How to Get Help
Prescription-drug addiction can strike any parent -- mothers and fathers, says Dr. Stephen Ross, an addiction specialist at New York University. Signs that someone is abusing drugs include moodiness, withdrawal from the family and social interactions, excessive sleeping, forgetfulness, and neglecting responsibilities.
If you or someone you care about has a problem, take action. Should a loved one refuse to acknowledge the addiction, experts recommend an intervention with a trained leader who will help encourage her to enter treatment, which could include in-patient rehab and medically supervised drug withdrawal. These organizations can offer help:
NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS (Na.Org) Click on "Information About NA," then "Is NA for Me?" to find a quiz that will help you determine whether you're an addict.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE & MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (dasis3.samhsa.gov) Access an interactive map to help you find a drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment program near you.
INTERVENTION CENTER (intervention.com) Click on "Family Intervention" on the home page to find out exactly how you would do this for your loved one.
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ADDICTION MEDICINE (www.asam.org) If you've been through recovery and then experience an injury or a medical problem that requires pain relief, it's important to look here to find a doctor who is trained in addiction and can oversee your medication.
You can also contact an addiction-treatment center anywhere in the country, even if you or your loved one are not planning to be admitted there. Most will provide resources on understanding addiction, offer guidance on getting help, and refer you to an intervention specialist.
Originally published in the November 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
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