A support group can be a parent’s greatest ally when dealing with their teen’s use of drugs or alcohol.
A key step in dealing with your child’s problematic substance use is finding a trusted, professional counsellor.
They are trained to listen and can help you find solutions to your problems. Some communities have established local coalitions that can support your family through this difficult time. Whatever path you take at this point, know that there are many caring professionals that want to help you successfully work through the situation.
Although it may be difficult to make the call, the earlier that you seek help for your child the better.
These are community and health specialists who can guide and inform you:
- School counsellors and student assistance professionals
- Employee assistance professionals
- Family doctors or paediatricians
- Faith leaders
- Community health centres
- Adolescent prevention or treatment professionals
- Local community anti-drug coalitions
Ask your child if there is someone they trust (like a coach or student advisor) and feel comfortable talking to, as they are more likely to be an active participant if they have a say in what happens.
Seek advice from a health professional
Sharing your concerns with your health professional can help you get the advice and assistance you need. If you have an appointment with your child’s doctor, call ahead to make time to discuss this issue.
Other parents can provide support
Talk to other parents. It may also help to talk to other parents who have experienced what you are going through. Some communities have parent action groups or parent peer groups that meet informally to discuss parenting issues and discuss solutions. You may also find support online in community parenting groups on social media.
All of us need help at some point in our lives. Other adults can be important allies for you and your child.