What role do families play in supporting someone using substances?

When someone develops a substance use disorder, everyone around them is affected. If this happens to someone in your family, understanding proven principles, effective strategies, and skills for helping a loved one can be critical to their recovery.

There is a tendency for families to pull away from the community when their child is using substances, usually because of shame or fear. Instead, they should try to pull in the community to support them through this process. The young person should be exposed to different adults and community members, as each of them could be a key protective factor in helping them correct risky behaviors and meet their needs in healthier ways. Just as we encourage teens to ask for help and support, parents should be vulnerable in asking for help, too.

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