Could Addiction Intervention Help Keep Families Together?
Family separation has been in the news frequently since the breaking story of immigrant children being taken away from their parents. This practice has invoked feelings of outrage for many people, yet, it is a practice that has been going on in this country for decades.
The difference between what has happened between immigrant children and their parents and the separating of American children from their parents is a matter of policy. For many American children, effective and efficient addiction intervention for the parents could be the difference between an intact family or permanent separation.
American children are taken from parents every day for a variety of reasons under the umbrella of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment. These children are mostly from poor families, especially those of color and from families where the parent has a disability.
Incarceration, addiction, and poverty are major players in the drama where a child is removed from the family. In the case of addiction, it is just a matter of time before a parent loses his or her parental rights. There is a small window of time given in which a parent can get sober and prove their sobriety. When that time is up, termination of parental rights begins.
There is no doubt that children growing up in homes where addiction leads to abuse and/or neglect should be removed from those homes. At the same time, recognizing the disease aspect of addiction and making stronger efforts regarding addiction intervention should also be part of the plan.
Identifying programs known to successfully treat addiction and providing the means for parents to attend these programs should be a priority. Unfortunately, these types of programs are often resources to which poorer citizens do not have access.
Barriers to Adequate Addiction Intervention
There are programs available for successful treatment, however, there are also barriers to accessing these programs. Among the top obstacles are finances – insurance will only cover so much, and treatment is expensive. When a family is living in poverty, covering the expense of treatment for addiction is not necessarily a top priority.
For some parents, reaching the bottom is the prospect of having their parental rights terminated. If given the opportunity, these parents will do all they can to get sober and stay that way. For this reason, addiction intervention should be made available well before talk of terminating parental rights is on the table.
Addiction intervention is one of the areas in which Tison Law Group can be helpful. Losing your parental rights is a permanent action that may be avoidable. If you or a loved one feels that the battle against addiction is being lost, contact us. We may be able to help.