Trusted Addiction Resources for Parents

If you or a loved one are experiencing a life-threatening emergency
Call 911 or go to your nearest hospital

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

Parent/Caregiver Education and Support

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Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (HBFF) – Virtual Family Program (VFP)

This free full-day program is live and interactive education and support via WebEx designed for parents and family members. The program features clinical family specialists from HBFF and is available in English and Spanish. The program addresses practical information, tools and resources that will help families begin the addiction recovery process for their loved one. Sessions are offered during the week. HBFF also offers a separate version of the VFP training for parents/guardians and siblings of adolescents (12-23 years old). For any questions call: 1-877-429-5093 or email virtualfamily@hazeldenbettyford.org.

Sign-up through the links below:

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The Partnership to End Addiction – Specialist Support and Parent Coaching

This free service is a great way to get started with initial direction from a trained addiction specialist on appropriate next steps for dealing with your child’s situation. Recommendations can cover a wide range of appropriate actions and can include getting coaching from Parent Peers with lived experience and training in evidenced-based CRAFT principles (Story 10). Texting (the preferred method) or emailing is the quickest way to connect into this service. A call can typically be scheduled inside of two weeks. Support is available in English and Spanish. To connect to this service: Text: “CONNECT” to 55753

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Caron Treatment Center - My Child & Addiction” Podcast Series

A free and easy way to get started in the process. These gritty and authentic podcasts of live parent support group meetings offer great insights and information from experienced and affected parents. Each podcast also features a top clinician from nationally recognized Caron Treatment Center. To get started, pick one of the 40+ available podcasts on a topic that resonates with you. To find the podcasts: Search on any podcast app: “My Child & Addiction”.

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The Partnership to End Addiction – Live Virtual Parent Support Groups

These free parent support group meetings are run by trained Parent Peer Coaches and supported by trained addiction specialists. The meetings provide support and use evidence-based CRAFT principles to educate family members about addiction and improve communication with your addicted loved one (see Story 10). Meetings are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 8pm EST and Saturday at 11am EST.

Sign-up with the link below:

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SMART Recovery – Family and Friends Education and Support Meetings

These free meetings provide support and use evidence-based CRAFT principles (See Story 10) to educate “family and friends” about addiction and improving communication with your addicted loved one. The moderators of the meetings are trained and can be either addiction professionals or lay people. The meetings are offered in two ways: small local in-person or zoom meetings (170 meetings per week) and large online gatherings (8 meetings per week). Please note that the website and sign-up process can be somewhat difficult to navigate.

To access use the link below:

Finding Appropriate Addiction Treatment

There are three fundamental steps for selecting the right treatment provider:

• Determine the right type of care for your loved one (Story 4).
• Locate treatment provider options.
• Ask treatment providers questions to determine fit and the quality of provider.

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Determine the Right Type of Care

This short, consumer-friendly assessment was developed by the pre-eminent addiction scientific organization, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM,) Open Beds, and Shatterproof, to direct people to the right treatment type.

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Locate Treatment Provider Options

After you have determined the right type of care, if you have a trusted and knowledgeable source for addiction treatment recommendations, use that person for a recommendation. If not, the most widely used treatment locator is a US Government (SAMHSA) tool.

Questions for Addiction Treatment Providers: These questions will help determine if the provider uses evidence-based practices and if the fit for your loved one is appropriate:

8 Essential Questions to Ask Treatment Providers

  1. When can we get an appointment? Quick access to treatment can be very important because your child’s willingness to attend can be fleeting.
  2. What is the cost of the program/ do you take insurance/ do you have financial aid or sliding pay scales? Addiction treatment can be expensive, particularly residential treatment.
  3. Do you offer customized treatment for ________ (fill in age/ gender/ other characteristics)? A treatment program that includes others like your child is more effective for your child.
  4. What therapies do you use to treat patients? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Contingency Management Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Therapy are evidence-based treatment protocols and an indicator of the quality and rigor of the treatment provider.
  5. Do you offer Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioids/other substances? Even if your child does not use opioids, this question signals whether the treatment provider utilizes the latest scientifically effective treatment protocols.
  6. Do you provide mental health care or are you closely connected with mental health services? Close to 75% of those needing substance use treatment need mental health monitoring or care (Story 4) – another important service that signifies competence.
  7. Do you provide family support and counseling? As you now know, parents and families are very important to the recovery process and they need guidance.
  8. Do you design an aftercare program for the patients? As shown in Story 5, recovery is a process and long-term recovery typically requires ongoing support after the initial treatment services. An aftercare plan is essential.

Free Alternatives to Professional Addiction Treatment

As discussed in Story 12, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free alternative that top scientists have shown has good effectiveness for addressing addiction. Even though alcohol addiction is the primary substance that AA addresses, many people with drug addictions use AA for help. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was founded on the AA principles and is an alternative for those addicted to drugs.

Given the lethal risks of opioids, please note that there are effective risk reduction strategies using FDA approved pharmaceuticals which can block the impact of opioids or reduce cravings for lethal drugs. These tools can only be provided through trained professionals. Additionally, if your child is using opioids, please have NARCAN on hand which can reverse an overdose and has saved thousands of lives.

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Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship dedicated to abstinence based recovery.

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Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous, founded in 1953, describes itself as a "nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem." Narcotics Anonymous uses a 12-step model developed for people with varied substance use disorders and is the second-largest 12-step organization.