Stoner Jan 2021

Judge Kenneth Stoner presents at a Parents Helping Parents Tulsa chapter meeting.

Parents Helping Parents is an organization that provides resources and peer support to the parents and caregivers of people of all ages who struggle with addiction.

The group began in Edmond in 2000. Some parents of children with addiction issues found that talking to each other about their experiences was helpful. They began meeting regularly at each other’s homes. 

Eventually, parents from Norman started joining in, so they decided to start their own chapter there. The group incorporated in 2002, forming Parents Helping Parents Inc. There are four chapters: Edmond, Norman, Oklahoma City and a new Tulsa chapter, which officially joined the ranks in March 2020. PHP also has a virtual chapter where people from across Oklahoma can access resources and meet with each other.

It’s important to have a group that focuses on parents and caregivers, says Becky O’Dell, executive director of PHP Inc.

“When a whole family is revolving around a child who is struggling, everything else can fall by the wayside,” she says. “If that family can learn how to take care of themselves, and how to set boundaries, then they’re in much better shape to deal with that child who is struggling.” 

The Tulsa chapter meets twice a month at the Destiny Wellness Center unless canceled due to the coronavirus. Often, meetings will feature a guest speaker, such as Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Stoner, who oversees the Oklahoma County drug court. Other speakers include parents, mental health professionals and people who have overcome addiction. Anyone who can share insight on addiction is helpful.

“The more parents learn, the more hope there is,” O’Dell says.

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