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Resources for Parents of Children with Substance Use Disorder





Substance use disorder not only affects those living with the disease, but it takes a tremendous toll on families. Parents may feel like they’re living a life of secrecy, isolation, shame and guilt, but know that you’re not alone. There is hope and an entire community to lean on through this journey of recovery and empowerment.

Heartland High School

Our mission at Heartland High School is to provide a recovery-centered education that creates a sense of belonging, self-confidence, and purpose. We accomplish this by ensuring a safe, sober, restorative and challenging experience for high school students recovering from alcoholism and/or other drug addictions; students who have made a personal commitment to recovery, have a desire to learn, want to attain a high school diploma, and are willing to be an active part of a recovery school community of like-minded students, faculty and staff.

The faculty and staff at Heartland are committed to our core values (honesty, respect, service, inclusion, and community) and supporting you and your family in the recovery process. Our expectations for your child’s academic achievement and recovery are realistic and attainable, and we will support you as coaches and facilitators in both the recovery and academic processes. For more information about Heartland and the enrollment process, visit www.heartlandhighschool.org.

Parents are also invited to reach out to Melissa Murphy, Heartland High School’s Parent Coach. Melissa has walked the same path as parents of children with substance use disorder; her son is in recovery. To reach out to Melissa, contact melissamurphy147@yahoo.com or (614) 915-8853.

The Addict’s Parents (TAP) United

As parents of children who suffer from the disease of addiction, we have come to learn that while our children may have the actual medical symptoms and/or diagnosis of the disease, the entire family suffers from the pain, chaos and consequences of substance use disorder. TAP United is an integrated and comprehensive resource for parents who have a child/adult child with substance use disorder, as well as those who have lost one or more children from the disease of addiction.

Meetings are held on Wednesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. at Meadow Park Church, 2425 Bethel Rd., Columbus, Ohio. Led by Joe Smith, who has been running this weekly meeting for more than 20 years, these gatherings provide a safe space for parents to share.

The Addict’s Parents (TAP) United - Survivors of Loss

This group of parents are united together due to the loss of a child due to the disease of addiction. TAP United – Survivors of Loss offers support to one another and finds ways to live in the journey of grief. There is also a closed Facebook support page to join.

American Addiction Center’s Guide for Parents

This helpful guide is broken up into 2 parts: Part I focuses on statistics, myths vs. facts, and how substance use disorder may point to underlying psychological disorders; Part II highlights the keys to intervening successfully, choosing a treatment center and caring for your family after treatment.

SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)

Use these effective, easy-to-learn tools to help family and friends better cope with their loved one’s situation and regain peace of mind. This website also includes recommended readings, podcasts and blogs.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

AA is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It’s nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical and available almost everywhere. Learn about the Alcoholics Anonymous book, published in 1939, that started it all and about the 12 steps that have helped people struggling with alcoholism.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs has become a major problem. The group includes recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There’s only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is a confidential, free, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year, information service for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. The service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations.

SUN Behavioral Health Columbus

SUN Behavioral Health’s team of dedicated, compassionate professionals are committed to improving the health and well-being of people and communities by partnering with hospitals, doctors, schools and social service agencies to solve the unmet behavioral health needs that exist across the country. The top priority of SUN is delivering positive outcomes to patients and families, from education about the recovery process to programs that save and enhance lives.

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