Women suffering from drug abuse unwittingly increase the risk of their children developing a substance abuse problem. Drug rehab programs for women with children are designed to not only focus on drug addiction, but parenting and relationships as well.
Women And Drug Abuse
A governmental study from 2014 found that 3.8% of all women over 18 abused prescription drugs within the past year. Nearly 16 million women admitted to having used illicit drugs in the last year, and it is important to understand that women face unique issues when it comes to substance abuse.
Certain issues for women, like pregnancy, fertility, and breastfeeding, are complicated when substance abuse is involved. Women may also have gender-specific reasons for developing a drug abuse problem, like coping with pain, mental exhaustion, and parental stress.
Scientific discoveries show that women may respond differently to substance abuse disorders than men. For example, women may experience more drug cravings and be more likely to relapse after treatment. Women suffering from drug abuse are also more likely to have mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Pregnant women using drugs increase the risks of health problems for both themselves and their future children. Abusing drugs can cause seizures, high blood pressure, and migraines for expectant mothers, all of which may affect the future health of the baby. What’s more, if a woman abuses drugs during pregnancy, then the baby may experience painful withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Like men, many women suffer from substance abuse disorders. However, by giving birth and often caring for children, women addicted to drugs pose a particular risk to themselves and their children. Drug rehab programs for women with children exist because children are absolutely affected by parents struggling with substance abuse.
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How Children Are Affected By Drug Abuse
In 2002, approximately 6 million children lived with a least one parent suffering from drug abuse. It is not difficult to imagine a greater number for 2017, as the prescription drug crisis only seems to worsen each year.
Children exposed to drugs are at risk of future health, behavior, and drug dependency problems as they get older. Research shows that children raised in environments where drug use is prevalent increase their chances of falling victim to the harsh and complex cycle of substance abuse. In particular, mothers suffering from drug abuse substantially increase the risk of their children using drugs or alcohol.
Between 2002-2003 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) found that over 8% of women living with at least one child between the age of 12-17 had mental illness, and over 16% had a substance abuse problem.
To help with care, mothers abusing drugs commonly pass the child from person to person. Furthermore, they may also expect that children learn through trial and error rather than instruction. Growing up with mothers who abuse drugs is problematic for the child because their mothers will likely serve as models of acceptance for drug-seeking behavior.
Mothers suffering from mental illness or drug abuse expose their children to several lifelone hazards and risks including:
- Poor socialization
- Domestic abuse
- Behavioral problems
- Health problems
- Substance abuse disorders
Although family dynamics are always different, women are often the nucleus of family care, and many children depend on their mothers for nurture and love; a mother with a drug problem can affect and compromise the strength of the entire family unit.
However, there are thousands of treatment programs available in the United States that provide measures to help women with children deal with drug abuse. Both children and parents benefit from a family oriented treatment approach.
Understanding Family Oriented Drug Abuse Treatment
Since the 1990s, drug rehab programs for women and children have become the backbone for many family treatment options available in the United States. It is required in most states for treatment programs to offer primary care for mothers and their children, including child care services, case management, and therapeutic interventions for children to address issues of neglect, abuse, and developmental needs.
It is not required, but highly recommended, for treatments to include other services that focus on the long-term wellbeing of women and their children. These services may include employment training programs, early childhood development programs, and drug-free housing and assistance for women and their children.
Regardless of which services are offered at drug rehab programs for women with children, the essential function of these facilities is to serve both mother and child. The concept of many of these programs is to allow a woman to continue to act as a mother while also receiving treatment for a substance abuse disorder.
Most rehab programs understand the need to recognize the mother/child issue in the realm of drug abuse rehabilitation. This is achieved by focusing on family, relationships, and the effects of substance abuse on children.
As a result, there a several treatment options that include drug rehab programs for women and children, and will likely incorporate a variety of techniques to address issues of family and substance abuse.
Drug Rehab Programs For Women And Children
Residential treatment facilities, often referred to as inpatient treatment centers, will likely offer specific drug rehab programs for women and children. These programs may include different levels of family based services, depending on the particular treatment center.
Some rehab programs will offer limited family services, but may still have something of value for women and children. Other rehab programs will be more beneficial for women and children, and will likely allow women to bring their children to treatment.
Drug rehab programs that allow women to bring in their children offer some of the best practices for healing individual substance abuse while also promoting healthy living to benefit the entire family. Both mother and child are likely to have case plans and services provided. Moreover, parenting support and skills will be offered in different therapies in hopes of increasing the chance of families sticking together.
At these facilities, structuring the day is often paramount to the success of treatment. Drug rehab programs for women with children are likely to be strict and highly regulated to improve the parenting and bonding skills between mother and child. At some, mothers may be responsible for their children at all times, and may only be given reprieve from child care when they receive treatment or attend group therapies.
Other centers may employ strategies where mothers and children engage in activities and other group therapies that help promote the woman’s role of primary caregiver, allowing them to build confidence and competency within that role. These types of services are likely to strengthen bonds and relationships between women and their children.
The Best Approach For Treating Drug Addicted Women With Children
In order for desirable outcomes to be achieved, drug rehab programs for women with children must treat a substance abuse disorder with a two-fold approach: how to learn to live with drug addiction and how to be a good parent. This means effective treatment will:
- Motivate mothers to show consistent and reliable behavior
- Aim to make the child feel safe
- Teach the mother to realize family can be supportive, not prohibitive
- Promote activities to help mother and child laugh and have fun together
Inpatient treatment programs offer a variety of options to specifically address the needs of women with children suffering from drug addiction. They strive to not only treat drug dependency and addiction, but also serve to promote productive and healthy familial relationships to help put an end to the harrowing cycle of abuse.
For More Information Related to “Drug Rehab Programs For Women With Children” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:
- 5 Signs You Are Enabling A Family Member’s Drug Addiction
- Drug Addiction And Babies: Long Term Effects
- Will I Lose Custody Of My Child If I Go To Drug Rehab?
- The Effect Of Addiction On The Family
- The Effects of Parental Substance Abuse on Children