Month: May 2015

Addicted and Expecting

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addicted in parenthoodExpecting a baby is a joyous time in life, but for soon-to-be parents who are struggling with addiction, the joy is not as great. Some couples who are expecting a baby are experiencing the devastation of addiction in the form of one person abusing a substance or an activity, or both people abusing a substance or activity. Either way, dysfunction is inevitable. Fights break out, health declines, behavior is erratic and priorities are mismanaged. In a time that is supposed to be focused on preparing to bring a person into the world, stress and chaos prevent the happy preparation that is supposed to take place.

Any kind of addiction is possible when expecting a baby. It would be ideal if no expecting parent was involved in any kind of addictive behavior, but it happens quite frequently. Addiction in parents can range from alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction, food addiction, gambling addiction and many more. Obviously, if it is the expecting mother that is struggling with addiction, the risk to the baby is greater, especially if it is a substance abuse problem. It is very urgent to bring help into this situation when it is occurring. Expecting mothers pass their substance abuse problem to their baby, making the baby born dependent on the substance and often with birth defects. If it is the expecting father who is addicted, the risk is still high for the entire family as the lifestyle of an addict affects everyone they are close to.

When both people in the relationship are addicts, the situation only becomes more volatile. The likelihood of erratic, even violent behavior is increased, putting everyone, including the baby, in danger. Two addicted expecting parents will behave very irresponsibly, not making necessary preparations for the baby’s arrival, not being as concerned for the baby’s health as they should be and generally more focused on their addiction than on how their lives are about to change. If you or anyone you know is addicted and expecting a baby, refer them to a local addiction treatment center right away.

End Addiction Before Becoming a Parent

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beat addiction before parentingThere are a large number of parents in North America who are parenting while being addicted. This is a precarious situation for everyone involved, no one more so than the innocent child. Children of addicts will statistically grow up with a far greater chance of having their own addictive or mental disorders than children who did not have addicted parents. Rather then set an innocent child on a path of destruction, take the time to end addiction before parenting is even considered, or at least when the knowledge of the pregnancy is discovered.
The harm done to children who grow up with addicted parents can be irreparable. Children of addicts naturally feel insecure and unsafe because they can sense the irresponsibility and erratic ways of their parent. Addicted parents are often largely absent, leaving the child’s needs unmet. Because this psychological damage begins at birth, eradicating it can require very intensive, extended treatment. A thorough addiction treatment program takes 90-days on average, and has an enormous success rate for those who choose a quality treatment program and care to change. For expecting parents, the desire to recover from addiction should be very urgent. Do not jeopardize your child’s lifelong mental health by doing nothing about your addiction.
If you are already a parent, it is not too late to receive help. The sooner you receive the addiction treatment you need, the sooner your family will be protected from its negative effects. There are addiction treatment counselors and mental health professionals who specialize in treating parents who are addicted. There are even options to receive family counseling together to tighten the family unit and help it recover as one. Children’s brains are very absorptive and malleable. Treating the problem early on can make all the difference. If you or someone you care about is parenting while being addicted, now is the time to reach out for help before it is too late.