When someone suffers from addiction, it doesn’t only affect them. It also affects everyone around them, specifically immediate family members such as a spouse or children. This is particularly true when it comes to a mother and her child.
Unfortunately, not all women have the proper support system when it comes to dealing with addiction and caring for their children. Whether they’re single mothers or have a spouse who is also an addict, there are many times where the mother doesn’t provide the proper care for their child due to their addiction. Because they’re the primary caregivers to those children, they also can’t go and enter an inpatient rehab program.
Luckily, there are drug rehab for families options out there. Specifically, there are treatment programs specifically designed for a mother and her children. Let’s take a look at the unique situation a mother with children might find herself in when it comes to addiction, as well as drug rehab for women with children.
Dealing With Addiction and Children
Battling addiction can feel like a full-time job as it is. In fact, many times, as a result of addiction, many daily activities get neglected. This includes work and home responsibilities. One of those home responsibilities can involve caring for a person’s children if they have any. Unfortunately, children living in a home with addicted parents is more common than you may think as well.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that about 1 in 8 children aged 17 or younger lives in a household with at least one parent who has a substance use disorder. As a result, these children tend to be of lower socioeconomic status than children of parents who don’t have an addiction.
In a household where only one parent is suffering from addiction, the other parent can help with the responsibilities when it comes to taking care of the child. But what happens if that child lives in a one-parent household or lives in a home where both parents are suffering from addiction? As you can imagine, this can have a significant impact on the child and their ability to succeed in places like school, social environments, and even at home. Children who live in an addicted riddled home are also more likely to develop a mental health disorder or even succumb to addiction themselves.
Will My Child Be Taken From Me If I Enter Treatment?
While the simple solution when it comes to a parent dealing with addiction might seem like treatment for both their well-being and their child’s, it’s not always that black and white. If the parent is a single parent, they might not have the time or ability to enter a treatment program because of their child. Another major fear that parents have is that if they admit to suffering from addiction, they’ll have their child or children taken away from them. This is particularly true when it comes to mothers.
Studies have shown that more than 70% of women are afraid of entering treatment or identifying themselves as an addict for fear of having their children taken away from them. On the other side of that, in many cases, the fear of losing one’s child has been a motivating factor when it comes to entering treatment. So, let’s set the record straight here when it comes to the fear of losing your child if you enter treatment.
While suffering from an addiction can ultimately lead to losing custody of a child, it’s not as cut and dry as that. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to custody situations and every situation is treated differently.
In addition to substance abuse, typically one or more of the following factors also have to come into play for custody to come into question:
- Child abuse or neglect
- The severity of the addiction
- Suffering from a major mental health issue in addition to substance abuse
- Teen pregnancy
- Financial difficulties
Even if a person checks off multiple boxes, it’s important to remember that all hope is not lost. Entering and successfully completing treatment can show the court that you are not only committed to giving yourself a better life; you also want to provide a better life for your child.
What Are My Treatment Options With My Child?
Women have a unique situation when it comes to getting the treatment they need with a child. They need to get the help they need for themselves, but they also need to make sure that they take care of their child as well. Luckily, there are facilities and programs out there specifically designed for moms and their children. Some facilities may offer daycare services for those who undergo outpatient treatment. Some may even provide educational or residential services and a safe place to stay for those moms who choose to enter inpatient treatment.
No matter what drug rehab for women with children you choose, the first step is to successfully complete detox treatment. During detox, your body will rid itself of any and all harmful substances in it. Due to the nature of the detox process and its side effects, detoxing should be done under constant medical care and supervision. This can be done at either a hospital, a dedicated detox facility, or a treatment center that also provides detox services such as New Directions for Women.
Self-detoxing can be incredibly dangerous and even potentially life-threatening. Once detox is complete, it’s time to begin treatment. Depending on your situation at home and what’s recommended by treatment professionals, you can enter either inpatient or outpatient treatment.
By going to a facility like New Directions for Women, your program will be tailor-made for your unique situation of being a mother with a child. Your therapists will be specially trained in dealing with substance abuse among mothers, and you’ll also be surrounded by other mothers going through similar issues.
What Types of Treatments Are Offered for Me and My Child?
While a mother suffering from addiction will attend individual and group therapies to help address the cause of her addiction, drug rehab for families will also offer specific types of treatment. These may involve the child and even potentially other family members.
One of the biggest issues families face when dealing with an addicted parent is the lack of communication in the household. Having an open line of communication is a major step on the road to recovery, which is why family therapy is so vital to the overall recovery process.
Family therapy provides a safe space for children to share how their parent’s substance abuse has affected them. During family therapy, the therapist will encourage family members to address emotional topics as well as hidden concerns and feelings. Family members may discover that others share their feelings, and they may feel empowered by gaining a broader perspective of the issue. These insights can lead to change within the family.
While family therapy is a great way to address issues in a safe space, depending on the age of the child, it might not be the best course of action. Children, especially young children, often need to participate in age-appropriate therapy programs before they can participate in family therapy sessions. This is where play therapy comes in.
Since children often have a hard time expressing their feelings and concerns, especially at a younger age, play therapy can allow the child to share how their mother’s addiction has affected them through toys and stories that they can act out. By using these alternative mediums, the child can express their feelings and explore the relationship they have with their mother. They can also describe what life has been like at home in an environment that they feel comfortable in.
Play therapy has been proven to be effective when it comes to dealing with the following issues:
- Acting out
- Attachment issues
- Emotional issues
Are You Looking For Drug Rehab For Families?
At New Directions For Women, we know that your addiction doesn’t only affect you; it affects your children as well. If you are a single mother suffering from addiction you might even be worried that you will lose your child if you enter treatment.
We know this is a scary time for all which is why we offer treatment programs not just for you but for your child, too. Contact us today to learn more about our women-specific treatment programs and how we can help you and your family get back to living a happy and healthy life.