Alcoholism and drug dependence and addiction, known as substance use disorders, are complex problems. People with these disorders once were thought to have a character defect or moral weakness; some people mistakenly still believe that. However, most scientists and medical researchers now consider dependence on alcohol or drugs to be a long-term illness, like asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), or diabetes.
Most people who drink alcohol do so occasionally, and many people can stop taking drugs without a struggle. However, some people develop a substance use disorder—the use of alcohol or drugs that is compulsive or dangerous (or both).
What is Addiction Treatment?
Many kinds of professionals provide treatment for substance use disorders. In most treatment programs, the main caregivers are specially trained individuals certified or licensed as substance abuse treatment counselors. About half these counselors are in recovery themselves. Many programs have staff from several different ethnic or cultural groups. Most treatment programs assign patients to a treatment team of professionals.
The Counselor’s Family Education Manual found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website states that:
People in recovery are here because they care enough about themselves and their families to seek treatment; family members are here because they want to offer encouragement and support. (SAMHSA)
Depending on the type of treatment, teams can be made up of social workers, counselors, doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, or other professionals.
How Can Parents Find Addiction Treatment?
One of the top reasons that people delay going to rehab is because of how hard it is to find care for their children while they are away. Many addicted parents fear that their children will end up placed in foster care if they seek addiction treatment. In many cases of parental addiction, the bond between parents and their children is broken as a result of their substance abuse, so going to treatment is the only option for healing and repairing the relationship. The parent may neglect to respond to the child’s needs or may have difficulties controlling their emotions, resulting in angry outbursts or even abuse. When a parent goes to rehab, children go through a wide range of emotions.
They may feel happy and relieved that their mother or father is finally getting help. In addition to coping with the emotional repercussions of addiction, parents may need to face the legal consequences of child abuse and domestic violence. Parents in rehab require support from multiple sources. In addition to counseling, peer support, and other therapeutic modalities, they may need psychosocial services such as access to affordable housing, transportation, and occupational training. They may also need physical protection or legal representation, especially if there have been reports of abuse or domestic violence. Even after getting clean, it can be difficult to get back custody of their children and being removed from their parents can be a disturbing and even traumatizing experience for kids.
We Help Addicted Parents Achieve Recovery
Addiction disorders disrupt and hurt the entire family. You can get help and lead a successful, productive life as a parent. The first step is acknowledging the potential problem and just by asking yourself if you want to be the best parent you can be, you’re already on the right track. Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, 12 step addiction treatment and many other services that help teach you the skills needed to be a great parent.
We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions. Kids who are old enough may also be encouraged to be more involved in the post-rehab reintegration of their recovering loved one, including going with them to support group meetings and learning how to be supportive and avoid enabling behaviors. We personalize the treatment plan based on the individual’s characteristics. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.