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Article at a Glance

  • When faced with a loved one struggling with addiction, finding the right guidance can be difficult.
  • When a loved one is struggling with addiction, there will usually be signs that you can pick up on.
  • There are resources available to help your loved ones who are in active addiction.


Drug and alcohol addiction is debilitating, heartbreaking and life-threatening. For those who are caught in the grip of addiction, they feel like they are fighting for their lives on a daily basis. Drug addiction destroys hopes, dreams, and lives—and it isn’t just the addict who suffers with this disease. The disease of dependence also has devastating effects on the addict’s family, their friends, employers and the community at large.

For addicts and families affected by the ravages of addiction, finding the appropriate professional help can be frustrating. There are many treatment options available that feature quality programs and experienced staff. Despite the wide variety of quality resources and help that are available to addicts and their loved ones, many feel overwhelmed at their choices. Finding the right people to talk to and the right guidance can be a trying experience.

We at JourneyPure At The River understand your anxiety and frustration. In order to better help you find the programs and resources that you need, we have put together a comprehensive guide. This guide will provide timely information on how you can get help for a friend or loved one struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. This all-inclusive guide provides you the tools and resources you need to help a parent, friend, son and daughter and even yourself.

If you have further questions or need someone to talk to, call JourneyPure At The River toll-free today. One of our compassionate staff members will be happy to assist you.

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Finding Help for Your Son or Daughter

The teenage and young adult years are marked by substantial change. During this period, young people experience dramatic growth physically and socially. When combined with constant peer pressure and social media influence, many young people often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Your son and daughter may start using substances to experiment with them, but experimentation often leads to dependence and addiction.

It is important to understand that addiction has two distinct components, which are physical addiction and psychological addiction. Each component is defined as the following:

  • Physical Addiction simply means that a person’s body actually becomes dependent on a particular substance. Physical addiction also means that a person’s body and mind has built tolerance to a substance or substances. If substance use is stopped abruptly, users will experience withdrawal symptoms that are uncomfortable and even painful.
  • Psychological Addiction happens when people become emotional and psychological cravings for substances. When people are psychologically addicted, they are overwhelmed with strong desires to use drugs and/or alcohol. Additionally, psychological addiction creates feelings that

the user cannot function or survive without drugs in their life.

The Signs of Addiction

The signs of addiction in your son and daughter may be subtle at first. What you may notice can be confused with the growing pains of becoming a young adult. However, if these signs continue and grow worse over time, it warrants immediate attention. The following are the common signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction in young people:

  • Find drugs, alcohol and paraphernalia associated with drug use on them, in clothing or in their room.
  • Smelling of drugs and alcohol on their breath, their clothes or their hair.
  • Rapidly declining academic performance, increased trouble at school and truancy issues.
  • Glassy and bloodshot eyes, and a general appearance of looking drunk and/or stoned.
  • Abandoning social activities, they once enjoyed.
  • Wide mood swings and drastic changes in behavior.
  • Abandoning old friends and hanging out with a new circle of friends.
  • Missing money and items of value such as electronics and jewelry.
  • Significant weight loss in the short term.
  • An increase in illnesses, especially respiratory illnesses.

As stated, any number of these symptoms can be attributed to other factors. Nevertheless, you as parents need to be vigilant and proactive in addressing these symptoms when they arise. If your son and daughter is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, it is easy to be overcome with guilt, embarrassment, and anger. While it is easy to give in to these emotions, you must take a step back and educate yourself on the disease of addiction.

Where to Turn for Help

In order to effectively help your son or daughter, you must gain knowledge of addiction and seek the help of experienced professionals. A great place to start is your family doctor, counselor or clinical professional at your local hospital. These people are invaluable in providing the support you need as you determine the best course of action in helping your child. These professionals can guide you to the community programs and resources you need.

You also will need to look at the appropriate treatment programs that are specifically created for teenagers and young adults. It is important to understand that treatment is not one size fits all. A young person’s mind and body are still undergoing rapid development. As a result, you must find treatment programs that are sensitive to their needs.

When choosing a program, the facility you are looking at must have medical detoxification services available to help your child get through withdrawal. These facilities must also have a wide variety of individual and group therapy options, holistic and traditional treatment programs, 12-step groups, and life and coping skills training. When looking for these programs, finding those that run 90 days or longer are ideal. These programs also should offer intensive outpatient programming that will help your son and daughter strengthen their confidence in recovery.

