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Get Help: Guide for Parents

So you now believe your child or teenager has an opioid addiction problem. What’s next?

First, there is hope. With the right diagnosis, intervention and treatment plan, your loved one can escape the grip of this disease.

But how do you start? How do you approach your child?

Joanne Peterson, founder of Learn 2 Cope, suggests these strategies:
If you have suspicions that your child or teen is “using,” formulate a plan:
    • Get educated about the illness by researching it online or attending a local Learn 2 Cope meeting
    • Locate a substance abuse counselor or treatment center that you may want to tap into, if your child needs help
    • Build a team of close relatives or friends around you for support (for both you and your child)

Buy a drug test:
    • Learn 2 Cope recommends a 12 panel urine test, found at many drug stores over-the-counter. Make sure it can give fast results in your home (without having to mail to a lab)
    • 12 panel tests can cost $40. Learn 2 Cope sells them for $15

Talk to your child:
    • Tell them you love them and you are worried about them
    • Explain that you’ve noticed behaviors that are different in them
    • Assert that it is your responsibility, if they are sick, to get them well, just as if they had diabetes, and were not eating a healthy diet or not taking proper medication, you would insist on a doctor visit
    • Ask them if they are taking any substances you need to know about
    • Regardless of whether they say yes or no, ask them to take the drug test. If they accuse you of not trusting them, say this isn’t about trust, it’s about being healthy
    • If the test is positive, explain you need to get them help before it turns into a lifelong addiction
    • Make it clear that it is your expectation they will not do drugs in the house and that they will participate in getting treatment. Also let them know that you will stand by them and do everything you can to help

This is not an easy conversation. And it doesn’t always go well. You can expect your child/teen to be angry and deny any problem. You may have to speak to him/her several times, including with members of that team of family/friends you put together.Stay strong. And know that there are community networks that can help.

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click here for warning signs page
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click here for prevention page
click here for commonly misused page
click here for get help guide page
click here for naloxone description

Source: Learn 2 Cope
Posted June 2015
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to offer specific medical advice and should not be used for diagnosing or treating particular conditions.
For questions about your own health, ask your doctor.