As a parent, watching a child struggle with addiction can be heart wrenching—whether the son or daughter is 15, or 50. There are many resources available to support those in this difficult situation (as well as the addict) as they navigate the intervention, treatment and recovery processes.

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Addiction Resources For Parents

  • Al-Anon: Al-Anon is a twelve-step program for those affected by alcoholics and drug addicts. It is associated with twelve-step programs Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and provides group meetings for the loved ones of alcoholics. Though the people who run Al-Anon groups are not mental health nor addiction specialists, the group members learn from one another's experiences.
  • Casa Grande Alliance: The Casa Grande Alliance Resources for Parents page includes links to other drug free, addiction prevention, and addiction care websites, such as the Partnership for a Drug Free America and the National Family Partnership. Their website also includes information on determining whether teens are using, and how to help children who discover they are addicts. Although the information is targeted toward parents of addicts who are minors, some of the information about prevention and helping children is appropriate for all children, whether they are minors or not.
  • Many addiction specialists and addiction organizations also recommend visiting family counselors. Family counselors can help parents and children understand the basis for the addiction, help family members find coping mechanisms and pair addicts with the appropriate addiction services, such as inpatient treatment or addiction programs such as SMART Recovery, Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, or Rational Recovery.

Addiction Resources for Parents of Adolescent Addicts

  • The Phoenix House: Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the Phoenix House Adolescent Program serves teens in a long-term (more than 90 days) treatment facility. Phoenix House has both outpatient and residential services available, and their Adolescent Residential Program allows teens to catch up on their schoolwork while simultaneously addressing their addiction. Parents and other family members are encouraged to participate in all facets of their family member's treatment program, whether it is inpatient or outpatient treatment.
  • Newport Academy: Located in Southern California, Newport Academy is a residential treatment and educational program for addicted teens and their families. In addition to the inpatient treatment options, the website offers a wealth of information for parents who may not be able to afford an inpatient facility or those who do not live near Newport Academy.

Resource Websites

The Partnership at Drugfree.org provides parents and loved ones with information on talking to teens about staying away from drugs and alcohol, and how to address suspicions that they are using drugs and alcohol. The partnership has podcasts, news articles and professional advice from psychologists and counselors. The website also includes a phone number for a toll-free helpline for parents who would like to speak with a specialist about their children and drug and alcohol abuse.

Teen Drug Abuse provides parents and teens with comprehensive information about drug and alcohol abuse. Though some of the information is targeted directly at teens, the resource information can be used by parents to talk to their teens. Included on the website is a boarding school locator to help parents find boarding schools that cater to students with abuse problems. The “Get Help" page includes treatment programs that help students stay current on their academics while receiving treatment for their addictions.

Although there is no guarantee that as an adult, the child will choose to seek treatment and avoid a relapse once they are living independently, being informed is a crucial step toward the opportunity to heal and recover—for parent and child.