While it is important that your child find the appropriate treatment program to find recovery, it is highly recommended that you go through treatment as well. Many treatment programs feature family therapy so the whole family can heal. In family therapy, each family member can talk about how addiction has impacted them in a safe and nurturing environment. When the family unit is strengthened and healed, it provides a strong environment for the addict to flourish in their recovery.

If you are a parent of a child struggling with substance abuse, the feelings of frustration and hopelessly are completely understandable. You may feel unsure of where to turn or where to look for information on drug and alcohol addiction. The following are some excellent resources you can look into that will give you the information you need:

*The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

*Teens Health-Nemours

*American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

*Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Finding Help for a Parent

No matter how old you become, the influence that our parents have over our lives is immeasurable. Not only have you inherited their genes, but you have also learned their behaviors, communication styles, and habits. While you deeply love and appreciate your parents for who they are and what they have done for you, drug and alcohol addiction can severely strain those bonds.

Unfortunately, having a parent struggling with substance abuse is a common feature in American households. According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of every four American kids grow up in a household where drug and alcohol abuse is present. When parents are abusing substances, children are more likely to develop an addiction issue themselves.

If you are a child of an addicted parent, you have assumed the role of the caregiver. You may not realize you have taken on this role at first. As with any addiction, the signs are subtle and grow in severity gradually and over time. You may have a feeling deep inside that something is terribly wrong, but you ignore it because of the strong emotional bond you have with a parent. If left unchecked, a parent’s addiction will spin out of control and destroy everything in its path—including the bonds between you and other family members.

Asking the Tough Questions

When you suspect a parent is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, you have to ask yourself tough questions. The following are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you cancelling activities with family members and friends in order to stay with a parent who is drinking or taking drugs in isolation?
  • Are you drinking or using drugs with a parent in order to keep an emotional bond with your parent?
  • Are you blaming yourself for a parent’s substance abuse?
  • Do you feel you are a reason a parent drinks or uses drugs to excess?
  • Are you taking on a part-time job in order to help with expenses due to a parent’s substance abuse?

If you are answering yes to any of these questions, you must get your parent immediate professional help. Admitting that a parent needs help can be extremely heartbreaking and scary. You may fear that your parent will feel betrayed that you are suggested they get help. Additionally, you may feel that the strong emotional bonds you have with your parents or other family members will be ruined forever.

How to Talk to an Addicted Parent About Their Substance Abuse

As with anyone struggling with addiction, it is important to find the right way to approach an addicted parent. When talking to your parent, express your concern about their what is going on with their substance use instead of talking at them saying they have a problem. If possible, talk to your parent one-on-one and be sure you make it a two-way conversation. Be empathetic and continually emphasize your concern about their well-being.

If your conversation is hitting a dead-end or there is resistance, drop the conversation for another day. No matter the resistance, don’t give up! If you continue having difficulty getting through to your addicted parent or parents, talk to a counselor or an interventionist. If there is a family friend or someone you know who is in recovery, they may be able to better relate to your parent.

How to Find Help for Your Addicted Parent

When your addicted parent is ready for formal drug treatment, it is important to do your diligent research. There are many different treatment options that are available, but many may not fit your parent’s unique and special needs. Since drug treatment requires considerable personal and financial investment, you need to research facilities carefully before making a commitment

First and foremost, any facility you speak to must have proper state accreditation and licensing. Along with accreditation, there also must be experienced and compassionate staff who have many years of real-world experience in dealing with many forms of addictions. These facilities must have medical detox services that will help your parent navigate the withdrawal process. In addition to medication therapy, detox services should also feature nutritional interventions, physical activity, and thorough mental and medical evaluations.

For those parents addicted to substances, intensive inpatient treatment is the ideal option. With inpatient treatment, they will reside within the facility or in housing on the facility’s campus. While there, your parent will receive a combination of therapy, 12-step group support, holistic and traditional treatment programs, and life and coping skills training. If an inpatient treatment program is not a good fit for your parent, you can explore intensive outpatient, day treatment or other quality program options.

It is also highly recommended that your parent attends some form of aftercare program once they complete treatment. Whether it is an intensive outpatient program or sober living, these programs focus on relapse prevention and help strengthen your parent’s confidence in their recovery. During the treatment process, it is important to be involved in the recovery process through family therapy.  Family therapy gives you the chance to heal and recover, and it provides a nurturing environment for the whole family to grow in a healthy manner.

Are you looking for more resources that can help your addicted parent recover? The following may be of benefit to you. Feel free to pursue any local, state and national resources that will help your parent beat addiction once and for all.

