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My Parent Has An Addiction

Who Can I Turn To For Help?

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Updated July 30, 2010

When to Ask For Help

Everyone has times when they need help. If your parent or parents have an addiction, you might need to ask someone else for help. You can talk to an adult you trust, like a teacher, grandparent or other family member, doctor, or another adult you feel cares about you.

Helplines are an important way for kids to reach out for help. They can give you someone to talk to, and provide different ways of getting help. Although you may feel alone, there is a whole network of people who are trained to understand what kids need, and to make sure they get what they need.

There are a lot of different reasons that kids can need help. Some of the most important things are:

  • If your parents or other people hurt you, like if they hit or kick you, or hurt you with something else.
  • If your parents or other people say or do things that make you feel bad inside, like if they say horrible things about you, hurt each other, or do other things that make you feel bad about yourself.
  • If your parents aren't taking proper care of you, like making sure you have enough to eat, that you are clean and healthy, and that you have everything you need.
  • If your parents or other people have touched private parts of your body, or made you touch private parts of their body.
  • In an emergency, like if your parent seems very ill, or gets upset and hurts you badly, you can call 911. Someone will come and give help right away.

    Will My Parents Get into Trouble?

    The people whose job it is to make sure that children are properly cared do not want to split up your family. They will do what they can to make sure that this doesn't happen. They will talk to your parents about how well they are able to care for you, and whether they need any extra help.

    Types of help that parents can need include:

  • Help to stop drinking or taking drugs.
  • Help to stop doing other things that are harmful to them or to you.
  • Help looking after you.
  • Help learning about how to be a good parent.
  • Help to feel better about things that make them sad or upset.
  • Help paying for things, so that they can buy you everything you need.

    Parents sometimes need to have time for themselves to get better. When this happens, kids can sometimes go and live with someone else, like a family member, a grandparent or an aunt or uncle. If there is not anyone else in your family who can look after you, you might need to stay with a foster family, who will take care of you until your parent is able to.

    Sometimes people do things that are against the law. Laws are there to keep people safe. There are special laws to keep children safe, because children don't yet know how to look after themselves.

    If a parent has done something that is against the law, they can get special help from people whose job it is to explain how and why this happened. This will be taken into account in deciding what will happen. Your safety will be one of the most important things that they will think about.

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