Being a single parent is challenging even in the best of circumstances, and the need to seek treatment so you can be fully present for your kids adds even more to an already overloaded plate. This advice for single parents can help you overcome addiction while raising a child largely by yourself.
Single Parents Are Uniquely at Risk for Substance Use Disorders
Often, single parents are more vulnerable to many of the factors that drive drug and alcohol addiction. If you lack adequate emotional or financial support for bringing up children, it can feel like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders.
Most single parents carry a higher-than-average burden of stress. It’s easy to fall into the habit of drinking a nightcap to help you relax after a long and frustrating day, only to realize you have begun drinking nightly. Alternatively, many single moms living with anxiety or insomnia may end up unwittingly getting hooked on prescription medications like Xanax. Regardless of the substance, a chemical dependency usually sneaks up on single parents.
Fear is one of the most significant factors that keeps single mothers trapped in patterns of substance misuse. The idea of someone taking your children away from you is one of the most terrifying prospects any parent can face. This overriding worry leads many parents to hide their battle with substance use instead of seeking help. However, your children deserve to grow up in a healthy environment, and enrolling in a qualified treatment program is the best way for you to break the cycle of addiction, secrecy and shame.
Ask for Support From Family and Friends
Without a partner to help you with daily childrearing responsibilities, recovery becomes even more essential. Substance abuse has multiple emotional, physical and psychological effects on children, all of which become magnified in a single-parent household.
Recovering from an active addiction is one of the most challenging things you will ever undertake. You can make it easier on yourself by asking for help from your support network.
Your loved ones can play an integral part in your addiction recovery. Ask people you trust to provide child care during your stay in residential treatment. If you have peace of mind that your kids are in caring, competent hands, you can fully focus on your healing process.
Explain Addiction Rehabilitation to Your Children
Children can be more perceptive than we give them credit for. Even a very young child may have noticed that their household isn’t like their classmates’. Though your first instinct may be to shield your kids from the truth of your substance abuse problem, it’s healthier to be transparent about your decision to get help. Tell them you need to enter rehab so you can become a better parent to them.
Learning about addiction can be a heavy burden for children; however, understanding what you are doing and why can be beneficial. Using age-appropriate language, explain that you have been sick, and that you need to go to a special place to get better. Answer any questions they might have about addiction and treatment as honestly as you can, so they know what to expect.
Healing Your Entire Family With Continuing Care
Addiction is a disease that affects your whole family. If you are hoping to turn your life around and be a positive role model for your children, start by contacting us at Canyon Crossing Recovery. Our women’s-only treatment environment provides an ideal setting to begin healing from a dual diagnosis.