Are you finding what you need online?
Are you becoming overwhelmed with the volume of resources about substance use?
The thing is, sometimes when there is too much information, we find that we cannot absorb any of it. The information just becomes more confusing.
You make better decisions when you educate yourself on the substance use of your teens and/or young adult. There are many amazing blogs out there, but today, I’m steering you towards some larger, either professional organizations or large non-profits with a history of solid information.
For any family who is just discovering their child’s substance use or for anyone looking for help, these resources will give you the information you need.
These six resources are where I would start if you are a parent are seeking information online.
#1: The Center for Motivation and Change
The Center for Motivation and Change is a group of psychologists, based in NYC who have studied substance use disorder for years. They use the tools and strategies from CRAFT to help parents and families. They have two main resources for parents who live in other areas of the country.
The 20 Minute Parent’s Guide is a game changer for families. I highly recommend every parent who is concerned about their child to get yourself a copy. You can read the Guide online or buy a paper version.
The Parent Guide has a number of easy to read sections (Introduction, Taking Care of Yourself, Communicating, Helping and Practice!). There is a lot of information in the Guide for a person to absorb, but it is well worth the effort. The idea is to read about 20 minutes at a time so that you can digest the information and practice what you learn as you go along. Knowing that one size doesn’t fit all one of the underlying themes, because as we know, everyone’s situation is different. Positive reinforcement, coupled with allowing for naturally occurring consequences is a powerful way to encourage your child to make positive change.
Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change is a new book that was recently released. The book was co-authored by three of the psychologists from The Center for Motivation and Change. The book gives the reader tools and strategies to help yourself and the family member struggling with substance abuse make positive change.
This would be the first book that I suggest you read if you are struggling because of your child’s substance abuse issues. It gives you evidence based information that can begin the process of change for your family.
Grab both of these resources, so that you can understand the effects of substance abuse and what you can do to help yourself and your child.
#2: The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
In the mid-1980s, a small group of advertising professionals discussed how to best use their talents to address the nation’s drug problem. They thought, if advertising could be used to sell products, couldn’t it be used to unsell them as well?
These advertising professionals came together and created the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. The organization is a non-profit organization, and is a resource for families concerned about teen substance abuse. Their vision is that all young people will be able to live their lives free of alcohol or drug use, by helping parents prevent, intervene and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children.
They have expanded their work to include prescription drug abuse which has become a large problem for many communities. They have a community outreach program as well as a drug guide and many more resources. You can subscribe to the newsroom with the latest news and updates.
One of the best services is that they have two live counselors to help you, if you are struggling with your child and want advice. Feel free to call into the Parent hotline and be connected with a Parent Specialist. They are open Monday to Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm ET 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) and are there to help you.
#3: HBO Addiction
HBO Addiction is a very informative site that explains all aspects of addiction. Their nine separate videos are a must see for parents and will help you understand your child’s often chaotic and confusing behavior. The video segments include What is Addiction, Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Getting an Addict into Treatment: The CRAFT Approach, Understanding Relapse, South Boston Drug Court and more.
Another section that you might find useful is: “I need help for a child…”. It includes answers to How do I Know there is a problem?, There is a problem, What should I do?, He/She has relapsed. Now what?, and Understanding the basics.
Educating yourself on addiction is one of the keys to helping your child make the choice to change their lifestyle. This website is full of information. You will come away with a better understanding of how your child’s abuse of drugs or alcohol has affected you and your family.
#4: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA gives you the science behind drug abuse and addiction. Dr. Nora Volkow has been the director of NIDA since 2003. Her work has been instrumental in showing that addiction is a disease of the brain. As I mentioned above, you will find Dr. Volkow sharing her information on the HBO Addiction videos.
On the website you will find a thorough explanation of drugs of abuse, including alcohol, street drugs, prescription drugs and emerging trends. There is a tab for Parents and Educators with information in English as well as Spanish.
To learn more about the effects of marijuana, check out the Marijuana, Facts for Teens publication. It is just one of a number of publications that will give you information about specific drugs.
You can also download a list of commonly abused prescription drugs.
Finally, one of my favorite sections is the NIDA for Teens. There is a wealth of information in an easy to read format for teens, parents and educators. The following sections are included: Drug Facts, Our Blog for Teens, Videos, Educator and Parents.
The blog for teens would be a great conversation starter for a family dinner discussion about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Having your teen read the blog and discuss what they read at dinner could be a way to help them be more informed about their options. When so many teens feel pressured to try drugs or alcohol, being equipped with solid information may result in your child making better choices.
Shatterproof is a national non-profit organization, which was recently started by Gary Mendell after the loss of his son, Brian.
The organization’s goal is to educate, empower and equip parents, families, educators, health care providers, legislators, and others to address addiction head on. They have created their organization to help make people aware of the serious gaps in funding and resources for the disease of addiction.
“Shatterproof’s programs will offer support for sufferers and their families, enable powerful new evidence-based approaches to prevention and treatment, and take the issue to the steps of Capitol Hill.”
One of their goals is to reduce the devastating impact of addiction on families across America, as well as the stigma and secrecy associated with addiction and the shame felt by those struggling with this disease and their families.
While the resource center page has plenty of solid information, they have plans to add more resources.
Their blog is an informative place to read articles from other parents as well as from people who have experienced addiction themselves. Their latest fundraising event is Rappelling From the side of a Building to raise awareness and funding for their cause. How cool is that?
The organization understands the need to bring awareness to addiction to our communities and to do it in a way where people will pay attention.
#6: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their mission is to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
The National Helpline (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) which is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing substance use and mental health issues. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. You can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
My hope is that you find these resources useful. Read all you can, because we make the best decisions when we educate ourselves.
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