The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit that supports families struggling with their son’s or daughter’s substance use, is partnering with Cornerstone of Recovery and other Tennessee-based health and wellness organizations to host Parent Coach Trainings in the state.


The two-and-a-half-day training program – called Parent Coach Training – is for parents or caretakers of children who have been impacted by drugs or alcohol, and who are interested in participating in a free, specialized, weekend-long training session to learn tactics for helping families in similar situations.


The Knoxville-area session will be held Sept. 22–24. The daily training sessions will run Friday from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Location information will be shared with individuals who register for the training. Parent Coach Trainings were held in Memphis and Nashville earlier this month as part of the first round of trainings.


Parents in attendance will be trained by an expert clinician to offer peer-to-peer support to families who are dealing with substance use by their teenage or young adult children. They are trained in CRAFT, Community Reinforcement and Family Training, a scientifically proven approach that teaches parents how to positively interact with their children in order to influence better choices in regard to substance use. Following the weekend of training, parents will receive six months of additional training and support as a volunteer parent coach through the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.


“The rise in opioid abuse in our state is incredibly alarming,” said Leah Festa, director of the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee. “The statewide Parent Coach Trainings are a step toward providing parents with the critical support and resources they need to address their child’s substance use.”


“No one should have to face the disease of addiction alone,” said Kevin Collins, vice president and director of parent and community support services for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Our parent coach volunteers provide critical support to other parents who may feel hopeless, alone or needlessly ashamed of their child’s substance use.”


Materials and training will be provided at no cost. For more information or to register, contact Kristina Clark at Advance registration is required. The deadline to register is Thursday, Sept. 21.