Lessons Learned

What We Know Now ... and What We Wish We Knew Then.

When reality hits that a loved one has a substance use disorder, it is not uncommon for parents, family members, spouses, friends, and even our children,  to wonder what they could have done differently. We may have blamed or shamed the person when we didn’t understand the nature of the disease. We struggle with the warning signs we might  have missed, guilt over our anger and frustration, and how much we still need to  learn about what happened and why.

When our SAFE Project team meets others affected by this epidemic,  there is always one question we ask:   “What do you know now that you wish you knew then?”

At SAFE Project, we learned early on that most powerful tool we can provide to others is sharing what we’ve learned, and what we learn from others we meet in our travels. Lessons Learned is a resource where we can all learn from our collective experiences with substance use disorder.


When They’re Young

SAFE’s Lessons Learned gives you suggestions about how to talk to your kids about opioids and substance use disorder.




How to Talk – and Listen – to Your Teen:

A strong foundation means when the time comes to discuss harder issues — like drug usage or alcohol — we’ve already got a healthy start.


At the First Signs of Substance Use:

What to look for if you suspect a loved one may be using opioids.




When Things Get Rough:

It’s a painful process to accept that your loved one may have a substance use disorder.



Preparing for an Intervention

Interventions are designed to help your family member, spouse, partner, friend, or even a colleague agree to seek treatment.




What to Expect During An Intervention

People in recovery and family members share their lessons learned from participating in interventions.




After an Intervention

Recovery is a life-long journey – for your loved one and for you.





Treatment & Transition:

When They are in Treatment

It may feel like a relief to finally have your loved one in treatment, but it also is a time of change.  Learn about support for them and self-care for you.



How to Support Your Spouse or Partner’s Transition Out of Treatmen

When you share your life together, you’ll also share in their recovery and transition.



How to Support Your Child’s Transition Out of Treatment

Here’s how you can best support them — and yourself — on this journey.


How to Support Your Friend’s Transition Out of Treatment

Understanding what to say and do so you can be part of their support system right now.


Early Recovery: What to do When You Transition Out of Treatment

Find out what to expect when you are transitioning out of treatment along the path to recovery.