Becoming a parent can be a joy-filled, life-altering experience. It also comes with challenges. Unfortunately, substance abuse can make it harder to manage the ups and downs that come with raising children. Although some substances may appear to take the edge off stressful situations, long-term substance abuse can harm both you and your children. Fortunately, drug rehabilitation can help you to overcome or prevent substance abuse, giving you a chance to have a healthier life for yourself and your family.
How Does Substance Abuse Affect Parenting?
When you rely on substances to cope, the substances alter your body and mind. As a parent, these substances can impact the way you choose to parent your children. Different substances have varying effects on different people. In general, however, your demeanor will be different with and without your substance of choice.
As a parent, some of the obvious signs of substance abuse include:
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms that affect parenting, such as mood swings, sleeping too much or too little, and experiencing physical symptoms of illness
- Making it hard to be present with your child when fixated on thoughts of using substances and related distractions
- Interacting with your child in unhealthy ways, such as neglectful or fear-based parenting
- Experiencing regular conflict with your child, feelings of resentment, and distress that colors your interactions
When the family system exhibits dysfunction, it can be hard for anyone to feel the peace they need to thrive. Substance abuse can contribute to this dysfunction, and sometimes it can occur as an attempt to cope with relational disharmony.
Preventing Substance Abuse in Parents
“It takes a village” is an age-old saying for a reason. Modern times have slowly stripped people of their very basic need for healthy and reciprocal human connections. However, when you as a parent have support, it is easier for you to avoid falling into harmful behaviors and patterns such as substance abuse.
When you seek the best care for yourself and your children, this eases the load of parenting and managing other responsibilities. This in turn makes it easier for you to do the most important job you have in raising the next generation to be all that they can be.
One of the most vital parts of parental well-being is having support, both in rehabilitation and beyond. Oftentimes, generational differences can create tension that makes it hard to seek or receive help from the people around you, no matter how well-meaning they are. Here are a few ways to consider asking for others to stand by you and your children as you recover:
- Ask someone you trust to help with childcare.
- Set boundaries around advice and suggestions.
- Also, consider that others (such as our elders) may want to give well-meaning advice without making us feel incompetent or ashamed.
- Ask for help with household chores that generally take up time and contribute to stress.
- Touch base with your friends or a trusted professional to decompress. Make time for joy and rest
When parents have the village that they need to thrive, they can support their children with greater presence and compassion. Having a strong village also supports addiction recovery.
The Impact of Getting Help
Getting help for substance abuse will not only improve your life but also the lives of your loved ones. Drug rehabilitation will allow you to:
- Serve as a leader for your children and loved ones
- Inspire accountability and responsibility
- Develop healthy habits together
- Better navigate stressors, triggers, challenges, etc.
Overcoming your personal mental health and addiction battles will serve as an inspiration to your children as they witness your resilience and courage. They will learn that they can make mistakes, rise above them, and take accountability. Part of exhibiting a greater sense of responsibility includes learning how to respond and react more mindfully. As you learn and use helpful tools for self-regulation and stress management, you can include your loved ones in your learning.
Whether you attend family therapy or partake in healthy lifestyle changes together, there are many ways for you to be an inspiring example to those who know and love you most.
What Does Drug Rehabilitation Look Like for a Parent?
Drug rehabilitation usually looks different for each individual. Depending on your unique circumstances, an inpatient program may be better than an outpatient program, or vice versa.
Drug rehabilitation will ultimately encourage your body to detox from substances safely, decreasing the negative effects of withdrawal. Aside from detox, there are several options to support your efforts to reach and maintain sobriety.
First Steps Recovery offers unique and holistic support for substance abuse for families. As a parent, there are ways to get the support you need while still being there for your family. Depending on the severity of your situation, you may need to spend some time in inpatient care, and our team is here to support you and your family in this process.
How Does Drug Rehabilitation Affect Children?
Parenthood comes with unique challenges and experiences. Learning how to manage all of the things that come with parenting your children can be daunting. When parents lack the support or resources to have a thriving and healthy sense of community, it can be particularly hard to get a grip on the immensity of raising healthy and happy children. Finding effective and reliable tools and resources can grant you and your children the solutions to get through challenges with greater peace and joy.
Challenges, frustrations, and stress are inevitable for parents and children alike. Nevertheless, the fuel for a healthy and thriving family life is in the joy, growth, and love that you share. No matter what it takes, it is worth the time and effort to regain your health and stability so you and your family can thrive. First Steps Recovery offers support for you to heal alongside your loved ones.
Being a parent comes with a level of care and responsibility that can add to the challenges of prioritizing our own well-being. It can seem ideal to find a quick fix to feel better. Despite the idea that substances can “take the edge off” of stressful circumstances, substance abuse often adds to the problems. It usually makes it harder to manage obstacles down the line. First Steps Recovery offers tailored care and treatment to guide your steps toward healing. You can overcome addiction for yourself and your family. Seeking drug rehabilitation and addiction treatment can provide the tools needed to overcome your obstacles with greater ease. Call us at (844) 489-0836 to schedule a consultation or an appointment today.