Taking those first steps to recovery can be a complicated process. The process can be made even more daunting when you include children in the mix. When an addict is a parent, a lot of times they forgo treatment because they do not know where their children will do while they are in rehab. These are valid concerns, but single parents of addiction need to know that there are options available to you.
Contact Your Former Partner
In situations where this is feasible, letting the children stay with the other parent is likely the best route and the path of least resistance. If you have the support of your former partner, then that can take a huge weight off of you while in rehab. As the main worry of single parents is having their children taken away from them while they are getting treatment. In amicable relationships, it is best, to be honest up front about your addiction.
Research Your Rehabs
If you chose to go to a rehab facility, do thorough research. Often, rehabs offer the ability to have up to two children stay with you at a residential facility. Residential programs can be helpful for single parents who perhaps do not have a former partner or supportive family member for the children with which to stay. Another thing offered by rehabs is counseling geared towards parents with addiction. If this is something you feel would be beneficial to you, then it is something you should consider.
Consider Outpatient Therapy
For some single parents, rehab is either not an option that is available to them for various reasons, or rehab is simply not something that feel will work for their situation or temperament. In these instances, you should consider the different forms of outpatient treatment that are available. Perhaps you feel drawn to a 12-step program so you can attend meetings whenever you feel the need. Another option is to see an individual therapist who can tailor a treatment plan to your needs. Or perhaps you want a mixture of both.
Therapy for the Children
When considering getting help for your addiction, it would be prudent not to forget how the children have been affected by it. Depending on the child’s age there are many options available. Younger children can go an individual therapist, whereas, older children can attend support groups for your specific types of addiction, like alcohol or narcotics. These support groups are similar in scope and function to a 12-step program, except where a traditional program would help you battle your addiction, these programs help children deal with feelings of guilt and responsibility for their parent’s addiction.
No matter what circumstance you end up choosing, sticking to an aftercare plan will be a crucial aspect of the process as a single parent. After a traditional rehab process, your aftercare could consist of attending a support group when you feel a relapse afoot or encounter a trigger. You can also be required to continue with counseling, and if this is something you were already doing instead of a rehab program, they may reduce the frequency of your attendance.
Single parents face a lot of challenges and sometimes when dealing with addiction, these challenges can seem insurmountable. Getting help, whether it’s checking into a rehab or detoxing on your own and seeing a therapist, is one of the first steps in helping yourself become the best parent you can be.
Connecting with the right treatment solution to achieve recovery is also essential in this process. A free service like Freedom From Addiction can be of help to explore the different treatment options available. For 24/7 assistance, call 1.855.RECOVER or 1.855.732.6837.
Sydney DeZinno is a writer from Tucson, AZ. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she an active advocate that is passionate about addiction recovery and helping those in crisis.
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