction.
Helpline: The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers a free helpline for parents who want to talk to someone about their child’s drug use or drinking.
Connecting with Other Parents: Several private groups exist for parents to get help and support from other parents who are also struggling with a child's addiction, including the following:
Practical advice from other parents who've been there: Worried Your Son or Daughter Might Have a Problem with Drugs or Alcohol?
Helping Your Loved One into Treatment
The first challenge is, of course, for the abuser of alcohol or drugs to recognize they have a problem. According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, “Breaking through denial is an alcoholic’s first step in recovery”.
Some thoughtful resources about how to find the right treatment for your loved one:
- Conquer Addiction's rehab database allows you to identify treatment programs meeting your criteria with the best success rates
- Considering sending your teen to a residential treatment program? The Federal Trade Commission recommends you ask these questions first.
Is there a resource you’ve found particularly helpful that should be included here? Please let us know.