Many people who abuse drugs often don’t realize that their actions affect their entire lives including the relationships they have with their children and families. By choosing to put their addiction first, they are putting their responsibilities, especially those to their children on the back burner.
Parents can take drugs for a number of reasons. Perhaps they started out experimenting recreationally and ended up addicted. Others take drugs to help take the edge off the stress of being a parent. Yet others use drugs to help them cope with financial, relationship, and even mental health problems they encounter in their lives.
While taking drugs doesn’t make someone a bad parent, the habit can make it difficult for them to be as involved in their children’s lives as they might have otherwise been. An individual can deny that they’re addicted to drugs but if their drug habit is making them neglect their parental responsibilities, skip work and let down those who are dependent on them, then there is a problem.
How Parental Drug Addiction Impacts Children
Parents who opt to bring up their children in a home where addiction is prevalent and normalized can end up harming their children in numerous ways.
Such parents are more likely to neglect or physically or emotionally abuse their children. This can take different forms from failing to regularly feed or bathe the children to missing out on school events, forgetting birthdays, and other important family occasions. In most cases, households run by drug-addicted parents lack structure. The children might not have any rules or the rules and consequences might be inconsistently applied.
In other cases, the home might be loving but the parents’ occasional drug-induced lapses make the children feel unsure, insecure, withdrawn, or even guilty for their parents’ substance abuse. The addiction might affect how the parent and child bond and communication between them might suffer substantially.
Since children look up to their parents for guidance, when that parent’s judgment is compromised by drug abuse, they can not only cause physical, emotional, and mental trauma but also severely hinder their child’s development.
The Fear of Losing Children Keeps Parents from Seeking Drug Addiction Treatment
Even though their drug habits have a negative impact on their children, most parents who abuse drugs are reluctant to seek out treatment for their addiction. One major reason behind this is that they are afraid that their children will be taken away from them. However, this can also work in another way where the threat of losing one’s children motivates the parent to seek treatment and overcome their addiction.
While every situation is different, what most don’t know is that they can only lose their children if there are other factors at play other than substance abuse. These factors include teen pregnancy, single parenthood, a history of child neglect or abuse, chronic unemployment, etc.
In any case, seeking treatment has benefits for both the parent’s and the child’s welfare. Furthermore, should the courts become involved in such a case, seeing the parent undergoing drug treatment therapy would act in their favor as it proves they are willing to change in order to keep their children.
Drug Rehab Programs for Parents
Studies have shown that involving family and loved ones in the therapeutic and recovery process has the best outcomes for success. To this end, drug rehab centers for parents need to come up with creative and comprehensive treatment programs to make drug treatment a healing and bonding experience for a family whose lives have been turned upside down by addiction.
Most parents might hesitate to enroll in drug treatment programs because they have no one to look after their children. Once parents are assured that their children are in good hands, they are free to concentrate on their treatment and getting better. Because of this, some rehab centers offer different services aimed at solving this problem.
These services include:
Providing family therapy.
This type of counseling often incorporates an individual’s loved ones, including their children. During family therapy sessions, both the parents and children can have conversations about the substance abuse and the effect it has had on their lives in a safe and controlled space guided by a therapist.
Some facilities offer accommodation for children.
The facilities offered depend on the rehab center. Some might opt to provide daycare services for children as their parents attend counseling sessions while others might give parents (especially single or expectant mothers) the option to bring children to stay with them in rehab.
Reaching out to the extended family members to take in the children.
Another option for drug rehab centers is to reach out to the extended family members e.g. spouses, grandparents, godparents, aunts, or uncles to provide a safe and stable place for these children to stay. The family members could act as temporary caregivers until the parents complete their treatment.
Giving parents the option of outpatient treatment.
Alternatively, parents who are struggling with drug addiction can opt to enroll in outpatient treatment programs. This means that they attend counseling and therapy sessions during the day then go back home in the evening to spend time with their children and families. However, this treatment method only works if the parent wasn’t severely addicted in the first place and if they have a healthy home environment to go back to. Otherwise, the risk of relapse is high.
Find the Right Treatment Program Today
If you are looking for a Kentucky drug addiction rehab, the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery has the tools and staff to help you conquer your addiction without having to travel far. We have a variety of drug treatment programs and we can help you find and design a treatment and recovery plan that meets your unique needs.
Getting treatment is vital to your success in beating drug addiction. Contact us today and let our addiction treatment specialists help you make the right choices for your personal situation.