Mothers in recovery: How to deal with addiction as a parent

Life is a journey. One that is rarely straightforward and often full of important lessons – some of them tough lessons.

Being a parent is hard enough on its own, but being someone who is recovering from an addiction can take a toll on everyone around, especially your children.

That said, if you are struggling with addiction – even if you’re just coming to terms with the fact that you may have a problem – there is hope. Here is some advice to help you take positive steps in the right direction.

Understanding addiction

The first step in every recovery is knowing that you have a problem. You might have many questions you’re asking yourself. Am I trying to numb the pain of something? How long Does it take for an overdose to kick in? What are some better ways to cope than by overdosing? After you have come to the realization that you are an addict, it’s time to open up to your family and loved ones.

This means being open about your struggles and allowing your loved ones to be there for you. This can also mean reconnecting with people who you’ve lost due to your addiction, whether they are friends, family, or even your child.

Seeking help

When you are dealing with something like addiction, regardless of what kind of addiction it is, it’s always best to seek professional help rather than trying to fight it on your own. Find a local rehab center that offers drug or alcohol rehabilitation for adults. You can visit the facility and inquire more about their programs and treatments.

Experts at Changing Tides say that realizing you have a problem is the first step, but actually getting the help is the final and most important part of your journey.

If you feel shame or discomfort knowing that you are going to rehab, understand that it’s the best possible scenario for both you and your child.

Family therapy 

Having an addiction can take a big toll on the whole family, and can even tear it apart. And so once you seek the right help for your problem, you need to understand the consequences of what addiction does to your loved ones too, not just yourself.

Attending family therapy can help to repair damaged relationships and avoid any further falling outs. You and your family deserve to live a happy and normal life, and a professional can help with getting you all closer towards that goal.

Don’t involve your child in your problems

Recovery can be a messy process that can take some time. But that does not mean you should abandon your child, or worse, place that burden onto them. Instead, you need to be there for your child and reassure them that it’s not their fault, and that everything’s going to be okay.

The role of a mother doesn’t simply go away when you become an addict and start the process of recovery – it’s still your job to raise your child and give them all the things they need, including getting yourself the right help in order to be the adequate parent. 

At the end of the day you want what’s best for your child, and that is also getting the right help for yourself too. By avoiding the struggles and problems, you’re creating an unsafe environment for your child, or even worse, a poor example of how to act.

Children are impressionable, so you must strive to protect and leave them out of harmful surroundings in order to give them a normal and happy life.