Category: Couples / Close Relationships

Symposium

A Phone-Based Parent-to-Parent Support Network for Addressing Substance Use in the Family

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Substance Abuse | Parenting | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

Parent-to-Parent (PTP) programs, connect parents of children with physical, emotional, or behavior disorders with experienced parents (i.e. parents who “have been there” and have experiential knowledge) to help facilitate informational, emotional, and affirmational support.  PTPs have been included in specific clinical interventions, used as ancillary services within tertiary care programs, and have been stand-alone support programs in the context of chronic health or emotional conditions among children. They have also demonstrated efficacy in improving coping skills, reducing stress, and promoting help seeking among parents who received this support. However, to date, the utility of PTP programs for disseminating evidence-based practices to influence substance use among youth has not been evaluated.  In this pilot program, eighty-five parents (86% mothers) called a nationally available helpline and received coaching on the phone from another parent. Parent coaches had experience with their own substance using child and were trained in the concepts and practices underlying the evidence-based interventions of Motivational Interviewing and Community Reinforcement and Family Training. In general, the parents who received coaching were seeking help for their young adult sons (ages 18-24) who were living at home. Marijuana (45%) and Opiates (25%) were the primary substances of concern. On average, parents spoke to the same coach 4.5 times over a 6 week period. Parents receiving coaching reported significant increases in their exposure to CRAFT (p < .01), ability to focus on other family members (p < .02), a better understanding of substance use behavior (p< .04), confidence in handling their child’s substance use (p< .001), and the use of positive reinforcement (p < .01), and natural consequences (p < .01) to address their child’s substance use behavior. This preliminary data supports the acceptability and feasibility of a phone based PTP program that introduces parents to evidence-based strategies for addressing the problems of substance use in the family.  

Kenneth M. Carpenter

Director of Training
Center for Motivation and Change: Training Institute

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