Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Question: If I suspect my child is using drugs, how can IMPACT help?

Answer: IMPACT is always available to provide counselling services to any youth who seeks counselling. As a parent, you may encourage your child to meet with one of our counsellors in whatever way you feel would be appropriate. In the end, however, neither IMPACT nor a parent can force a youth to engage in counselling, and what is said between your child and his or her IMPACT counsellor is confidential (unless your child consents to us talking with you about part or all that has been discussed).

Sometimes youth are not immediately ready or willing to meet with a counsellor one-on-one, so IMPACT also has regular activity programs that youth can join in on after a brief intake session. Check our calendar for a list of these activities.

If your child is suspected of drug-related problems at school or with the law, many School District #34 schools and parole officers may place conditions on a youth to attend one of our interactive workshops or one-to-one counselling. These conditions are between your child and the institution. Our goal is to make sure that young people’s interactions with us are positive, so that even if they don’t feel a need to interact with us now, they won’t hesitate if they feel a need in the future.

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Question: Can I sit in on a counselling session with my child?

Answer: IMPACT provides family counselling sessions that can include any member of the family, so long as all persons agree to the family session.

Our counsellors are also happy to meet with you separately to discuss how your child’s drug use is affecting you and what you might be able to do to improve the situation. If you have a child or other youth (under age 25) in your life that you are concerned about, we can meet with you – even if your child is not seeking services with us.

If your child is 25 or older, please contact Abbotsford Addiction Centre, which provides counselling services to adults affected by the drug use of other adults.

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Question: Can IMPACT administer a drug test on my child?

Answer: IMPACT does not administer drug tests. Further, we have cause to be concerned about the usefulness of drug tests, especially if they are done without a youth’s consent.

If you are interested in having your child drug tested, a test can usually be arranged through your family physician, but only if your child gives consent. These tests are typically considered “elective,” so they may not be covered by MSP.

There are also many drug testing kits available on the internet, but IMPACT suggests you read the following studies and reports before using one of these kits, as the use of these testing kits can provide inaccurate or incomplete information and can also potentially undermine the parent-child relationship.

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Question: Might my child make drug connections with other youth if he or she attends a group program at IMPACT?

Answer: This can be a risk wherever youth are in groups. We start groups by collectively developing and agreeing to “community agreements,” which are statements of how we would like to work together in order for us to all feel safe and supported.

Because our services are specifically about drug use, we allow and even encourage youth to talk about real issues going on in their lives, but when drug use is discussed, we try to encourage critical thinking. We have never encountered a youth who didn’t think drug use could be or become a problem. We encourage youth we work with to consider what signs they might notice that would tell them they or someone in their lives might be struggling.

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Question:What do IMPACT services cost?

Answer: Due to our generous funders and contributors, all of IMPACT’s services and programs are free.

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Question:What if my child does not have transportation to get to IMPACT?

Answer: IMPACT may be able to provide bus passes to help clients get to and from counselling appointments. We can also set up appointments to meet with youth at local schools they may be attending. We also have an outreach counsellor who is often able to meet clients where they are in the community and conduct counselling appointments at restaurants or coffee shops – wherever it is safe, resonably private, and convenient.

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Question: Can IMPACT provide a referral or fee subsidy for detoxification or treatment?

Answer: Yes, if a youth wants and needs to go into detox or a residential treatment program, an IMPACT counsellor can make a referral to any Fraser Health Authority funded detox or treatment program that offers services to youth.

Generally, Fraser Health funded detox programs for adults and youth do not have a fee associated with them, nor do Fraser Health-funded youth (up to 18) residential treatment facilities. Adult (19+) residential treatment programs do usually have a daily fee, but IMPACT may be able to arrange for a fee subsidy if treatment costs cannot be fully-covered by the adult, their family or a form of social assistance.

Typically a youth will need to meet with an IMPACT counsellor a few times so that the counsellor can make a thorough assessment of the type and appropriateness of treatment before making a referral.

IMPACT counsellors typically maintain periodic contact with clients while they are in detox or treatment and continue to be available as a resource for aftercare once treatment has been completed.

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New FAQ questions and answers will be added to this section as they are available. If you have any other questions or would like to see the answers to other questions listed here, feel free to contact us at any time.