Get Help for a Loved One Struggling with Opioid Use or Addiction

If your child is struggling with opioid use, the tools and resources below — as well as throughout this site — can help you make a plan and begin to effectively address a loved one’s substance use.

First, Get Emergency Naloxone

Naloxone (known by the brand name Narcan) is a medication that can reverse an overdose and prevent death. It’s incredibly important to have this medication on hand, just in case. Learn how to obtain and use this life-saving medication.

Get Tools to Address the Issue

No matter how your child started using opioids, it’s important to help motivate them to get help for themselves. Use proven tools and communication skills in order to better understand your child’s reasons for substance use, ways to improve communication and to reward non-using behaviors while discouraging substance use.

Learn About the Treatment Options

Getting the right treatment for your child is a process, and navigating the current systems in place requires due diligence and perseverance. Learn about what treatment options might be best for your child, as well as what to avoid in order to get him or her on the road to recovery sooner rather than later.

Many circumstances require specialized care when seeking treatment, such as when a woman is using opioids and becomes pregnant. Download this free guide to learn more.


Explore Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of anti-craving medicine such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine (Suboxone) or methadone — along with comprehensive therapy and support — to help address issues related to opioid dependence, including withdrawal, cravings and relapse prevention. Evidenced-based treatment approaches like this are often needed to successfully overcome addiction and maintain long-term recovery.

Download the Medication-Assisted Treatment eBook >>

Help Prevent Overdose

While the longer-term goal is recovery, for someone struggling with a severe opioid disorder, and still in active use, the immediate focus is on staying alive until they are willing and able to get help. In addition to getting Naloxone, there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of and prevent overdose.

One of the outcomes of the current opioid epidemic is an increased rate of intravenous (IV) drug use — meaning directly injecting opioids or other substances into a vein. Watch this short series of videos to better understand:

  • The relationship between opioid addiction and IV drug use
  • The additional risks, including an increased risk of overdose, created by IV use
  • How to spot early warning signs and, most importantly
  • How to become better equipped to help a loved one


Take Care of Yourself

In order to best help a loved one struggling with opioid use, it’s important to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care can make you more resilient, meaning you can adapt and roll with life’s ups and downs better, without falling into despair or getting angry when your child has a setback. You might want to attend a support group for yourself, as well, to connect with other parents who have been through what you’re going through.

Get One-on-One Help

Our free Parent Helpline has trained and caring specialists ready to talk one-on-one with you about your child’s substance use via phone, chat or email. They can listen, make suggestions and help you create an action plan.