Scientific advances now make it possible to prevent substance abuse from starting; to intervene early and stop emerging substance abuse; and to effectively treat even serious addictions using new medications and therapies. Despite this progress, parents of adolescents and young adults facing substance use problems still need to sort through the myriad amount of information available on the Internet; an often exhausting and sometimes discouraging task. The dearth of trustworthy information about preventing, intervening upon and treating adolescent substance use problems can sometimes be a deterrent to learning and taking action.
The Treatment Research Institute (TRI), through its new Family Resource Center website, wants to alleviate that stress for parents. By researching the most consistent, accurate and scientifically informed information, TRI sorted through the most widely available resources so parents and caring loved ones don’t have to. There IS good information to help adolescents and young adults. There ARE solutions. It DOESN’T have to be so overwhelming.
The Family Resource Center is a compilation of the best-known and recognized resources to help parents and caring loved ones prevent drug or alcohol use, intervene early, find treatment and support adolescents and young adults in addiction recovery. Included resources are backed by various degrees of scientific support and represent those that come from the most notable, national sources, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. By organizing and vetting these quality resources, the Treatment Research Institute hopes to relieve families of the burden of sorting and evaluating information themselves.
“If there had been this type of resource available to us back when our son started to battle his addiction, our family would have had a better path forward,” said mom and substance use recovery advocate, Cherylyn Marcy. “My hope is that this website will provide parents the ability to understand the disease of addiction and know that they can find the resources they need to help their child.”
Putting families at the forefront of research efforts has always been a priority at the Treatment Research Institute, especially through the Parents Translational Research Center (PTRC). Funded in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the PTRC is one of the first translational research centers of its kind devoted to research and development of practical tools for parents and other caregivers confronting issues that result from their adolescent or young adult’s drug or alcohol use. Many of the resources were created in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and are also found on the website.
When reviewing the resources, it’s important to keep in mind that each parent, child and family is unique. Families should take into account their own strengths and weaknesses, the severity of their child’s substance use and the presence of co-occurring disorders to determine which information could be most helpful. Most families will benefit from support and other professional help when dealing with adolescent substance use. Sometimes the situation is complex and requires the help of a skilled professional who can help parents learn about the options that are best for their family.
While the content in the website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, it can serve as a place to gather information, make a plan, and take that next step forward. Learn about the resources on the Family Resource Center here.