Being a Single Mother Has Its Challenges
Being a mom is a rewarding and beautiful experience. But, let’s be honest. Raising a child is not always a walk in the park. In fact, it is one of the greatest challenges women face in the course of their lives. Motherhood can be difficult, frustrating, and downright stressful. This is especially true for single moms.
Single mothers may turn to drugs or alcohol to manage stress and cope with the many responsibilities that come with raising a child alone. Before long, use turns to abuse, and abuse turns into a full-blown substance use disorder. It happens more often than you might think.
If you are a single mom who is battling an addiction, you are not alone. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, the number of babies who are born addicted to drugs or alcohol have more than quadrupled over the past 15 years. And, there is no accurate data that can tell us how many addicted moms are out there raising children. But, for sure, it is in the millions.
Don’t Be Ashamed – Moms Get Addicted Too
One of the main reasons addicted moms don’t get treatment for their substance use disorder is because they are ashamed. They truly have a sincere desire to be a good mother who raises healthy, happy children.
They wonder, “How did I get like this? How did I let things get this bad” They think if they reach out for help; they will be judged, condemned, and labeled. They continue on in the devastating cycle of drug or alcohol addiction without any hope for positive change. Help is always available.
There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you are an addicted single mom and that you need addiction treatment. In fact, this is a courageous move – one that should be celebrated. Addiction does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. This includes mothers who love their children.
Are You a Single Mom With a Substance Use Disorder?
If you think you are addicted to alcohol or drugs you probably are. People who do not have a substance use disorder do not sit around wondering if their life is out of control. There are probably some obvious indicators in your life telling you that you need help. But, if you are still not sure, we encourage you to answer these questions honestly:
- Do you drink alcohol or use drugs daily?
- Are you using illegal substances like meth, cocaine, or heroin while your children are home?
- Have you ever driven your children somewhere while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Do you obsess about getting more drugs when you run out?
- Are you spending a significant amount of money on drugs or alcohol?
- Have other family members threatened to take away your children if you do not get sober?
- Are you under CPS investigation because someone reported you for negligence or abuse?
- Have you tried to stop on your own, but have found that you cannot stay sober for any length of time?
- Have you become painfully aware that your drug or alcohol problem is out of control, but you are afraid to get help?
If you answered “yes” to any ONE of these questions, you may have a substance use disorder. If so, we highly recommend that you seek treatment. Recovery would benefit you not only as a woman, but as a mother. Remember, you have children to think about. They want their mom back!
Before you start making excuses to yourself about why you can’t go to rehab, we want to present you will an option that could work well for you and your whole family. It’s called outpatient programming.
What is IOP?
“[IOP](/treatment/intensive-outpatient-program/” stands for “intensive outpatient program.” It is specifically designed to provide addiction treatment on a flexible schedule. Not everyone can afford the time and resources that are required to stay in an inpatient treatment facility. This accommodates single moms, parents, students, and working professionals.
At New Directions for Women, our intensive outpatient program is three hours a day, five days a week for 16 weeks. It includes individual counseling and help for family members. We utilize curriculums founded on proven, research-based methods that address every aspect of the recovering woman.
Depending on the severity of the substance use disorder diagnosis, outpatient care can be just as effective as inpatient treatment. The only difference between the two is that inpatient requires patients to live residentially, where outpatient allows women to go home every night. This gives them the opportunity to care of childcare (and/or career) responsibilities throughout the day.
Why IOP is Awesome for Single Moms
There are many ways that single moms benefit from an intensive outpatient program. Here are just a few:
- IOP allows moms the flexibility to get addiction treatment in the morning so they can pick up their kids from school or work during the remainder of the day.
- We believe in the restoration of families. Mothers find healing here and so do their children and other family members.
- We encourage families to get involved in the recovery process and help to break the generational cycle of addiction.
- We equip single moms with relapse prevention strategies to promote long-term, ongoing sobriety.
- Gender-specific group sessions led by master’s level clinicians allow single moms to connect with other women and mothers so they can establish a solid sober support system.
- Individual therapy sessions allow clients to address any underlying issues that might impede the recovery process.
- Educational groups empower women with the skills they need to navigate every phase of the recovery process.
- Daily meditations and 12-Step involvement promote spirituality as a positive recovery component.
- Recovery puts an end to the madness of addiction. This makes it possible for women to enjoy their lives.
- Single moms are better moms when they are sober. Being addicted and raising children simply doesn’t work. The children always suffer.
- Women experience personal freedom, positive change, and a hopeful outlook for the future during IOP.
There is so much to be gained when you make the commitment to get sober. The only thing women lose at IOP are the chains keeping them bound to the destructive cycle of addiction.
Are You Ready for IOP?
If you believe you have a substance use disorder and you are a single mom, we ask you to consider participating in our intensive outpatient program. If left untreated, addiction only gets worse. It never gets better.
We believe you want to be a good mom who provides a healthy and happy life for her children. The fact is, that is simply not possible if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Remember, there is no shame in admitting you need treatment for your addiction.
If you are ready to find a new way to live, we are here to guide you through the recovery process. We have been helping women get sober for more than 40 years and we can help you too. No matter how dark things may seem, there is hope. You can get sober, you can enjoy your life, and you can be an awesome single mom. Get help now.
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