From The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: 'The Intervention eBook: What to Do if Your Child Is Drinking or Using Drugs'

A father and son having a chat.

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, an opportunity for family- and youth-serving agencies to pay special attention to this important issue. Over at The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, you'll find a wealth of resources and information to reduce teen substance abuse and support families affected by addiction.

One accessible guide you might want to read or recommend to parents and caregivers is "The Intervention eBook: What to Do if Your Child Is Drinking or Using Drugs" (PDF, 591KB). The short downloadable book offers concrete information about productive ways to intervene and talk to a young person who may be using drugs or alcohol.

Common questions covered include "Is there anything I should do to prepare for the conversation?", "What are some ways to ensure that our conversation is productive? And what happens if it turns into plain yelling or crying?" and "What if the intervention makes me realize that my child needs outside help?"

The text includes direct quotes from parents and caregivers, which may help families see that they are not alone--others have struggled with drinking and drugs.

In fact, the guide was written collaboratively by parents of youth in recovery, authors, journalists, and mental health professionals, giving it a down-to-earth, true-to-life voice that many professionals, parents, and caregivers will relate to.

For example, in the section "Preparing yourself for your teen’s reaction," the authors write, "Your teen will not be happy that you’re approaching him about his drug or alcohol use. That’s to be expected. What you might not expect is to be called a liar, hypocrite or snoop. Think about how you will handle these accusations if they come up." A chart walks readers through possible responses.

Here's another example of the ebook's advice:

Bottom line: If your child needs outside help, there are plenty of people you can turn to who already have an established relationship with your child. If your child’s drug use is out of control, you will need to start looking into getting treatment, and your family doctor and other people in your community can help you figure out where to start.

Read  "The Intervention eBook: What to Do if Your Child Is Drinking or Using Drugs" (PDF, 591KB).

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children & Families.

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