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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Rehab as a Single Parent: How to Make it Work

Addiction is an emotionally, psychologically, and physically demanding hurdle to conquer. The sacrifices required to enter—and successfully complete—rehabilitation can be a complicated matter, particularly when children are involved.

For single parents, signing into a rehab facility can sometimes seem an impossible feat, but today there are various facilities and programs that specifically cater to families in need—including single parents. Read on to find different ways to make rehab most effective for single parents.

1. Finding a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Facility

For single parents, recognizing their substance abuse and taking the steps toward recovery is only half the battle. One of the most well-known programs used in rehabs is the 12-step program, which specifically tackles detox and a plan for abstaining from drugs or alcohol. However, the program does not address mental health issues.

Rehab facilities that cater to single parents may offer dual diagnosis treatment as an alternative to the 12-step program. Due to the stresses of single parenting, substance abuse may begin as the result of a mental health issue, such as, commonly, depression, so treatment for co-occurring disorders may be necessary.

2. Choosing a Residential Addiction Treatment Program

A major reason that many single mothers and fathers put off going to rehab is because they’re unable to find a family member or trusted friend to act as guardian. Or they fear their rehab stay will land their children in foster care.

Depending on the rehab facility, particularly for single mothers or pregnant women, there are programs that have residential programs. These programs often allow mothers to bring up to two children to stay with them in rehab.

Inpatient addiction treatment programs may help single parents successfully complete their rehab treatment, which may provide them with strategies and preparedness to avoid relapse in the future. Avoiding repeat rehab stays can help single parents continue their parenting without interruption.

3. Parental Coaching During Rehab

Parent coaching is offered during addiction recovery to address the emotional strain between parent and child. During the course of addiction, children may have encountered abuse and neglect. Parent coaching allows the parent to acknowledge and take responsibility in order to begin repairing the damage done. Parents learn new life-long skills to effectively communicate with their children.

Parental coaching may include efforts and strategies that help parents address and cope with the effects of their addiction on their children. Parents will work to take responsibility for their choices and actions and understand the impact those choices and actions had on their children. In taking accountability for your addiction and its aftereffects, parents will be able to move forward in their recovery and begin work on rebuilding their relationships with their children.

4. Continued Aftercare & Recovery Support

Along with dual diagnosis and substance abuse treatment, facilities may offer alternative therapies that recovering addicts can continue to practice throughout their life. Practices such as yoga and meditation are examples of alternative therapy that can be used to tackle cravings, relapse triggers, and stress.

The mind and body have survived detox in a medical detox center. The inpatient stay is over: Now what? How does a recovering single parent adjust back into being the head of household? Many feel that once rehab is over, you’re on your own; however, having an ongoing recovery aftercare program plan is crucial for relapse prevention.

A number of recovery centers offer aftercare programs to help those maintain sobriety throughout the rest of their lives. Those who have completed rehab have access to aftercare support such as relapse prevention groups, sober living homes, and individual counseling sessions.

It is important to have a recovery support network so that you can continue to work on maintaining your sobriety over time. Without that support, it can be very difficult to avoid triggers and maintain recovery. American Addiction Centers (AAC) has support programs that extend beyond initial treatment so that you can continue to find success with your sobriety. This can help single parents stay sober so that they can stay with their children.

Finding Addiction Treatment as a Single Parent

As single parents, it can be difficult to prioritize self-care, but finding treatment for your substance use disorder is imperative so that you can be the kind of parent you want to be for your children.

If you are unsure about how to find the right facility for you, one that may even allow you to bring your children with you while you are obtaining treatment, then reach out to AAC today. You can speak to one of our admissions navigators 24/7 at and they can provide you with the free information and support that you need.

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