Being a single parent is challenging enough in the best of circumstances, and the need to recover from addiction so you can be there for your kids adds even more to an already overloaded plate. Understanding the specific factors that influence addiction and recovery in single parents is necessary for anyone struggling to overcome addiction while raising a child largely by yourself.
What Puts Single Parents Uniquely at Risk for Substance Abuse?
Often, single parents are more susceptible to many of the factors that drive drug and alcohol addiction. You may be struggling to raise one or more kids without the sufficient emotional or financial support you need to do so, and it can feel like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders.
Even when things are going well, the amount of stress most single parents deal with is much higher than average. It’s easy to fall into the habit of having one or more glasses of wine to help you relax after a long and stressful day, only to find drinking has become a nightly routine. Alternatively, many single parents living with anxiety may end up unwittingly getting hooked on prescription medications like Xanax. Regardless of the substance, dependence usually sneaks up on single parents. But what causes single parents to get stuck in the cycle of addiction?
Fear is one of the most significant factors that keeps single parents trapped in patterns of substance misuse. The threat of someone taking your children away from you is one of the most terrifying prospects any parent can face. This fear leads many parents to hide their battle with substance abuse, rather than seeking help. However, drug rehab is the only way to recover from the effects of ongoing substance abuse and give your children the healthy environment they deserve as they grow up.
Family and Friends Can Help Single Parents Get Addiction Rehabilitation
Without a partner in child-rearing, recovery becomes even more essential. Your child doesn’t have another parent, so if something happens to you, their life circumstances may change permanently and for the worse. Substance abuse has multiple emotional, physical and psychological effects on children, all of which become magnified when the child is part of a single-parent household.
Support from family and friends who believe in you and understand what you are going through is integral to ensuring the success of your recovery. Ask people you trust to provide childcare during your time in treatment. If you trust that your kids are in competent hands, you will be able to fully focus on your healing process.
Recovering from an active addiction is one of the most difficult experiences you will ever undertake. You can make it easier on yourself by admitting when you need help from your support network. Find a rehab program that offers family treatment, so your family members can learn how best to help you recover.
How to Explain Addiction Rehabilitation to Children
Children can be more astute and observant than we give them credit for. Even very young children may have recognized that your household isn’t like their classmates’. Though your first instinct may be to shield your kids from the truth of your substance abuse problem, you should be fully open with them about your decision to get help, and that 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 you are doing it can be helpful for them. Using age-appropriate phrases, explain that you have been sick, and that you need to go somewhere 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
Addiction is a disease that affects your whole family. If you are hoping to turn your life around and do the right thing for your children, start at Vista Taos Renewal Center. We treat addiction to a range of substances and offer holistic amenities that supplement your recovery. Contact us to learn more.