Ask a Coach: First Steps for Parents

January 26, 2018 | Dave Jansa, peer loved one coach

Q: My son has an addiction problem. What should I do first?

A: Try to remain calm. Tell them you love them, you're very concerned about them and you want to help.

Sometimes an unwell child will take this opportunity to ask for things you suspect or are quite certain are not healthy for them. It’s important to clearly and positively communicate that not all of their requests will be granted. Make it clear you’re open to discussion, but reserve the final say.

Be sure to seek help – most loved ones attempt to manage this on their own for far too long before getting assistance. Support groups (we recommend SMART Family & Friends or Al-Anon), quality licensed addiction counselors and Face It TOGETHER loved one coaches are all possible options.

In order to help your son get well, taking care of yourself is essential. Make sure you have the tools and capacity to support yourself while trying to help your son take those first steps. At the end of the day, do what feels right and is best for you. There’s no one “right” path to wellness.

Lastly, educate yourself as much as possible. Learn everything you can about the complex and misunderstood disease of addiction.


Our loved one peer coaching is free, confidential and supportive. Our coaches understand what you’re going through and can help assist you in navigating these difficult issues. Make an appointment here.