Angry? Sad? Embarrassed? Ashamed?
If you live with a parent who uses drugs, you may feel sad, hurt, angry, scared, or lots of other emotions. Drugs are a problem that nobody likes to talk about. About 8.3 million kids in the USA live with an addict.
You are not alone. Help is available.
Things to Remember
* It is NOT your fault if a parent uses drugs. You did not make them start and you cannot make them stop. Sometimes, parents do not believe they have a problem and may try to blame others instead of taking responsibility.
* You cannot control what your parent does about their problem, but you CAN get help for yourself.
* Addiction is a disease. Your parent is not bad, they are sick. The disease of addiction affects their brain. It can cause them to do things that are mean, or don’t make sense. Problems can be helped by a doctor or counselor. One person’s addiction can affect lots of people.
* You can still love your parent even if they use drugs. You can be loved, too. Many children of addicts go on to lead happy, healthy lives.
I didn’t CAUSE it.
I can’t CURE it.
I can’t CONTROL it.
I can CARE for myself
by COMMUNICATING my feelings,
making healthy CHOICES, and by
You Are Important!
1. I have the right to speak up.
What Can I Do?
- Recognize the problem. Secrets are part of the disease of addiction. Don’t make excuses or cover up your parents behavior. It could put you in danger. If you feel uncomfortable, call 911 or an adult you trust. Find a safe place where you can go if things get too bad at home.
- It is okay to talk about the problem. Talking to an adult you trust (like a friend’s parent, a teacher, counselor, neighbor, or family member) is a good start. You can build a support group of people who care about you. Stay close to your friends who make you feel good about yourself.
- Be informed. Know how your parents drug use affects you and your family. When we grow up around people who use drugs as a way to deal with problems, they become our example. Finding new role models can help you learn to deal with stress and find ways to make good decisions.
- Be aware of your emotions. When you feel things like anger or embarrassment, try to identify those feelings. These feelings are powerful and can give you the courage to do the right thing.
- Don’t give up! Spend time doing activities that make you feel good about yourself. Are you a fast runner? A music lover? Do you like to write? Doing things you enjoy are important for your health and happiness.
Emergency Phone Numbers are Important!
Cut out the cards below and keep them with you all the time. One card has space for you to write your own emergency contact numbers. They could be teachers, neighbors, family members, or any trusted adult you can turn to if things get really bad.
If you need help, you can call (day or night):
More helpful links:
|Al-Anon Teen||Natural High|
|Teens Drug Abuse Information||Above the Influence|
|Safe to Call||Nara Teen|