Family Rehab Treatment Centers for Parents and Children
Parents struggling with addiction may worry about being separated from their children if they need to attend rehabilitation for treatment. However, there are facilities that may offer family inpatient rehab and other treatment programs geared towards parents and children.
Substance use disorders (SUDs), the clinical term for addiction, can take a profound toll on families and especially children. Learning about the options for treatment and researching rehabs near you can help you overcome obstacles that may be standing in the way of recovery. This can allow you to get started on the path to a healthier, happier, and substance-free life.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Among Parents
SUDs can affect anyone, and there is no single factor that determines whether someone will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.2 There are, however, certain risk factors that may increase the chance that taking drugs will lead to addiction.
Risk factors may include:
- Early substance use: If you started using drugs or alcohol at a young age, you may have an increased risk of addiction later in life.2
- Home and family: This includes several considerations, such as the environment you live in now or in which you grew up, if you come from an abusive or unstable home, or if your parents engaged in substance use.2
- The way you use the substance: Using certain substances in specific ways, such as injecting or smoking, can increase the addictive effects.2
- Genetics: While research is ongoing, studies show evidence that genetic variations contribute to the risk for alcohol dependence and cocaine addiction.3, 4
- Having a co-occurring mental health disorder: Anyone with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, can have a higher risk of substance abuse.4
Millions of children in the United States are impacted by parental substance abuse. Based on combined data from the 2009–2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that around:5
- 1 in 10 children lived in households with a parent who had a past-year alcohol use disorder.
- 1 in 8 children lived in households with a parent who had a past-year substance use disorder.
- 1 in 35 children lived in households with a parent who had a past-year illicit drug use disorder.
Barriers to Seeking Family Addiction Treatment
Parents, and especially single mothers, may worry about different factors when it comes to seeking addiction treatment. Some of the common barriers for parents when seeking drug or alcohol addiction treatment may include:6, 7
- A lack of attention to the importance of relationships.
- A lack of childcare or access to other resources that make it possible for parents to attend treatment.
- A lack of suitable treatment options, like rehab for single moms.
- Family demands.
- Fear of criminal justice consequences.
- Fear that their child might be taken away from them if they attend treatment.
- Roles that women must take on in their families.
Addiction Rehab Where You Can Take Your Children
Having dependents may be stopping you from going to rehab—this may be the key factor in your decision—but there may be drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities that provide the opportunity to bring your children with you.
There are certain residential treatment programs that are designed the meet the needs of women and their children. Those programs may provide varying levels of care and supervision for children. They may also employ therapists, psychologists, child development specialists, and certified childcare staff.15 Additional offerings may include day care services, educational or residential services, and a safe place to live while a parent is going through treatment—although facilities that offer these services are rare.
Even if a program does not allow you to bring your children with you, they may offer services that request that your children be involved in the treatment process, including therapy sessions. Involving children in your treatment gives both you and your child(ren) a safe environment in which you can have the chance to talk about the challenges and trauma brought on by the addiction.
If a facility does not allow patients to bring their children, there is still a possibility that you will have a caseworker who might be able to help arrange safe accommodations outside of the facility. They may also be able to help with childcare and education services.
Knowing that your children can stay with you, or have support and a safe and stable place to go if they cannot stay with you, will give you the opportunity to have peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery
If inpatient care does not provide you with the options you are looking for, outpatient care might be a good opportunity. Outpatient treatment allows you to obtain treatment during the day and then return home so you can spend time with your children and be with them at home. Outpatient provides the same therapy and counseling sessions and meetings as inpatient care, while still permitting you the freedom to live at home during treatment. It’s important to note, though, that outpatient is typically best for patients who have a strong support system at home.
Benefits of Family-Based Residential Inpatient Treatment
Some of the benefits that families may expect from participating in family-based residential inpatient treatment include:7-10
- Decreased likelihood of children moving to foster care.
- Early identification and treatment of mental health disorders in children, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression.
- Improved family functioning.
- Improved mental health.
- Improved parenting.
- Reduced risk of relapse.
- Removal of distractions from daily life, so you can focus on recovery and your relationship with your children.
- Safe housing.
- Structured programs.
What to Expect in Family Rehab
Family-based residential treatment programs can be a beneficial option for parents struggling with addiction. This type of rehab may allow parents to remain with their children while they undergo treatment for SUDs in a residential setting. These types of programs are designed to meet both the needs of parents and the needs of their children; parents can continue their parenting responsibilities, bond with their children, and receive childcare while they participate in treatment.
