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Starting Treatment

How to Start Treatment

If you have determined that you or your loved one’s substance use has become problematic, it can be intimidating to know what to do next. Fortunately, there are resources to assist you in taking the next step.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides a helpful overview on how to prepare to take action and Intervention e-Book for parents to guide you as you prepare to take action to help your teen or young adult who uses substances.

Additionally, the MA Substance Use Helpline provides the following tips on how to help a loved one and suggestions of actions to avoid.

Steps you can take:

  • Understand that substance use disorder is a chronic disease that requires treatment, support, and new coping skills.
  • Speak up and offer support. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and encouragement, including joining them when they seek help.
  • Show your love and concern. Be ready for excuses, denial, or anger. Be prepared to share specific examples of behavior that worries you and why.
  • Support recovery as an ongoing process. Stay involved once your loved one has started their recovery process, and know that relapse can be a part of that process.
  • Find your own support network. Family and friends need encouragement and support, too. Get more information at Get Help & Support: What You Can Do for Yourself.

Actions to avoid:

  • Don’t expect your loved one to stop using when you want them to or without help.
  • Don’t lecture, or make threats or bribes. This can cause a bigger divide between you and your loved one.
  • Don’t appeal to their emotions to try and make them stop. This might cause extreme guilt or regret, and can increase the urge to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t cover up, lie, or make excuses for your loved one and their behavior.
  • Don’t assume their responsibilities. Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t argue while someone is under the influence.

 

If you are ready to get help for yourself or a loved one, you can:

Contact the MA Substance Use Helpline directly at 1-800-327-5050, Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-10:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM. Trained referral specialists at the helpline provide free, confidential information and referrals for alcohol and drug problems for individuals of all ages. Phone services are available in any language. This service is provided by the MA Department of Public Health.

Additionally, if you like to talk with someone in person who can work with you to assist with treatment navigation, there are several local resources that can help:

  • Town of Natick Public Health Department

    Call 508-647-6623 Monday-Wednesday, 8:30am-5pm, Thursday 8:30am-7pm, Friday 8:30am-12:30pm. Katie Sugarman, Prevention & Outreach Program Manager, can provide confidential assistance with treatment navigation and support. Located at 13 E. Central Street, Natick.

  • Program RISE Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, Justice Resource Institute

    Call 508-935-2960 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for free, confidential information on how to prevent opioid overdose and access treatment services. Services are available to assist anyone ages 13 and up. Narcan distribution, harm reduction kits, counseling, and testing for sexually transmitted infections are available. Located at 1 Grant Street, Suite 100, Framingham.

  • South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Recovery Coaches

    Call 508-620-2343 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for free, confidential support from experienced recovery coaches for individuals in or wanting to be in recovery from an opioid use disorder. Located at 7 Bishop Street, Framingham.


Take Action

Living with addiction can be stressful and painful for family members and loved ones. It can impact the stability of your home, the health of individuals and the family, and even finances.

You can take steps to help your loved one, your family, and yourself. If you’re a parent, you can get additional assistance on how to address your child’s substance use the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids or from the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline. The Helpline is available to all MA residents to provide information, guidance, and hope.

Steps you can take and actions to avoid (provided by the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline):

  • Understand that substance use disorder is a chronic disease that requires treatment, support, and new coping skills.
  • Speak up and offer support. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and encouragement, including joining them when they seek help.
  • Show your love and concern. Be ready for excuses, denial, or anger. Be prepared to share specific examples of behavior that worries you and why.
  • Support recovery as an ongoing process. Stay involved once your loved one has started their recovery process, and know that relapse can be a part of that process.
  • Find your own support network. Family and friends need encouragement and support, too. (See What You Can Do For Yourself)
  • Don’t expect your loved one to stop using when you want them to or without help.
  • Don’t lecture, or make threats or bribes. This can cause a bigger divide between you and your loved one.
  • Don’t appeal to their emotions to try and make them stop. This might cause extreme guilt or regret, and can increase the urge to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t cover up, lie, or make excuses for your loved one and their behavior.
  • Don’t assume their responsibilities. Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t argue while someone is under the influence

If your loved one is ready to accept help, you can call the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline 800.327.5050 to talk with a trained Helpline Specialist who will guide you. You can also learn more about treatment services and how to access treatment.

Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has answers and tips for many common questions that you may encounter when caring about someone who experiences addiction.


Getting Into Treatment

If you are ready to get help for your child or loved one, you can contact the MA Substance Use Helpline directly at 1-800-327-5050, Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-10:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday 8:00 AM-6:00 PM. Trained referral specialists at the helpline provide free, confidential information and referrals for alcohol and drug problems for individuals of all ages. Phone services are available in any language. This service is provided by the MA Department of Public Health.

Additionally, if you like to talk with someone in person who can work with you to assist with treatment navigation, there are several local resources that can help:

 

Town of Natick Public Health Department

Call 508-647-6623 Monday-Wednesday, 8:30am-5pm, Thursday 8:30am-7pm, Friday 8:30am-12:30pm. Katie Sugarman, Prevention & Outreach Program Manager, can provide confidential assistance with treatment navigation and support. Located at 13 E. Central Street, Natick.

 

Program RISE Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, Justice Resource Institute

Call 508-935-2960 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for free, confidential information on how to prevent opioid overdose and access treatment services. Services are available to assist anyone ages 13 and up. Narcan distribution, harm reduction kits, counseling, and testing for sexually transmitted infections are available. Located at 1 Grant Street, Suite 100, Framingham.

 

South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Recovery Coaches

Call 508-620-2343 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for free, confidential support from experienced recovery coaches for individuals in or wanting to be in recovery from an opioid use disorder. Located at 7 Bishop Street, Framingham.