DON’T get caught in the “not my kid” syndrome.  The earlier you identify the issue, the better chance you have of getting into recovery that lasts.  The deeper into addiction they fall, the more challenging recovery.

RV’s Top 3 Rules –

  1. Trust your gut. It is telling you something for a reason. Don’t attempt to “logic” your way into what you want to be true.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be right. Set aside all your fears, opinions and biases and get to the point. It is their life. What is it worth to save it?
  3. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Show them that you are paying attention and that you care. It is a choice between potentially being wrong and being right and doing nothing about it.


The most critical warning sign is CHANGE OF

BEHAVIOR. If their behavior has changed, something in their world is different and you need to know what that is.  It may be drugs, bullying, depression, bad grade or a bad day, but something is off and the longer it goes on, the more perilous it could become. If your gut, your head, your eyes, your family or your friends tell you their behavior is different, start looking for other signs.  Put the puzzle together. They are depending on YOU.

Download our warning signs PDF. You may be overwhelmed at the number of indicators, but these steps may help;

  • Every drug has its own symptoms
    • Opiates hallmarks are drowsiness, dozing, slow breathing and pin point pupils.
    • Drugs like cocaine create “hyper-speed” activities
    • Missing money or things from the home are common among all drugs
  • Can’t hide these signs of use no matter how hard they try;
    • Pupils; either dilated or pin point
    • Speech patterns will be abnormal; either accelerated or very slow and slurred
    • Coordination; either walking, arm motions or the use of their hands will be affected



Getting treatment is the starting point to recovery.  It is not an answer or the cure, but it is a critical first step.  Here are a few key thoughts and resources for getting treatment:

Finding a treatment facility can be a daunting task. It is often hit or miss based on the capacity of the agency on that day.  Finding treatment consists of two parts: finding treatment and finding good treatment.


Simply put finding treatment is usually a manual effort requiring many phone calls and a touch of luck.  However, when an addict is ready to go to treatment, we don’t have the luxury of time as they may change their mind or just use again.  Below are two resources to help find an available bed quickly;

Bed Finders in Ohio


Now this is another issue.  While all treatment centers are not created equal, most are good, and some are outstanding.  We believe that the best treatment centers have continuity of care taking the addict through treatment AND post treatment support including options for living, MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) family support and support groups.  Some even provide opportunities to connect with education and job training and child support to assist with the recovery process.  While we are huge proponents of THE LCADA WAY, Rosary Hall (Link to them on the partners page with their web site link located there) and a few others in northern Ohio, below is a great resource for selecting a treatment center.

Treatment Identification Resources
MAP Treatment Alignment; MAP has developed a model to align the outcomes of treatment centers in their network to the age, gender and drug of choice of the addict.  As always, MAP continues to innovate for successful treatment.

RV Treatment Resource Guide (downloadable PDF)




Detox is not treatment. It is the gateway to treatment.  Detox is the period of time before treatment is able to begin where the addict gets over the most painful part of withdrawal when they abruptly stop utilizing the drug.  Detox is often aided by medication to manage the side effects Vital signs are monitored regularly. Detox is usually completed in a specialized facility that may or may not have a post-detox treatment option.

Can the detox at home? It is possible as detox, while painful, is usually not deadly.  However, detoxification may be accompanied by reactions including seizures or other life risking responses If that choice is made, we strongly recommend incorporating the support of a medical professional.


In-patient treatment is a facility that the addict lives in 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for a prescribed period, usually determined by insurance.


IOP is treatment that is attended five to six days per week, usually four to six hours per day.  It is a less expensive, less detailed option for treatment, but does normally require attendance and drug testing.



Many addicts believe that they know how to quit, and that a treatment facility is not needed.  This has been proven an ineffective approach in 99% of the situations.  It is generally an addict’s way to avoid treatment and to appease the family.


Every treatment facility has a different cost structure and each insurance company has a different payment methodology.  Check with the insurance company to understand the treatment options, and remember, the best treatment facilities can assist you in this process, as well as assisting those not insured with Medicaid applications.