You and your family may participate in and receive a wide range of services and treatments during family residential treatment for parents, including:7
- Anger management classes.
- Child development education.
- Employment readiness education.
- Life skills classes.
- Mental health and trauma services.
- Parenting classes and support.
- Preventative services.
- Substance use counseling.
You may also participate in family therapies, such as Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT), which focuses on teaching coping skills to family members and helps increase motivation to enter treatment.
Family Addiction Treatment Programs
When family residential treatment is not possible, parents and families can benefit from other types of treatment for SUDs. This might include options such as inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, dual diagnosis treatment, or sober living homes. These forms of treatment provide effective therapies for SUDs, which typically include behavioral therapies designed to modify the behavior and thought patterns that contributed to the addiction.
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs treat addiction at various levels of care and include different types of mental health treatment—including individual and group therapy. Treatment is based on individual needs and circumstances so each patient should receive an individualized treatment plan, regardless of required level of care.
Mental Health Family Programs
There are different types of evidence-based therapy that are used to help treat drug and alcohol addiction. These therapies may include:11
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you recognize and cope with substance use triggers so you can avoid relapse.
- Motivational interviewing (MI) to help increase your motivation to enter treatment and to make positive changes to your life.
- Multidimensional family therapy (MFT) to help address family issues related to the addiction and improve family functioning.
Dual Diagnosis for Parents
Some parents may struggle with an SUD and mental health disorder(s). This is known as dual diagnosis and means that someone has two or more conditions presenting at the same time or one after the other. SUDs and mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, are common comorbidities. Dual diagnosis treatment provides a tailored program to address both conditions.
Dual diagnosis treatment may involve the previously mentioned therapies, as well as other modalities, such as:13
- Assertive community treatment (ACT), which is a form of integrated, community-based mental health treatment that can address both disorders.
- Contingency management (CM), which provides positive reinforcement for engaging in healthy behaviors.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is designed to reduce self-harm, suicidal behavior, and substance use.
- Medication to treat the mental health condition. Certain medications have also been approved to treat addiction to opioids or alcohol.
Family Detox Programs
Alcohol and drug detox can help prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms, keep patients as comfortable and safe as possible throughout the withdrawal period, and address complications that may arise during withdrawal. Detox may also help foster the transition into ongoing treatment (e.g., inpatient or outpatient rehab) for those who need to continue treatment after taking their first step toward recovery. Going through detox in a treatment facility can keep individuals as safe and comfortable as possible.
Family-Based Residential Treatment Programs
Inpatient rehab for parents offers 24/7 supervised care in a comfortable, safe setting so you can focus on recovery. Inpatient rehabilitation programs provides intensive, structured care and therapy for SUDs and may be beneficial for those with more severe SUDs or co-occurring mental health disorders.
Inpatient means you live at a facility for the duration of treatment. This form of care can occur on different levels, such as hospitalization, longer-term forms of care, and short-term residential approaches. You may undergo detox if detox is needed or attend inpatient treatment before transitioning to outpatient rehab for continued care.11
Outpatient Family Addiction Rehab
Outpatient rehab can be a beneficial option for parents who have completed an inpatient rehab program or those who cannot commit to an inpatient stay due to other responsibilities like childcare or work. With this type of rehab, patients live at home and go to treatment at a facility several times per week.11
The intensity of the levels of care varies based on the person’s needs. Common levels of outpatient rehab care include:11
Outpatient rehab may be a good option for someone who has gone through the detox process and stabilized and/or someone who is transitioning from inpatient rehab. Depending on you or your loved one’s needs, you can attend therapy once a week or several times a week in individual or group therapy settings. Some individuals may start in an IOP or PHP and transition to a standard outpatient program.12
Sober Living for Families
Sober living homes are alcohol- and drug-free residences for individuals recovering from SUDs. Sober living homes differ from rehab centers as rehab centers generally offer an intensive recovery experience in a structured environment. Sober living homes generally allow residents to come and go so long as they follow certain rules such as adhering to a curfew and demonstrating ongoing sobriety.
Sober living for mother and child can be a beneficial way of maintaining the parental bond while focusing on recovery. These facilities typically offer treatment services at a separate location. Sober living homes typically encourage participation in self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous as a way of receiving support and to help people maintain sobriety.14
How Addiction Can Harm Your Family
The disease of addiction, because of the effects it has on the addict’s ability to make good and proper choices, can undermine the entire family. The problems might be financial, physical or emotional for all of the family members, including the children.
