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Being Prepared

If your parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol, you should think about having your own personal emergency plan. If you think about this ahead of time, you will be ready if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

  • Make sure you know how to call the police, fire department, ambulance service, and doctor. Make sure your brothers and sisters know too.
  • Make sure you always have extra money for a phone call, in case it is too dangerous to drive home with a parent who is drunk or high.
  • Make up a list of safe places to call for help, or to stay. Maybe a grandparent, older brother or sister, aunt, uncle, neighbor, or friend. Memorize their phone numbers, and call them if it looks like the situation in your own home might get out of control.
  • If you need to study for a big test, or practice your lines for the fall play, ask a neighbor you trust if you can spend some time there, where it is quieter.
  • If you want to talk to your mom or dad about the alcohol or drugs, do it when you feel safe, and when your parent has not been drinking or using drugs.

If you are nervous about talking with an adult about what is happening with your parents, ask a friend who knows the situation if you can practice with him or her, to help work out ahead of time what you are going to say.