When you are fighting an addiction to drugs or alcohol, your family will be the first ones who will be affected by your substance abuse. It’s no secret- alcohol and drug addiction ruins lives and tears apart families. When a parent is the one addicted to drugs and alcohol, it will impact their ability to take care of their kids. If you are having a substance or alcohol abuse problem, it is very important to get into rehab as soon as possible.
You may be worried about what your kids will think if you have to stay in an inpatient rehab. Will they think you are abandoning them for rehab? Will they hate you for leaving them, even for a short period of time? Read on to find out more.
How Addiction Affects Children
When there is drug or alcohol use in the home, children are the ones who become the silent victims. Addiction causes emotional, physical, and psychological problems for the children who must live with it. Unfortunately, an addict is often too preoccupied with their addictive tendencies to properly take care of their children. They may become neglectful as their addiction gets worse. Many children end up being the “parent” in a household where the adult is the addict. What does this mean? In general, it means the children end up cooking, cleaning, and taking on more adult responsibilities than they should. The stressful environment they are forced to stay in can cause lasting trauma.
When parents are focused on drugs or alcohol, the children in the home begin to experience emotional damage. Feelings of resentment, anger, disconnection, and distrust often pop up for kids, even at earlier ages. Addiction will cause a major disconnect between parents and children, especially in the early years when bonding is so important. That’s why it is important to go to rehab if you are both an addict and a parent. The sooner you get the help you need, the better your relationship with your children will become.
Attending Rehab When You’re a Parent
Of course, it is often easier said than done to check into a rehab center when you have children to take care of. This is especially true if your kids are young and in a school setting. However, you must first get clean and sober before you can be the best parent you know you can be. To do this, inpatient rehab will be your best bet. It’s important to pick a program that gives you enough time for detox and therapy.
But what will your kids think? Will they worry you are abandoning them? Your first step should be to sit down and have a very honest talk with your children. Chances are, they already know you are an addict. Children see and hear more than we know, and it is often very difficult to keep addictive behavior from them. If there is another parent in the home, make sure your kids understand that they will be taking care of them alone for a short period of time.
You’ll want to stress to your children that you are in no way abandoning them for rehab. Explain how crucial it is for you to get professional help in a setting that takes you away from your regular life. Give them as many details as you believe they will be comfortable with. If you are going for a very specific amount of time, write down the day you will be getting out so they know exactly when you’ll be finished.
Next, ask your kids if they will visit you during the program. Most rehab facilities offer family therapy sessions, so ask your partner or a family member if they will bring your children in to see you when the time comes. Family therapy can help everyone in the family start to reconnect and form bonds after such a stressful time. It’s a huge part of the recovery process, yet too many parents don’t bother to take advantage of it. Make sure that you do.
Call for Information
We would love to help you learn ways to talk to your children about your addiction. When you are finally ready to accept the help that you need, give us a call at 844-639-8371. You can also stop by to talk with our representatives. We know how traumatizing drug abuse can be for children, and we are ready to give you all the help you need to get clean and stay that way for good.