Should You Drug Test Your Child?
If you’re a parent worried about your child’s drug use, you may be considering drug testing. But experts recommend against at-home drug testing. Learn why.
We work with a special group of moms and dads – Parent Coaches – who, just like you, have been affected by a child’s substance use. They are volunteers who receive special training from the Partnership and our clinical partner in order to help other families through similar struggles. In these blog posts, they answer parents’ most frequent questions.
One of the most helpful things you can do when your child is struggling with substance use is to connect with others who understand what you are going through. There are many options, so take the time to find a support group or professional who you trust and feel comfortable with.
To find a professional, ask friends, family, or your doctor. Psychology Today also has listings of therapists in local areas. It is critical to find someone who specializes in addiction and is open to a research-based approach, as well as the more traditional approaches.
Support groups are another way to connect with other supportive people. SMART Recovery offers family and friends meetings. There are some live meetings, and also some online meetings. 12 Step support is offered by Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. There are meetings in many cities across the country, so by going to their website you can search for a meeting in your area. The recommendation is to go to six different meetings until you find one that feels like a good fit.
Finally, reach out to family and friends that you trust and that you feel will be supportive. One option is to reach out to people in your community who have children who have also struggled with substance use issues. Not everyone has to have experienced substance use with their children to be supportive, so compassionate and understanding friends and family members can also be helpful. Just steer clear of those that do pass judgement or want to give you unsolicited advice.
What is important is to not stay isolated. The more you can surround yourself with people who understand and are supportive of what you are going through, the better you will feel and the more help you will be to your struggling child.