Addiction can affect anyone, it’s something we see in society across all ages and ethnicities, from rich and poor backgrounds, and in both educated and less educated people. The types of drugs used will often differ but the point remains the same, addiction doesn’t discriminate. Maybe you had a rough start in life and turned to drugs as a way to cope, maybe you got into partying too hard at university, or perhaps you fell into abusing stimulants to give you the energy needed to perform your high-powered job. Whatever your background, if you’re reading this now, chances are you want to get clean- but importantly are worried about your children when getting admitted to a drug rehab center. As a parent, your children are your whole world, but balancing parenthood with addiction is difficult and chances are you know you’re not being the best mother or father you can be. When you have a substance problem, there’s no doubt that it not only affects you but the people in your life as well, particularly children. Research shows that children of drug-addicted parents have:
- More difficulties in school
- More difficulties in social and family environments
- Higher rates of teen pregnancy
- Higher rates of mental health issues
- A higher chance of developing a substance addiction.
This can be worrying to see, but as a parent, you might delay or put off getting help because you’re worried about the repercussions and having your children taken away. Here’s what you need to know.
Will I Lose My Children If I Seek Help For Drug Addiction?
It’s easy to assume that admitting you have a substance addiction will mean instant loss of custody of your children. However, this isn’t the case, so don’t let your worries become a barrier to seeking help. In fact, showing that you’re serious about getting clean and attending rehab will very much go in your favor, rather than against you. If you don’t seek help and things spiral, there’s a good chance you will eventually lose them anyway. So, take action now and get the help you need.
When the state is deciding to take custody of a child, there are multiple things they will look into. This is mainly to make sure the child’s needs are being met, such as they’re attending school and there are no major complaints from places such as children’s doctors or evidence of abuse towards them. They will also look into the severity of your addiction and any mental health issues, but if it’s clear your children are fed, loved, and educated, then losing custody of them isn’t something you should worry about or prevent you from seeking help.
Family Therapy For Addiction Can Be The Answer
If you’re worried about your children when getting admitted to a drug rehab center there’s good news, you can bring them with you and heal together as a family. Modern drug rehab centers often ask parents to bring their children as the research shows that healing together as a family yields the best results. Including everyone within both the treatment process as well as in the therapy sessions can provide parents and children the opportunity to discuss their difficulties and trauma in a safe environment. With families with younger children, good outcomes can be achieved with play therapy, with families with older children therapy can often be done on an outpatient basis where they return home between sessions. Either way, a knowledgeable counselor will know what to do in your specific case. Each family is different, and the best way to approach things will be dependent on your circumstances. As well as helping the parent through addiction, rehab and other addiction programs work to help children understand their parent’s addiction, including realizing that it’s not their fault. Supporting children while helping the parent will give the best outcomes for the entire family.
What Can We Expect For The Family?
As alcohol addiction is a chronic illness, recovery requires effective treatment. Research demonstrates that family drug rehab centers yield excellent results, showing that most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their mental health. The relationship between parent and child improves massively as these programs essentially teach parents how to be better mothers and fathers. Often in the case of addicted parents, the caregiver roles are reversed where children end up looking after the mother or father. This can cause serious issues later on, so putting the parent back into the parenting role can be highly beneficial.