School based programs:

DRUG FREE CLUBS OF AMERICA provide a comprehensive, rewards-based program that encourages participation and sobriety.  DFCA provides support from beginning to end, including education, parent support, student leadership and confidential testing.  DFCA helps make the right choice easy for students.

PSYCHEMEDICS provide comprehensive drug testing programs for schools and parents.  Because not all drug testing programs are the same, PSYCHEMEDICS utilizes a cheat-proof hair testing approach, and easy process and confidentiality is reporting results.  PSYCHEMEDICS has school-based programs and also programs for individual high-school and college students.

Individual Testing

We recommend a hair tests, then blood tests, then urine tests.  Each are effective, but hair keeps a longer record of substance use.  Every drug has a half-life, or the time it stays in the system.  Detecting use in urine tests provides the shortest window of detection, while hair provides the longest.  Additionally, many addicts have developed methods to beat urine tests including clouding the tests with other substances, using fake urine (even using hand warmers to make sure the fake urine is warm), or diluting the sample by ingesting large amounts of water.  Hair avoids all traps.

Drug tests may be obtained in many locations:

  • PSYCHEMEDICS offers individual testing as well as testing programs for college aged students.
  • Medical Facility (Doctor, Urgent Care, Hospital)
  • Treatment Center usually upon evaluation
  • Testing Centers (web search for locations near you)

Family Support

Because addiction is a family disease…

One of the most critical steps for any family dealing with addiction is a family support group.  Addiction does not just impact the addict, its effect runs through parents and siblings alike, leaving long lasting and deeply impactful scars.

And Families Matter…

ROBBY’S VOICE family support group, FAMILY MATTERS, provides families a safe environment to gather, share, support and grow as we travel the path of addiction.  FAMILY MATTERS bring a diverse group of subjects related to addiction forward through a variety of experienced speakers who understand addiction and care about the families impacted by it.

  • Reduce the weight of stigma and the uncertainty of addiction
  • Develop your recovery plan and build your boundaries
  • Build a relapse protocol
  • Protect your family and take your life back

FAMILY MATTERS provides an hour of education and an hour of support with each meeting.  Follow us on FACEBOOK to learn about our subject matter for the week, and join us for one session or both; it is the first step of recovery for the family and the addict.

FAMILY MATTERS PLACES AND TIMES (please check back as we add new meetings)

Monday’s 6:00pm – 8:00pm                                     For treatment help, contact:

6665 Wadsworth Road                                                 The LCADA Way

Medina OH 44256                                                         330-421-1361 or 330-606-0608

Montville Police Department                                      215 Wadsworth Road,  Wadsworth, OH 44281

If FAMILY MATTERS is not located near you, we recommend either Families Anonymous or NARANON.  The important thing is to find the support you need.


There is a protocol for an overdose, but panic and fear often leave us paralyzed or unable to react to a perilous situation.  Down load our Overdose Position card, hang it in an area you can grab it if needed, and give yourself the best chance to respond to the overdose.

REMEMBER – always call 911


Narcan (aka Naloxone) saves lives by reversing overdoses.  It is critical that every family dealing with an addict has at least one Narcan kit in their home, and we recommend every eligible member of the family obtain one as the impact of fentanyl and carfentayl demand it.  We also recommend that each member of the family is trained to use of the Narcan kit.

Overdose Position is also very important.  After calling 9-1-1 and deploying Narcan, place them in overdose position.  Click here to download our Overdose Position Card.

Nobody is really prepared for an overdose so prepare everybody for the possibility.

Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone) is a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program. Project DAWN participants receive training on:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose
  • Distinguishing between different types of overdose
  • Performing rescue breathing
  • Calling emergency medical services
  • Administering intranasal Naloxone

About Naloxone

  • Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or prescription pain medications). When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing. Naloxone has been used safely by emergency medical professionals for more than 40 years and has only this one critical function: to reverse the effects of opioids in order to prevent overdose death. Naloxone has no potential for abuse.
  • If Naloxone is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. If naloxone is administered to a person who is dependent on opioids, it will produce withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal, although uncomfortable, is not life-threatening.
  • Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by non-opioid drugs, such as cocaine, benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanex, Klonopin and Valium), methamphetamines, or alcohol.
  • According to a recent CDC Publication, between 1996 and June 2010, more than 53,000 individuals have been trained and given naloxone by overdose prevention programs, leading to reports of over 10,100 overdose reversals during this period.

Please visit the Project DAWN website for additional important information.

Click here for an interactive map of Narcan dispensing locations in Cuyahoga County, Ohio


Sadly, loss of life is a part of addiction.  The journey through addiction takes its toll on the family, and when it ends in loss, the effects may be even more devastating especially as addiction continues to rob us of our kids’ lives.

None of us are prepared to deal with the emotional toll of loss, and grief counseling is a critical part of moving forward in “our new normal.”


Most churches provide some form of grief support and are a great place to seek serenity.

For our family, we turned to CORNERSTONE OF HOPE. CORNERSTONE provided the support we needed, both as a family and as individuals. CORNERSTONE was born from loss, and has become the gold standard.

JOSHUA HOUSE was founded by a ROBBY’S VOICE FAMILY MATTERS team member and her family. They are Cornerstone trained and understand the process and realities of grief and the loss from substance related death.

Meetings every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
3939 Granger Road Medina OH, 44256
Linda; 330-620-8669
Joe; 330-620-1721


Support for the Addict starts with the family seeking support for themselves.  Following that, support for the addict comes in seeking treatment, and then tapping into the best post treatment support systems available.


See our section on treatment.

The very nature of addictions means that most addicts are not able to “do it on their own.”  If they were, they would already be free from the disease.


There are several options for post treatment support, but the most critical is that the Addict entering recovery surrounds themselves with people and places that are conducive to recovery.

Recovery is a difficult process, and from the time an addict leaves detox or rehab, the risk of relapse is high. We also know that the first year is critical as the brain works to normalize itself. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME.

MAP brings an additional support tool to assists patients and families in the recovery process. MAP focuses on detection and signals of early relapse, or the potential for relapse, alerting the family support system to the pending risk so action can be taken and relapse averted.

Contact MAP at the link below for a confidential conversation on how they can help aid in recovery.  1-855-627-1010

Step groups, most notably 12 Step Groups, are paramount to recovery.  Attending meetings regularly, working in structure and following a prescribed path is a helpful aid for the recovery process.  Step programs work, if worked.  Many addicts abandon the principles of the program and attempt to work it their own way, only to find that it doesn’t work their way.  An addict needs to find a home group where they feel comfortable and as such will be more willing to attend regularly.

AA, Alcoholics Anonymous

NA, Narcotics Anonymous

HA, Heroin Anonymous


Known as three-quarter homes or half-way homes, sober living provides addicts a re-entry point into life by providing a place to live that requires adherence to a recovery program as well as responsibilities around the house.  Sober living homes are normally overseen by a person in long term recovery, and they do not tolerate usage or deviation from recovery programs.

For more information on sober living in the Medina/Akron area, is a great resource.



It is often said that one needs something larger than the addiction to beat the addiction.  We only know of one power greater than the addiction – God.  Faith, the principle of love, forgiveness and the value of life are critical needs for every addict. They are found in faith.

Often, addicts need time to develop or re-develop their faith. Time to stop blaming God for their addiction or all of the consequences their addiction has delivered.  That’s OK.  Spirituality, or the realization that there is something larger than themselves in the world; a greater power (professed by 12 step groups) is a first step in returning to faith.

As Addicts progress in recovery, faith-based groups provide safe social gatherings and opportunities to give back to others.  They also present a lifeline to help work through the challenges that life will continue to throw at them.  Just as the Prodigal Son returned home to his father, the Addict will make their journey and by the Grace of God, will return home to their faith.