October 5, 2016
Mothers in the United States who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and who have children living under their roof have a tough life-change that they all have to face. For them, it can be very difficult. This is the need to get off of drugs and alcohol but also not wanting to leave their kids in the care of someone else while they are in rehab.
Mothers tend to be immensely protective of their children. A lot of mothers tend to use this desire to stay home and take care of their kids as an excuse not to go to rehab and get help for their addiction crisis, but they can be very, very convincing and really make it look like they are just staying home for their kids’ sake. One should not be fooled by this, and one should keep in mind that getting that mother through rehab will be the best thing not only for the mother, but for the kids in the long run too.
Statistics on Addiction Amongst American Mothers
The truth of the matter is that addiction now more than ever is a true crisis for American women, specifically American mothers. Prior to the turn of the century, for every female drug or alcohol user and abuser in the nation, there were about three or four male users and abusers of drugs and alcohol. The fact of the matter is that there is actually one female addict for every male addict. The playing field for addiction really has leveled out in recent years with women becoming more and more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. This is actually more concerning though because, although there are still slightly more men who are addicted to drugs and alcohol in the nation than women, women are far more likely to die from drug and alcohol abuse than men are. This makes the crisis for them even more concerning. For example:
• Women can respond to substances differently and they tend to be more affected by it. For example, they may have more drug cravings and may be more likely to relapse after treatment for such addictions. This could be affected by a woman’s menstrual cycle too.
• Women may be more likely to go to the emergency room or die from overdose or other effects of certain substances than men are. Women who use certain substances are a lot more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety, or depression.
• Excessive alcohol use and abuse accounted for an estimated average of 23,000 deaths and 633,000 years of potential life lost all together among women and girls in the United States each year during the age range of 2001–2005. Binge drinking also is a major risk factor for many health and social problems among women and girls, including unintended and alcohol-exposed pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and breast cancer just to name a few. Finally, binge drinking is reported by one in eight U.S. adult women and one in five high school girls, making it by far the most prevalent addiction issue for this demographic.
• Women are less likely to seek treatment than men are, citing fear of social stigma, involvement in violent relationships and lack of adequate childcare as their reasons for not going. It is statistically speaking more difficult to convince a woman to seek out treatment for drug and alcohol addiction than it is to convince a man to seek out treatment.
The Need for Rehabilitation for Addicted Mothers
It is understandable that mothers would not want to leave their kids to seek out rehabilitation, but when any thought is put in this direction, it becomes obvious what the logical and analytical choice is. For any family member or loved one who is trying to convince an addicted mother to go to treatment who does not want to go because of her kids, this one sentence ends the argument:
“Your premise for not wanting treatment is you do not want to be away from your kids for that long, but honestly how good of a mother can you be to them when you are addicted to drugs and alcohol?”
This is the truth of the matter, and when this point is really hammered in, most mothers can see it and they can get it. The fact is, mothers cannot take good care of their kids when they are actively abusing drugs and alcohol. In fact, they are seriously endangering their kids and are in fact being bad parents to them. Kids who grow up with a mother who is addicted to drugs and alcohol are four times as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol later on in life, and kids who grow up with both parents being addicted to drugs and alcohol, those kids are no less than ten times as likely to abuse such substances.
As sad as this is, it is the truth, and this is exactly why addicted mothers need to seek out rehab and have an even stronger need for it than women who do not have children. For a woman who does not have kids but who is addicted, at least her substance abusers are harming herself only and not any children. Addicted mothers are the ones who need rehab the most, especially before it is too late.