*The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

*National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

*National Institute on Mental Health

*Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)

Helping a Friend Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol

Along with your family, your relationships with friends run deep. Your friends can be like a second family that you learn to love and to confide in. When a friend is struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse, finding ways to help is often difficult. Oftentimes you see the signs and symptoms clearly, but you don’t help because you deeply wish it is due to other factors. When your suspicions of substance abuse are correct, the decision to approach your friend about their addiction is never easy.

While you have the best intentions in mind, approaching your friend in the wrong manner can drive them further away from you and help they need. Additionally, you may find yourself engaging in enabling behaviors that allow them to continue abusing drugs and alcohol without consequence. What is the right way to help a friend that is addicted to drugs and alcohol? The following steps can help increase the odds of your friend seeking help:

Expect Denial

While you would expect your friend would listen to your concerns, addiction is a powerful and cunning force. Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol operate under a significant amount of denial. When you talk to them about their substance use, they many deny there is even an issue. They may rationalize their usage or blame others for their use of drugs. Additionally, they may manipulate the conversation to make you feel like you are the reason they are using substances. No matter where your friend takes the conversation, remain understanding.

Earn Trust

The first step in getting your friend help is to earn their trust. In order to build trust, you need to keep emotions in check and make communication a two-way street. Not only do you have to have the space to voice your concerns, you must also be willing to listen to your friend. Being an active listener and empathetic to their needs allows them to feel safe.

Other ways to build trust is to avoid lecturing, nagging and being critical. No matter how out of line a friend may get with you, try to avoid name-calling and exaggerating. Additionally, practice what you preach. If you are engaging in drinking and drug-taking (even in moderation), your friend can call you out for being a hypocrite.

Take Care of Yourself First

The process of helping an addicted friend get help can be physically and psychologically stressful. You may feel like you are fighting a war that may never end. If you are feeling that the stress is getting the better of you, acknowledge it right away. Once you acknowledge and accept that stress may be impacting your life, you can take steps to take care of yourself.

You may want to engage in regular exercise or take up a daily meditation practice. It is also helpful to engage in hobbies that you enjoy if you aren’t already doing so. You may also consider volunteering at a local hospital, drop-in center or other organization that needs help. Additionally, you may consider seeking counseling for yourself. Talking with a counselor or mental health professional may help you refocus and give you strategies to combat stress.

Be Supportive in the Treatment Process 

If and when your friend enters treatment, offer your support and keep your word. If you decide to be involved in your friend’s treatment, there are some things to keep in mind. First and foremost, keep working on establishing and maintaining trust throughout the recovery process. During counseling sessions, be open and honest about your feelings—especially on how your friend’s addiction has impacted you.

Don’t be surprised if your friend says that things you are doing contributed to their addiction. That may come as a shock but keep an open mind and be willing to listen to what they have to say. Above all else, be willing to change. Even if you aren’t addicted to drugs and alcohol, there may be things you can change that will help you become more supportive in their recovery.

If you decide not to be involved in your friend’s recovery, make sure that you respect their privacy. Don’t tell friends, family or others that your friend is in treatment. You also want to respect their privacy if they don’t want to tell you what is happening in treatment. Allow them to process what they are feeling and experiencing on their own terms. If your friend wants to share what they are going through, they will do so when they are ready.

Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Many drug treatment programs last 30 days, but your friend may want to stay for a longer period of time. Recovery is a lifelong process, and treatment doesn’t have a definite time table. Give them the space they need and provide support wherever and whenever appropriate.

The best way to help a friend who is struggling with addiction is through knowledge. Educate yourself on the disease of addiction. There are many great resources in your area, and you can start with groups such as Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups feature recovering addicts as well as friends and family of addicts. These people can provide you with the support and resources you need. You can either visit your local chapter or visit the following websites:


*Alcoholics Anonymous

*Narcotics Anonymous

You can also visit the following websites for further resources and support:

*National Institute and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


*Dual Diagnosis

Getting the Help You Need

Are you struggling with addiction and looking for professional help?

Is there a family member or friend trapped in the vicious cycle of substance abuse and looking to break free?

Are you, a family member or a friend struggling with mental health issues or an eating disorder that may be a byproduct of a drug addiction?

If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, trying to find programs that fit your specific and unique needs can be very difficult. While there are many treatment options to choose from, how do you know which ones provide the appropriate programming and resources needed to thoroughly address and resolve your problems? It is easy to become frustrated in your search and lose hope.

Fortunately, the help you need is just a phone call away.

