Beginning a Group
Training the parent, yourself, to sober coach is actually a new concept in parental support for parents seeking help with their kids. You are NOT SICK and in need of treatment just because your son or daughter has made some really bad choices. You need facts about addiction, facts about what works for young people seeking recovery, and facts about what you should and should not do if you really want to help.A support group based on the sober coaching principles is your best bet. If you cannot find a group on line or in your community, start your own.
How to Start a Group
- Google your area to see if a parental support group already exists. Start your search online and call local mental health centers to see if they offer one. If a group already exists, join it to see if they follow the sober coaching principles of holding young people accountable for their own decisions and supporting parents in a supportive role without enabling. If they blame you for the condition of your child, you need to begin your own group.
- Advertise in your local paper, online, and use fliers to ask for other parents who may be interested in a support group for parents of kids in a drug crisis. Download a sample flier here.
- Contact one or more local substance abuse treatment centers (young people and adults). Explain your goals to the program director and see if they will allow you to meet at their facility. If so, they may funnel their parents to your group. They may decide to offer and run the group for you. If this is not an option then try other community locations such as a church, community center, private school, library, libraries, YMCA and such.
- Once you have a few parents that are interested, choose a meeting time and location, name for the group, and decide the format for running the meetings.
- Meet regularly
- Elect a facilitator amongst yourselves for the next meeting and give them the Facilitator Guide for the following meeting. Alternately, you can have an aftercare counselor from the treatment facility run the group using the Facilitator Guide.
- Don't charge for participating in the group but take donations to pay for supplies for the group exercises and refreshments if you choose to have them. You may also have rental expenses if your group is structured that way.
- Don't advise parents what to do with their kids, but rather share what you do. Addiction is a serious illness that sometimes results in death. If someone takes your advice and their child dies, you will never forgive yourself.
- Let us know what you are doing and see if we can help.