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The Partnership at Drugfree.org Launches First-of-Its-Kind Resource To Help Parents in Crisis Understand and Navigate Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Treatment

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Research shows parents seek one destination for intervention and treatment information; Time To Get Help provides streamlined, research-based tools to address these issues

Experts and parents, including new celebrity spokesperson Melissa Gilbert, tout need for help and peer-to-peer support

NEW YORK, NY – December 9, 2010 – Nine million of America’s teens and young adults are struggling with drugs and alcohol , yet unlike most other adolescent health issues or diseases, parents have not found a concise path to resources and support for teen drug and alcohol addiction. In response, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has launched Time To Get Help (www.drugfree.org/timetogethelp), a first-of-its-kind website and online community to provide parents of teens and young adults with lifesaving information when families are in crisis and facing their child’s addiction. It offers comprehensive insight into adolescent alcohol and drug abuse, dependence and addiction; support from top experts and other parents who have been there; and treatment options for their child and family.

The Need: Trial and Error Dominate Struggle to Find a Solution

Of the nine million teens and young adults needing treatment, two million are between the ages of 12-17, and ninety percent of those are not getting the help they need. Research from the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, also shows that parents of teens in trouble are more likely to go to the Internet for help, yet they often struggle with confusing and convoluted intervention and treatment information. This results in frustration and missteps in their ongoing search for the ‘perfect’ treatment options for their child.

“If you search the web for teen drug problem, you find more than 300,000 results. If you do a search for drug treatment, the number climbs to more than 31 million. With millions of pages of information, it’s no wonder parents are uncertain of where and who to turn to when dealing with teen addiction,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Time To Get Help bridges the gap between the questions parents have when it comes to their child’s drug and alcohol addiction and the answers and resources they desperately need for treatment. It was created with parents – and for parents – as one destination to find easy-to-use, non-judgmental and science-based information and support.”

“Time To Get Help comes right at the time when you know your child has a problem and you don’t know where to go. You don’t know who to talk to,” said Melissa Gilbert, spokesperson for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Dedicated to treatment, it gives you the precise knowledge and resources you need to help a child in crisis. And the site’s online community provides parents a place to breathe, a place to feel safe and to know that they are not alone.”

Addressing the need for clear, available information for parents, the new peer-to-peer resource offers two practical e-Books, both free of charge, that educate them on what they need to know about youth intervention and treatment. The downloadable e-Books and new site provide the most current information and cutting-edge advice from experts including the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), one of the field’s leading research groups specializing in addiction and substance use issues. TRI’s senior researchers and the organization’s own Science Advisory Board helped to translate research into the most effective and practical tools for parents at Time To Get Help.

Housed under the “Get Treatment” and the Time To Get Help “Learn” sections of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’s newly relaunched website, the Intervention e-Book helps parents respond when they think or know their child is using alcohol or other drugs. The organization’s Treatment e-Book provides advice and guidance when it appears their child may need treatment for a serious drug problem, including the right questions to ask a prospective treatment program and tips on how to pay for treatment.

“Too many treatment providers, as well as society at large, blame parents for the youth’s addiction or ignore them in the recognition, treatment and recovery process,” said Gayle A. Dakof, PhD, member of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Science Advisory Board and Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “This is why Time To Get Help is so important. The site not only gives parents access to the highest quality information and treatment for their children, but also underscores the important fact that they are not part of the problem, but a critical part of the solution.”

Along with its “Community” section where parents can share their stories, Time To Get Help also features “Helping Hand,” where difficult questions can be asked and peer-to-peer and expert advice on intervention, treatment and recovery are offered. Under “Make a Plan,” worksheets and guides help direct a parent’s conversation with treatment program staff in deciding which one is the best fit for their child and checklists help them take care of their own emotional needs while going through these times.

Time To Get Help was guided by the input and real-world experiences of the organization’s Parent Advisory Board, including mom Patricia Genereux. “I struggled to understand my daughter’s behavior. I asked myself if it was common young adult behavior or something more. We didn’t understand how best to get an intervention or if one was even appropriate.” She continues, “I wish we had been able to click on Time To Get Help to help navigate through the maze of information. The tools, conversation examples and guidance on the site help families understand the disease itself, prevention measures, intervention, treatment and recovery. It’s the best start any parent could hope for to learn, find support and take action.”

Opening up about these difficult issues isn’t always easy. In response, the site’s online community allows parents to connect and ask questions – openly or anonymously. The forum helps them wherever they are on their path, from those who recently discovered their child is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction to those who need support with treatment and recovery.

“Receiving support from others who have been through what you are going through can be very powerful and helpful, and often one of the most effective ways to stay hopeful, inspired and sane,” said Lorraine McNeill-Popper, a mom and a member of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Parent Advisory Board. “You will find out that you are not alone in this fight against addiction and learn from other parents.”

Time To Get Help was sponsored by Purdue Pharma and by a leadership grant from an anonymous donor. For more information, visit www.drugfree.org/timetogethelp.

About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a nonprofit organization that helps parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children. Bringing together renowned scientists, parent experts and communications professionals, the organization translates current research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into easy to understand resources at drugfree.org.  Through its nationwide PACT360 Community Education Programs, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids educates and mobilizes local community efforts to address drug threats at the grassroots level, including methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse, and also provides parent training and teen programs that help prevent teen substance abuse. The organization depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and government; and it thanks SAG/AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

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