As a single parent, struggling with an addiction can seem impossible. Struggling to pay bills, care for children, work, and take care of household chores often means putting self-care on hold, and that can mean putting off rehab and getting help. Unfortunately, if you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, you will have more difficulty caring for children, more expenses, and more stress if you continue to put off getting help.
While many single parents fear that going to therapy may out them as an addict, resulting in them losing their children, the act of seeking out therapy is rewarded and not punished by the criminal justice system. If you are actively working to improve yourself for your sake and for your children, the law is on your side.
Going to a residential rehabilitation center can be frightening for many reasons, but there are many aspects to residential care that are appealing for single parents. If you’re looking into rehab, consider these 5 reasons when making your decision.
1. Family Therapy
Having your child or children at therapy may seem frightening, and it very often is. However, going to therapy as a family can benefit not just you, but them as well. Children offer suffer just as much from addiction as you, because while using you are more likely to be rash, emotionally withdrawn, angry, impatient, or even absent while using. Even as a very good parent, addiction will create problems for your children, and it is important to recognize that and to work to recover and move past addiction as a family. In some cases, this may include therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy for every member of your family.
While family therapy can be beneficial for recognizing and tackling the individual problems of each family member to help everyone recover, it can also be motivating for you. The presence of family members can help you to remember why you are working to improve, why you are learning new skills, and why you are finding new ways to cope. And, of course, with your child or children there, you will have something to look forward to after working in therapy, which can be motivating on its own.
Most family based rehabilitation centers will help you to build life skills and coping skills for when you return to your life. While this will include eating and nutrition and exercise, as a parent, it will likely also include parenting classes to help you take steps to be a better parent. While the idea of childcare classes may seem offensive of off-putting as a single parent, after all, you already take care of your child or children on your own, the focus is often less on specific care and more on communication, therapy, and building relationships.
This most likely includes therapy and classes to help you recognize that your addiction has caused problems for your child or children, and will help to put you on the right path to repairing the damage for their sake and yours. Because addiction will get in the way of your relationship with your child, these classes can help you a great deal, even if you don’t realize that you need that help.
You may also learn better communication, lower stress methods of childcare, and other skills, which will help you to have a better life with your family when you leave rehab.
As parents, caring for our children is a priority. Child care prevents many single parents from seeking out help, especially if they don’t have close friends or trusted relatives to seek out for child care, or if they are afraid of outing themselves as addicts to family and friends. Many others seek out outpatient treatment, which can help you to recover, but still forces you to handle all the stress of your daily life at the same time. Because working, caring for children, cooking, cleaning, and commuting can be too much for you without trying to improve yourself, this may not work.
However, about 14% of all residential treatment centers offer child care as part of their services. Many residential rehabilitation clinics allow single mothers and fathers to bring 1-2 children with them. You may be able to arrange to have more children brought with you depending on the clinic. This will take the burden of childcare off your shoulders, while reducing worry, and ensuring that you can interact with your children as a family for the duration of your stay in rehab.
A Holistic Approach
Residential rehabilitation will offer a holistic treatment approach, designed to help you overcome your physical addiction, treat your mental addiction with cognitive behavioral or other therapies, and work to improve your relationships. However, you will likely also learn new skills, how to deal with cravings and triggers, stress management, time management, nutrition, exercise, and a host of other skills that will help you to transition back into a healthy and happy everyday life. While offerings will change depending on the rehabilitation center you choose, many offer comprehensive or holistic therapy to help you recognize and make changes where you have problems.
Many rehabilitation centers also increasingly work to recognize Dual Diagnosis, or Comorbid Disorders, where addiction is accompanied by a mental disorder or trauma such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, or any other problem. Because some studies show that as many as 40% of addicts suffer from a comorbid disorder (although this varies), holistic care can help you to recognize and seek out treatment for disorders and problems behind your addiction.
Leaving rehabilitation and going back to your life and the stress of being a single parent can be intimidating, especially as you are newly clean or sober and uncertain of your ability to stay that way. Many rehabilitation centers work to support you as you transition out of rehab and back to your home or to a transitional home, will help to work you into group therapy for long-term support, and may provide follow-up therapy to help you to adjust to being back in the world.
While not always offered, this kind of transitional assistance can be crucial in helping you to reestablish yourself in your life, so that you can continue to make changes, make the best choices, and work your way back into your responsibilities with support, rather than substances, to make everything work. Some programs offer help for families for up to 20 months’ total, which can help you to get back on your feet so you can care for your family.
Rehab may seem intimidating, but it is a step that will help you to improve every aspect of your life. Addiction hurts you and the people you love, especially children, and overcoming it will make a difference. Caring for children alone is never easy, but you can get help, move past your addiction, and get support so that you can stay clean or sober, for yourself and your family. A rehabilitation center can help you on your way to getting clean or sober by providing child care, therapy, family therapy and support, and much more.
If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol addiction, it’s crucial that you seek professional help. Please call us at Lighthouse Treatment Center today. At any time we are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Contact us today to discuss your situation in confidence.