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.
Figuring out how to support your child is no doubt an overwhelming experience. An experience that can have you questioning yourself, your instincts and some of the fears you might have as well. Please know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, when it comes to supporting families, most traditional treatment services, clinicians and too many so-called experts in general have adopted a one-size-fits-all “tough love” approach coupled with a soft hand-off to a twelve-step support group. The message heard loud and clear is often “you are part of the problem; you must detach and there is nothing you can do to help your child.”
Contrary to this approach and advice, evidence tells us that parents and families play a critical role in helping their loved ones get well. The evidence also tells us that families can set the stage for positive change with a more effective approach: CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), for example can provide you with better tools to help you understand your child’s use of substances, ways to better communicate with your child and many skills that can help improve the overall family unit. With tools and strategies, parents can be part of the solution in helping their child towards positive change.
It is also important to get help as early as possible. When I hear people say “let them hit rock bottom” I say that we can raise the bottom to a healthier place. For some “rock bottom” is a tragedy.