Effects of drug addiction on children
My children's father is addicted to drugs. He went through a rehab
but relapsed after a year. I won full custody with no visitation.
However, after a couple months, he called and swore he was cured.
I let the girls visit him, with some misgivings, and now he has let
them down again. I know it's my fault, but I can't seem to stop hoping
my children will get their father back.
How do I stop the hurt I caused them when I allowed some visitation?
How do I help them go through life with a drug addicted father and
all the baggage they've got?
I don't want them to blame themselves for the choices he's made.
My girls and I are very close, and I don't want them to mistrust anyone
because of their father and my mistake in giving him one chance too
many. How do they go on with as little hurt as possible? I can't let
go of the anger I feel towards a person who would do that to their
You must separate in your mind the hurt you feel, and the hurt the
girls (may) feel. To some extent, your guilt at raising their hopes
is affecting your judgement, I suspect.
Children are remarkably resiliat, especially when they feel secure
... you say you are a close family, then I doubt there is a lot to
worry about, for them.
You have full custody, but they still have a father; you need to
be honest with them; explain that their father loves them, but he
'is not himself' because of the drugs. He may be one day; but he may
not. Encourage them to remember the good days, but be clear that they
are in the past.
And be vigilant of your own feelings; Moving on is your problem,
not the children's. It is you who will dare to hope, while they will
accept the truth from you.
If you are finding it hard, you might consider counselling or a support
group. You need to get your life back!
Please Note: I am NOT a physician, and any
'health advice' should NOT be taken to be "Medical Advice"
- because it is not - my aim is to give you a few possibilities to be
thinking about, and some general 'common sense' advice - if my advice
says see a doctor, then see a doctor!