In Midst of Opioid Epidemic, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is Families’ First Destination for Help for a Loved One’s Substance Use

father and son support

New Website Offers Support, Community and Action;

PSAs Focus on Families in Time of Need

NEW YORK – April 25, 2017 – With 144 people dying from a drug overdose each day in the U.S., the country is facing a public health crisis that is tearing millions of families apart. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use, has been on the frontlines of this issue for more than 30 years. Today, the organization announced its priority to support families who need help for a loved one, unveiling a new website customized for a parent’s journey in addressing their child’s substance use.

“There are 7 million young people in America who are in current need of treatment for substance use addiction, and the greatest advocates for those 7 million lives are their parents. Taking in families’ feedback on the tools and support they need, listening to them in social media, walking beside them in the halls of Congress and hearing their concerns as they called our Parents Toll-Free Helpline, we wanted to unequivocally and emphatically convey that we are here for them,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

“Families are our number one priority,” Taylor continued. “When parents are involved, informed and especially when they are empowered with comprehensive resources, the result is better outcomes for the child struggling with addiction. All of our programs and direct resources are centered on helping families and the children they love.”

Shared experiences are central to the Partnerhip’s growing parent community. Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, recently served as Master of Ceremonies at the nonprofit’s fundraiser, and said, “It’s important not just for the person suffering from addiction to share their stories, but for their families as well. It’s inspiring and empowering when you know that others have been through what you’ve been through.”

New drugfree.org Empowers Families with Critical Information and Support

The new drugfree.org more effectively and immediately connects parents with the informative, supportive and relevant content the nonprofit delivers for families every day. Organized under “Get Help and Support,” “Learn” and “Get Involved,” families can find free, online tools and easy-to-use site offerings, a robust parent community and ongoing advocacy efforts.

“We set out to build the easiest way for a parent to learn, get the help they need for their families and benefit from the wisdom of experts and parents who have ‘been there,’” said Taylor. “The new design, created from direct feedback from our parents, also allows for streamlined menus, simple navigation and a seamless experience whether you’re on mobile or desktop.”

Similar to the changing landscape and language around substance use, so followed the new website. Several of the new and expanded features and tools offered at drugfree.org are aligned with evidence-based concepts around motivational interviewing and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT):

  • Ask a Coach: A new tool offering relatable and actionable answers to the most common and pressing questions faced by families dealing with their child’s substance use. Here, frequently-asked questions are organized by category and parents can post a question directly to a trained parent coach and get a personalized answer.
  • Live Chat: A pilot chat program available on nights and weekends to give parents more opportunities to reach out for help, at a time and place that is convenient for them. Both Ask a Coach and Live Chat are made possible through a grant from eight High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs).
  • Easy-to-Use Menu: A new flattened menu consolidates topics like Get Help & Support and Learn to help parents easily get the information they need into teen and young adult substance use.
  • Understand & Find Treatment: A new section outlining the types of treatment available for teens and young adults, since there’s no one-size-fits-all course of therapy.
  • Downloadable Resources: A refresh of the robust free downloadable resources section, with eBooks, one-sheets, films and more.
  • Keep Yourself & Your Family Healthy: A collection of skills and tips on taking care of the entire family – including the parent – during trying times.


“Hope for Families” PSAs Connect Parents to Supportive and Life-Saving Resources

A new testimonial campaign for TV and radio features parents who have struggled with their son or daughter’s addiction, sharing how substance use disorders impact the entire fabric of the family, and demonstrating that recovery is possible. It points viewers to drugfree.org where they can find hope, support and solutions to fit their individual needs.

Created by Nico Sabenorio, “Families Can Heal,” touches on a son’s progression from prescription painkillers (for a sports injury) to an addiction to heroin. “We’re All In Recovery” captures a mother’s perspective about the challenges posed to the entire family when a child is struggling with addiction. The campaign has been airing in pro-bono media locally since March and began airing nationally in April.

Additional Tools and Resources to Empower Families

Moving forward in 2017, the Partnership plans to offer a series of webinars for families on topics related to supporting a teen or young adult child with a substance use disorder. Also in development is a pilot mobile texting program where support resources would be available to parents via their mobile device.

Learn more about the Partnership’s extensive resources for families at drugfree.org and follow us on social media using #FamiliesCanHeal.

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About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids 

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is committed to helping families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use. We empower families with information, support and guidance to get the help their loved one needs and deserves. On our website, drugfree.org, and through our toll-free helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), we provide families with direct support and guidance to help them address teen substance use. Finally, we build healthy communities, advocating for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat the disease of addiction. As a national nonprofit, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and are thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity. We are proud to receive a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, as well as a National Accredited Charity Seal from the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. 

“It’s important not just for the person suffering from addiction to share their stories, but for their families as well. It’s inspiring and empowering when you know that others have been through what you’ve been through.”

Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global

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