An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Can teens get help without parent consent?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by sweetkymom, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. sweetkymom

    sweetkymom Member

    If a child under the age of 18 is drug reliant and are wanting help, can they seek the help without a parent around?

    I know nowadays most doctor offices won't see a child without an parent around so I was wondering if this be any different? I would think more teens would get help if they didn't have to have a parent with them. Most parents don't know about their child's addiction to begin with.
  2. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I think some doctor offices will allow it even without the parents' consent, but as far as I know, it really depends on the state that you are in. But just an advice -- it will be best to let the parents know about the situation.
  3. jack21

    jack21 Member

    Whether they can or not, I still believe that the parents should always be informed! Having said that, I also think that parents must also be guided on how to tackle the problem. Being supportive is key in such situations. That is why I think that the way parents handle the situation, determines how the child will proceed.
  4. JorjSimeonov

    JorjSimeonov Member

    If you need help with a serious physical addiction you will need a parent with you for sure. I know that some doctors will see you and help you without your parents' consent if you are suffering from a more minor psychological addiction though.
  5. Brem

    Brem Member

    Well a child or young adult certainly has the right to ask for help, but once they do, the parents need to be contacted. If the parent happens to be abusive, they can work around that to make sure the parent isn't involved too much, but even then the parents are still the deciding factor from what I hear. Either way, if a child or teen seeks help, a parent will be called.
  6. It depends on the state and office I do believe, but a lot of them will end up speaking to a parent if you're under the age of 18, because they're still responsible for you. If you really do need help though, you should just take a deep breath and go through with it anyway because it will end up helping you in the long run. I wish you the best of luck.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    A teen who seeks help without a parent's consent is serious about beating an addiction. Being turned away won't stop him/her. After being turned away they can tell their parents about their problem . . .

    In any case, If the person they talked to is smart (and most of them are) [then regardless of the law] they'll try to get hold of the teen's parents and either ask them to come over or make an appointment so parent to accompany their kid the next day or whatever time suits all the parties concerned best.
  8. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think this is good practice. If the child was mature enough to get into the habit then they should be treated as mature enough to get out of it, and asking for help should be one of the better and more truthful signs of actual maturity and shouldn't be turned away or discouraged by having some unnecessary requirements. In most cases, I think, parents are even the reason why these kids are getting into bad habits, so it's not very practical to make them a requirement for getting better when they are the cause, in my opinion.
  9. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Depending on how bad the child is will be where they intervene and give them help. If the child is a minor, the welfare will be called in to inspect the home environment and they will also provide the child with good care and help. A child so young should be checked in now before it is too late to fix the problem and they have nowehre to go but down.
  10. cameronpalte

    cameronpalte Active Contributor

    A teen can get help without parent consent, it is possible and their are places for it. But if you are at the level where you may need to go to rehab or get detoxed (addicted to a schedule I / II / III drug) liked heroin, cocaine, adderall etc., then you should get your parents involved.
  11. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    I would think that, they would allow it, since the teen now knows that they have a problem and are seeking help, unless there are some life threatening issues that could cause them to have their parents present.
  12. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    Firstly, I think that parents should be the first to know if the child has a substance abuse problem. Then again, I think that more children would seek help if they didn't need to have their parents with them because sometimes they will be ashamed and will rather not seek help then to tell their parents.
  13. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    Most doctors or drug abuse experts will not accept to handle addicted teens without the consent of their own parents. It's best to seek help with parents so that the right steps can be taken towards helping teens tackle their addiction problems. It's also true that most teens would opt to seek help without the knowledge of their own parents, but it's not advisable.
  14. mimsee

    mimsee Active Contributor

    For most people when trying to overcome an addiction, they need to surround themselves with loved ones to cheer them on and keep them on a straightened path. Even if it were legal to treat teenagers without their parents consent, I think it'd be a real scumbag thing to do. Teenagers need a loving support system for even the smallest challenges in their they'll need than tenfold for overcoming addiction, at least in my opinion.
  15. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    OK, I've done a little research on this topic and have come up with some information. Depending on your state, it is possible to get OUTPATIENT rehab without parental consent. In some states it's over 13, or 15, but I would check into your local regulations, and even make a few independent phone calls. Additionally, if you would like some more help, I would be more than happy to assist you in private message.
    princenyc and Jen S. like this.
  16. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

  17. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I think it's important to understand however that this is not a foolproof guarantee. People make mistakes, bills get sent with too much information, someone lets information slip at an inopportune time, etc... So, if you're going to go this route, the person has to be vigilant with their privacy, reinforce their need for privacy at every turn, and just know that it might not be as private as you want it to be. Sadly, as an EMT & MA, I've learned that Hippa gets violated a lot more than people would like.
  18. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    This is a great question. I've learned a lot from several of the replies. I wish there was a uniform federal law regarding this issue. I think it is confusing when states can declare different laws regarding minors. I for one think it should depend on how old the child is and the severity of their treatment. I know this is pretty vague...I would have to read more on the topic before saying much more.
  19. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    That's really helpful information. I'm glad you brought this up. I have always thought that teens can forgo consent as long as they're of legal age (in my country, 18 is the legal age). This legislation, HIPAA, clears up a lot of misunderstandings for me. I forgot that there are minors under substance abuse too.
    Nick W. likes this.
  20. princenyc

    princenyc Member

    A lot of great answers to an interesting question.
    I was taught to have a healthy DISRESPECT for the law. The law put black people on the back of the bus, wouldn't let women vote and now are stopping gays from getting married. Just because something is the law does not make it right.
    If a child is in need and wants help then considerations have to be made. Some parents won't put there child into rehab because they think it reflects badly on THEM.