JourneyPure At the River is one of Tennessee’s leading treatment facilities. By employing a groundbreaking treatment model, effective cutting-edge therapies and an experienced award-winning treatment staff, JourneyPure At the River will give you the tools and support you need to realize your goal of lifelong recovery.

JourneyPure At the River is more than just a drug treatment facility. We also feature comprehensive mental health and eating disorder treatment services that are second to none. Additionally, we offer unparalleled medical and clinical services that can be specifically tailored to meet each client’s unique needs. The following are the wide-ranging programs and services that we offer:


There are many substances that are addictive and can take over people’s lives. Whether it is one substance or multiple substances, it can adversely affect people in different ways. The staff at JourneyPure At the River understand this and have created an effective and diverse drug treatment program that will cover each addict’s needs.

First and foremost, JourneyPure offers quality medical detox programs that help addicts tolerate the discomfort and pain that accompanies withdrawal. From Xanax, benzodiazepines and prescription drugs to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, our top-notch detox facility will get you physically and psychologically stable.

For more information on the importance of detox, click the following link:

In addition to detox, JourneyPure at the River offers intensive inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization as well as programs for both women and men. Additionally, we offer alumni programs that pair recent graduates with those who completed treatment and have significant clean time under their belt. All of our programs combine individual and group therapy, family therapy, coaching and life, and coping skills training. With our therapy programs, we provide effective options such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), experiential therapy. In addition to our various therapies, we also offer medication-assisted treatment.

For more information on therapy and treatment, these links are a great place to start.

Mental Health 

More often than not, drug and alcohol abuse is a symptom of a deeper issue. For many people who abuse substances, they do so in order to cope with a mental health issue. According to statistics, approximately 4 million Americans suffer from a mental health and substance abuse issues. For those who have a dual diagnosis condition, treating substance abuse becomes very difficult with the presence of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD among others.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a mental health issue along with drug addiction, JourneyPure At the River offers dual diagnosis programs that effectively treat both conditions. Along with comprehensive drug treatment, clients will receive the best mental health care available to them. Because dual diagnosis patients are considered high-risk patients, JourneyPure At the River offers three different options:

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is the most recommended treatment option we offer. With residential treatment, clients live on campus and receive around the clock care that addresses their mental health and substance abuse issues. Clients are safe and secure in the treatment environment and allows them to get the most out of treatment.

Intensive Outpatient 

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) does not require clients to live at the treatment facility. Those in an IOP spend the majority of their day in programming and then return home to their families or to a sober living house. This type of program is ideal for those whose work, family or school commitments are such where inpatient treatment would be an option. These programs are structured where clients meet at least three times a week for several hours each session.

Partial Hospitalization 

Those in partial hospitalization programs receive integrated treatment for both their mental health and substance abuse issues. However, PHP programs don’t require clients to stay on campus as long as if he or she were partaking in an intensive outpatient program. While at the facility, clients will engage in therapy, but will also be able to receive medical services if necessary.

To learn more about dual diagnosis, these links will help you better understand this condition:

Eating Disorder Treatment

Past trauma and painful life experiences do not only lead to substance abuse and mental illness. It can also manifest itself in other destructive behaviors such as eating disorders. Studies show that nearly 20 million American women and 10 million met will meet the criteria for disordered eating in their lifetime. If left untreated, it creates life-threatening conditions that tear families apart.

While eating disorders require immediate professional help, many choose not to seek treatment due to the stigma attached to eating disorders. For many people, they view eating disorders as a lifestyle choice or a way to get attention. JourneyPure At the River understands that the root of eating disorders lies far deeper than surface judgments.

Our comprehensive and world-renowned eating disorders programming runs the entire gamut of eating disorders including the following:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Binge eating
  • Compulsive overeating
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Food addiction
  • Laxative abuse
  • Orthorexia

As with our other treatment programs, our eating disorders programs have been thoroughly tested, proven to work and can be individually tailored to meet each patient’s unique and specific needs.

Call JourneyPure At the River Toll-Free Today

Addiction can take many forms and come from many sources. Getting treatment for a family member can seem tricky but we make the process easy and comfortable. When addiction affects you and those you love, you want to find a treatment facility that can provide the programming, tools, and support needed to break the vicious cycle of abuse and trauma once and for all. With the help of the experienced and compassionate staff at JourneyPure at the River, that will become reality.

No matter if it is substance abuse, mental illness, or eating disorders, JourneyPure at the River can help. Don’t wait another day, call us toll-free today and start the journey to happiness, health, and recovery.