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Can teens get help without parent consent?

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

  1. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    While you make a lot of great points & observations, one thing is certain. The law does not make something right, but at the end of the day the law is still the law. Personal feelings aside, there are consequences for not following the laws, and until people stand up and affect change, that's never going to be any different.

    I agree that considerations MUST be made for children who need/want to get into rehab. Especially in cases where parents are simply looking out for their own interests and reputations. I find that repulsive, and contrary to good parenting. However, we also live in a vindictive, litigious world, and at every turn medical professionals and, well, really all professionals, must remain vigilant against liability, so I get it, despite it not being what's best. It sucks, but it's the truth about the world we live in.
  2. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Teen can always get help because the one who seeks help always find it. We should get parents involved, but they need to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
  3. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    If they are just seeking counseling, they can probably get help without their parent's knowledge if they go through the right channels. It would probably be up to the counselor if they informed the parents though. Depending on the counselor and the situation they may choose not to if they felt it was in the best interest of the teen not to do so. I would think if the teen was 17, soon to be of age, it would be more likely they could get away with not telling the parents because it would be such a short wait until they are able to sign for themselves on whatever next step they are going to take.
  4. ic3squid

    ic3squid Member

    Yes, teenagers can seek help without adult consent but usually it is frowned upon and a good reason is needed, it's always best to have your parents in on what is happening so they know what the best can be done for you.
  5. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I think that our forum is a good example on how teens can get help on their own, they can speak their minds here and ask for advice or counseling.
  6. sarahxalex

    sarahxalex Member

    Firstly, even if you do not want help from your parents you should let them know. They deserve to know what you're going through and they can help, even if you think they will be disappointed. Parents have a weird way of showing that they can be your support system but you should talk to them.

    Second, most likely whoever you talk to is going to contact your parents or someone who will contact your parents because you are a minor. Some doctors will possibly see you but you still may need forms signed by parents to make sure they are aware.

    Getting your parents involved is not a bad thing. It could end up saving your life even, just try to be open with them and if they won't listen. Talk to a close friend or even another family member you are close with.
  7. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    In my state, even twenty years ago, we had confidential drug counselor in the high school. The students could go to the counselor at any time and unless there was physical abuse or suicidal thoughts involved, the conversations were confidential. Also keep in mind that addicts often run in families, so the teen with a problem might not be trying to hide from the parent. The parent him/herself may be an addict. Just imagine being an addict and wanting help, but you are watching your parents shoot up and you know they will belittle you for wanting help. That must be a horrible situation. Any way it plays out, I think anyone who wants help should be able to get it. As far as the HIPAA laws go, my 14 year old nephew had to sign a HIPAA form so that his parents could see the documents. Some offices take these laws to the extreme, while others are more lackadaisical.
    Peninha likes this.
  8. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That is something great Lost, when schools have this kind of support I think that teens have their life made easier, the issue is that most schools don't have such counselors when I feel it should be mandatory.
  9. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    We had a minor child (a teenager) turned over to the child and social welfare in our country without her parents' consent. It is because her abuser was his dad. So for cases like this, it is legal to do such. The welfare will take care of all the legal proceedings from there. It is not the typical getting help for addiction though. Nevertheless, I assume that in the same way, we can refer an addicted minor child (18 years old below) to the welfare to get help without informing the parents if the latter are proven to be irresponsible and drug users or alcoholics themselves.
  10. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    If you are asking about medical treatment then of course they need parents consent, but if they can get regular hlep from their high school guidance counselor or school nurse.
  11. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Some doctors from what I know will help you without your parents knowing they do this, just for your own comfort. However, legally speaking this is actually right, your parents should be aware of your situation in any circumstances and should give their consent in any situations from what I know, at least this is in my country.
  12. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    It's sad that teens need to get help without the knowledge of their parents, that explains a lot why they are into drugs, but the most important is that they get help indeed.
  13. dejanee22

    dejanee22 Member

    Many states have established laws that allow minors to consent to alcohol and substance abuse treatment. To receive a definite answer on this question the state that the minor resides in is important to know. Emancipated minors are allowed to consent to all health care.
  14. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I think that no one should require consent to get treated, that doesn't make any sense. What if the parents don't care, what can they do?
    dejanee22 likes this.
  15. dejanee22

    dejanee22 Member

    I did not even consider the factor of a parent being negligent, in that case I do believe that there should be some revision of the law that allow minors to consent to health care. However, at the same note I am a parent and I could see that giving children the ability to consent may also led to negative consequences.
  16. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    It's a really complicated situation. My older kid is only 7 and he is far from this reality, so I just hope I stick close to him so that this never happens.
  17. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I think for minors who are drug reliant, it would be prudent for them to seek help as soon as possible as they are most vulnerable to the effects of drugs as compared to adults. For those who don't have parents around, a guardian would suffice or a responsible adult who has the child's best interests at heart.But i believe any parent who is keen enough would easily notice if his child is on to something especially if the kid is on drugs.
  18. ic3squid

    ic3squid Member

    I am pretty sure, here in the UK you can ask your teacher or your doctor, and they have to get your permission first to tell your parents about whatever situation. Kinda' helps, as it reduces embarrassment and makes the teen more comfortable with whatever they need talked about.
  19. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    What if the parents themselves are addicts and just does not care, should that child then not be treated? Getting help for addiction can never be a bad thing, unless it was some kind of medical operation which required parental consent, just in case anything should happen to child and you would need legal documentations to prove that they got the go ahead.
  20. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That's what I said just above and I feel that in those cases the teens can appeal the social services or other services, no one can be denied the right to be treated.