We all mess up sometimes in life. Bad choices can often take us places we’d rather not be, and poor judgment calls can sometimes have lasting effects. Even drug and alcohol abuse and addiction can be caused by a single poor choice, but their effects can be long lasting.
Sometimes loving, well-meaning parents can jeopardize their relationship with their children because they get involved with substance abuse. Too many kids in this country find themselves in the middle of a family addiction; neglected, abused, or emotionally starved because their parent chose to do drugs.
Removing Children from Unstable Homes
As bad as an addiction in a family with children can be, there is treatment that can help. A single parent who is so addicted to drugs that they can’t take care of their own children may be devastated to find one day that their kids are taken away from them. Social services will be quick to step in and remove children from the home once they know drugs or alcoholism are playing a part in family life, because of how devastating substance abuse can be on a family.
Parents in Recovery
There are steps that an addicted parent needs to take to get his or her kids back, the first of which is drug detox and rehab. There are rehab programs that will work with social services to ensure that parents are able to visit with their kids on a regular basis. After inpatient treatment, a parent will most likely need to go to day therapy as they slowly integrate back into society. After outpatient therapy, there will be support groups and continued counseling. Parents whose children are in temporary homes because of drug abuse in the family will most likely need to take parenting classes and keep in contact with social workers to be allowed to care for their children again. Reuniting kids with their parent is usually the goal, even in drug abuse cases, but it will only occur after the parent has gotten clean from drugs, continues to work on sobriety, and has proven to be a safe guardian for their children.
Some treatment facilities specialize in drug rehab for women, or more specifically, mothers of young children. These facilities are open to allowing children to come for supervised visits, or in some cases, will allow kids to live at the facility with their mother. In this way, mother and child are able to continue to work on their relationship, while the mom works on her sobriety. These facilities will usually offer programs and therapy for the children also, who are so drastically impacted by their parent’s addiction.
Many women lose custody of their children because of drug abuse. Those with a real desire to get better and stay sober can work toward getting their children back. It takes a lot of hard work and surrendering to those willing to help, but drug abuse does not have to ruin a family forever.