How Can I Keep My Younger Son Safe From My Older Son’s Substance Use?
Younger siblings can suffer when there is substance use in the family. It’s important to consider a plan for all children in the family.
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.
The relapse rate for substance use disorders is typically 40-60%, although with opioids like painkillers and heroin, it is estimated to be as high as 90%. This is consistent with other chronic diseases like diabetes. Often, it takes multiple treatment episodes to achieve a stable recovery. Every treatment episode is an opportunity to abstain from drugs and alcohol while learning better coping skills.
It’s also true that for most people, changing behaviors, and potentially one’s entire lifestyle, is marked by ambivalence, meaning sometimes a person really wants to change and is taking steps in that direction, while at other times, thinks it’s difficult and not worth the struggle at the moment. It helps to think about a personal change you have tried to make, like starting an exercise program, losing weight, learning to meditate, etc., to understand the ups and downs of the process. Sometimes you may feel very committed to making a change for the better, while at other times, it’s a challenge. This is the same for loved ones struggling with substances and it helps to be supportive.