Financial Impact on Family
The financial implications of drug abuse for a family start with the greater likelihood that the addicted family member will miss work or, in some cases, lose their job altogether. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a study conducted in 1997 showed that people who use illicit drugs are more likely to have missed two or more days from work in the month prior to the study. In addition to the lack of ability to work regularly, drug users are less likely to maintain steady employment.
One of the symptoms of drug addiction is the priority that drug abusers place on finding drugs and using them. This compulsion can be stronger than their desire to provide for their family or take proper care of their children. It can supersede their better judgment, creating an atmosphere where, if given the choice between going to work and using drugs, they will choose to use drugs.
The costs to a family for this lack of ability to maintain employment can add up over time. Many employers will offer health benefits to employees only after a certain length of employment, for instance. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69 percent of people employed in the private sector had access to health insurance, with the company picking up 71 percent of the costs for that insurance. Failing to maintain steady employment may cause a family to be uninsured, therefore increasing their expenses for routine health care. Another long-term consideration financially is planning for one’s future financial health. Working in an environment that offers pensions, 401K retirement accounts or other profit-sharing programs can lead to a more secure future for all members of the family. When a drug addict is unable to work, the entire family suffers.
Finances are not the only detrimental effects of drug abuse in the family, however.
Emotional and Physical Impact on Family
The emotional toll of addiction on a relationship can be devastating. Because a suffering addict’s brain has physically and psychologically changed with their drug use, they may say or do things that could be considered emotionally abusive to those they love. Fighting over a spouse’s lack of perceived concern for themselves, their spouse or their children can cause both people – people who still love each other – to say and do things they might not otherwise believe they could. For the addict, it is easy to lay the blame for this abusive behavior on the shoulders of the addiction; however, treatment is available and the addict can recover from their drug addiction.
In addition to the virulent emotions that drug addiction can cause, it is possible that the addict suffers from an underlying emotional or psychological condition that has placed them at greater risk for an addiction disorder. In some instances, an individual might suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder. In other cases, anxiety disorders may play a pivotal role. Because the person suffering from conditions such as this may not have been properly diagnosed, they may choose to turn to street drugs in order to feel better. It is also possible to develop an addiction to the prescriptions provided to someone who has been properly diagnosed with a condition such as anxiety or depression.
Drug addiction can also cause co-existing psychological conditions, simply based upon the lifestyle, familial and physical changes the addict may suffer as a result of their disease. One example might be the disintegration of a previously loving and wonderful relationship. When one spouse suffers from addiction, the other may be left feeling abandoned and resentful. As the relationship falls apart, the addict might become depressed, leading to a diagnosable depressive condition. This may, in turn, fuel their desire to use drugs to alleviate the pain. If the individual also has a family history of emotional and psychological issues or addiction, the risks can be even greater. Drug addiction can cause this vicious cycle of emotions and events, leading to greater risk for long-term emotional, physical and psychological problems.
In the long term, drug abuse and addiction have been shown to lead to permanent psychological conditions based on several factors:
- The type of drugs abused (cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana and alcohol show the greatest risk for later development of psychosis)
- The use of marijuana, or cannabis, has been linked to development of schizophrenia
- How often and how much drugs are used on a regular basis
- The age of the addict at their first exposure to drugs
Some studies have shown a hereditary link for substance abuse problems, as well. It is important to understand, however, that simply having a parent who suffered from addiction does not mean that one will develop an addiction. In order for the addiction to occur, drug use and abuse must exist. However, after that first initial exposure to drugs, one’s genetic makeup will greatly influence the likelihood of developing dependence.
Find Family Addiction Treatment Centers
If you are looking for an inpatient family rehab center near you, you have several options. It is important to carefully consider the different types of treatment programs available to ensure you and your family members’ needs are met. You may find there is not an appropriate treatment program in your area for families. If there are programs nearby, consider the pros and cons of a local program versus traveling out of state. Some popular states include California, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas. You can use our rehab directory to search by location or call us to discuss your needs.
Does Insurance Cover Rehab for Parents and Children?
It is important to check your coverage before you decide on a treatment program for you or a loved one. Health insurance often covers at least part, if not all, of a stay in a rehab facility. The Affordable Care Act considers treatment for SUDs an essential health benefit on par with medical and surgical procedures.1 If you are interested in starting the path to recovery with family rehab, you can check your insurance by calling your provider or checking online by filling out the form below.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.