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Video #9: Addressing Early Substance Use as a Parent

If you’ve just discovered or have reason to believe your child is using substances, the first thing to do is sit down and take a deep breath. We know this is scary, but you’re in the right place. The best way to find out what’s going on, and to begin helping, is to start talking and listening. Addressing an unhealthy behavior is less about imposing change than making changes together, and supporting goals.

Cesar Bravo Wolfe, Helpline Supervisor at Partnership to End Addiction, responds to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from parents and family members as they look to better communicate, create boundaries, and encourage behavior change.

For resources on how you can address early substance use with your child, check out the links below:

In 2022, Partnership is launching a 26-video series with the help of  YouTube. The original videos spotlight messages of hope and point to credible information and resources for the millions of families struggling with substance use and addiction.  

We’ll release new videos every two weeks, featuring a mix of families personally affected by substance use and experts and advocates who have dedicated their lives to helping others who are struggling with addiction. The topics covered will fall into four unique series:  

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Video #8: Family support for addiction treatment with Partnership to End Addiction's Karla Castro-Soto

You’ve likely had many conversations with your child on the dangers of drinking, smoking or using other substances. But despite your best efforts, they continue to engage. Why can’t they see how harmful this behavior is? The short answer is that to them, substance use is solving a problem despite the risks or harm.

Family support for a child or loved one struggling with substance use is essential to finding a positive path forward. Effective support reduces feelings of isolation, helps your loved one feel cared for, and positions you and your family as an accessible resource for guidance and assistance.

For resources on how you and your family can best support your child or loved one on their road to and through recovery, check out the links below:

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Video #7: Partnership to End Addiction's Marcus Daugherty on navigating the treatment system

Realizing that your teen or young adult child needs help for their substance use or addiction can be overwhelming, and you are not alone if you have no idea where to begin. There is no one-size-fits-all approach so it can take a fair amount of research to figure out what type of help your loved one needs and how to get it.

Getting the right treatment for your child is a process, and navigating the health care system requires careful examination, determination and some caution.

For resources on finding treatment, motivating a loved one to go to treatment, payment options and more, check out the links below.

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Video #6: Partnership’s Pat Aussem answers the most common questions about fentanyl

In the first EXPERTS ANSWER video, Pat Aussem, Partnership to End Addiction’s Associate Vice President, Consumer Clinical Content Development, answers the most common questions about fentanyl: why it is so dangerous and why it is important to talk to your child about the risk of prescription medications laced with fentanyl.

Today, on National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Partnership to End Addiction is launching the next group of videos in our year-long YouTube video series: EXPERTS ANSWER. This latest group of short videos provides perspectives on some of the most common questions regarding addiction prevention, treatment and recovery that we’re hearing from families.

For more resources on fentanyl, the substances where fentanyl is often found, and the risks posed by the dangerous synthetic opioid, check out the links below.

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Video #5: Monica talks about her son, Bobby, got started with opioids and how he and his family found a path toward recovery

Opioid pain relievers are most often prescribed following surgery or to treat cancer pain, and these situations certainly come with risk. “It started, innocently enough, when he had his wisdom extracted,” says Monica. “I never thought that prescription pills would be where it would start.”

For resources on the risks of prescription medications and parenting toward recovery, check out the links below.

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Video #4: Tonia, a peer parent coach at the Partnership, describes the interconnected nature of her son’s mental health and substance use

It’s difficult enough if your loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, but what if they are struggling with a mental health disorder at the same time? Like Tonia’s son Rory, 30 to 45% of adolescents and young adults with mental health disorders have a co-occurring substance use disorder.

For resources on finding effective treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, check out the links below.

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Video #3: Tony and Pattie discuss how scared they were when their son’s substance use first became a problem, and the different approaches they took to find a treatment program

Pattie’s and Tony’s son struggled with substance abuse disorder, and passed away in 2017. Here they discuss the difficulties they encountered finding help through their healthcare network, and the vital role played in recovery by communities of care like Partnership to End Addiction.

To find more resources on helping your child or family member find and engage in treatment, check out the links below.

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Video #2: After a variety of treatment centers and methods, Kathleen and her family tried medication to treat her daughter’s addiction

In some treatment programs, families may not be told about all the potential options for their loved one struggling with addiction, especially medications to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Watch as Kathleen and her family discuss how a reframing of their approach to support and access to medication changed the trajectory of their family member’s recovery.

Want to learn more? Check out these additional resources on medication-assisted treatment and harm reduction.

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Video #1: Heidi, a Partnership Parent Coach, talks about the value of self-care

It’s common and understandable for parents to focus exclusively on their child or loved one when they are struggling with substance use, even to the detriment of their own health and well-being. Watch as Heidi describes how her efforts to take care of herself made her a better problem-solver and a positive example for her daughter in how to manage stress and anxiety.

Want to dive deeper in Partnership’s resources on self-care? Check out the following.