EDMOND — Getting the right help for a child involved in substance abuse can be a daunting and sometimes lonely challenge for parents. One group, which created an app, is out to make that task a bit less challenging.
Edmond’s Parents Helping Parents was founded by Pat and Vicki Nichols in 2001 after dealing with a son who suffered from addiction.
“We came into the situation blindsided,” Pat Nichols said. “There was no place for me to turn.”
The free app includes videos of parents sharing their stories. There are also links to state resources, Christian support groups and resources for grandparents. People other than relatives can also benefit.
“The app isn’t only for parents; it’s for those with addiction issues,” Nichols said. There are also links police and pastors can follow, he said.
People struggling with depression can find a suicide telephone help line.
The new technology also can keep people up-to-date on support group events.
The app was released a month ago, and Nichols said about 85 people signed up in the first few weeks.
Nichols found a major ally in his quest to help parents and people with addictions. Fellow Edmond Rotary Club member David Goin was impressed with Nichols’ project. Goin is Edmond Public Schools superintendent, in charge of more than 23,000 students.
“He (Goin) appreciated what I was doing,” Nichols said.
Goin directed Nichols to administrative staff, and a notice was inserted in middle and high school newsletters and sent home to parents.
Some of the notices had the following wording:
“The impact of alcohol and other drugs can be devastating to a family. There is a free new parent app which provides immediate help, information and resources for parents of teens or adult children. Please search ‘Parents Helping Parents’ in your app store.”
Goin commented on his reasons for wanting to get out the word.
“The Edmond community is blessed to have numerous family and crisis support resources, of which Parents Helping Parents is an example,” Goin said. “Edmond Public Schools’ sharing about the availability of this app is one way we can assist parents in connecting with such agencies.”
Filling a need
For Nichols, the app fills yet one more need for parents.
“Parents want a certain amount of privacy and anonymity when dealing with this,” Nichols said.
He has advice for those who may have a child involved with substance abuse or addiction.
“I tell people to reach out and find out what you’re dealing with,” Nichols said. “Get some help so it doesn’t continue to grow. If not, it can grow out of proportion and you become helpless.”
To learn more
Parents Helping Parents is at 3416 S Boulevard. The telephone number is 562-1919.
I tell people to reach out and find out what you’re dealing with. Get some help so it doesn’t continue to grow. If not, it can grow out of proportion and you become helpless.”
Parents Helping Parents