Starting drug and alcohol treatment can be a difficult decision. Many people struggle with choosing recovery, and then several barriers prevent people from entering treatment. We have long known that Men seek treatment for Substance Use Disorders more often than Women. One significant factor in this is women are often the primary caregivers.
A study by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment addressed this issue. "Many women who are pregnant or have young children do not seek treatment or drop out of treatment early because they are unable to take care of their children; they may also fear that authorities will remove their children from their care. The combined burdens of work, home care, childcare, and other family responsibilities, plus attending treatment frequently, can be overwhelming for many women. Successful treatment may need to provide an increased level of support to address these needs."
Many women have difficulty finding someone to take their children for 30 days or longer to get their needed help. Chronic substance use causes people to struggle to function well enough to care for themselves, much less a child. Chronic substance use often leads to a neglect of roles or a lack of learning life skills. Some mothers never learn how to be a parent or teach children appropriate behaviors.
Lake Point Recovery and Wellness offers a program that addresses these specific needs. Specialized Women's Services, or SWS, is a program that provides an extended Residential program for women and their children or women who are pregnant. While the mothers are getting the substance use treatment they need, the children can attend Head Start, where they learn valuable skills. In the afternoons, our specialized treatment specialists will work with the mothers on learning, implementing, and reinforcing parenting techniques taught by our counseling staff.
Customers and their children learn routine and structure, all while the customer is learning valuable skills for recovery. Far too often, children grow up seeing drug use in their homes on a daily basis. This pattern of behavior normalizes drug use and dramatically increases a child's chance of using as they age. Drug use in the home also increases the risk of other adverse events occurring during childhood.
Our Specialized Women's Services program aims to reunify families and stop the cycle of substance abuse. When Child Protective Services is involved, we work closely with DHS to keep women from losing custody of their children. For years it has been nearly impossible for some mothers to put their lives and families on hold to attend treatment. Still, today we are one step closer to ensuring that everyone can live satisfying lives free of addiction.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2006