It is hard for a child to lose their parent for a long period of time under any circumstances. Children need their parents, and if a parent has to go away to get help with their addiction, a child might not fully comprehend this.
Explaining this to a child can be difficult. Some see a parent dealing with addiction as having a serious mental illness, while others see it as selfishness and neglect.
A child is very vulnerable in these situations and, likewise, it can be just as traumatic for the parent. Finding the right care for each is important to the recovery process.
Don’t Skip out on Finding Help
According to the American Addiction Center, a parent will avoid getting help because they fear losing custody of their child. In fact, only 2.6 million out of the 23.5 million people with substance abuse problems seek help with the fear of having their child taken away and placed into foster care. However, it is just as unhealthy if not more damaging for a child to continue to live with a parent who is struggling with substance abuse.
Drug abuse is seen as child abuse, and in some unfortunate cases, the parent will be arrested in front of their children and taken away with a less likely chance of keeping custody.
Addiction is a disease that affects our mental health. Once we accept this, we can treat it as such.
After all, we need a sound mind in order to raise our children to be the best they can be. Though it is overwhelming on both parties, being proactive and deciding to get help is always better than waiting for the authorities to intervene. The best decision you can make for yourself and your child is to get help now.
What About Child Custody Cases?
The court’s mission is to find the best care for the child. In most cases, the court system will first look to see if the other parent is suitable, and if not, they will look to other family members, like grandparents, aunts, or uncles, to care for your child while you are in rehab. If there are no family members, they will look to close friends of the parent.
While a child would feel more comfortable in the care of a family member or friend, foster care is also an option, but usually the last looked into.
So, can the parent maintain/regain custody? Completing a rehab program does not mean you are cured.
A parent must prove to the courts that they can control their impulses and behaviors after rehab. According to Addiction Campuses, while it is possible to regain custody, there are many things to consider:
The process might take longer than desired but the court wants to make sure that the parent is capable of continuing to stay sober. Another aspect that the court will take into consideration is what and how severe your addiction was before entering rehab.
According to the same article published by Addiction Campuses, the court ruling could be influenced based on the kinds of research and even the kinds of stereotypes that surround a given substance. For example, if the patient struggles from alcohol, they have a more likely chance of being granted visitation rights during this process as opposed to a parent that perhaps struggles with narcotics.
Finally, the amount of time the patient has been addicted contributes to the overall ruling. If both parents are addicted, the court will rule that a third party takes custody of their child. They might also evaluate the severity of addiction between each parent, and depending on it, grant custody to one parent.
While this is a traumatic experience for both the parent and child, the parent must have the best interest of their child in mind. The process can be a long and grueling one, with the chance that it will not work out in your favor.
As long as the parent continues to stay well, then there is no wasted time. Better efforts put forth will help a better reconnection with the child later on in life. If you are a parent going down a path of addiction, then take warning and start taking preventative measures now.
True Recovery offers a variety of recovery programs that are not limited to traditional methods. Their goal is to find a treatment that works for each individual. If you are a parent that is struggling with addiction and are out to find the best help for you and your child, please call (866) 399-6528.