Drug Addiction Questions
I’m divorced and my spouse has the children half time. I believe my spouse is using drugs.
It’s a ghastly situation. The pawns in this scenario are your children.
What are your motives?
Before you take any action, look first at your own motives. Are you going to get back at your ex by using the children?
It’s a very harsh question, but be sure of yourself.
If you believe your ex is using, what is your evidence? If a third party were to become involved, would there be enough evidence to convince that person that your ex is using?
Assuming you still have some level of feeling for your ex, you may want to do an intervention and try to facilitate him/her going into treatment.
Evidence is important.
When you drop off the children, or pick them up, in those moments when you see your ex, are there any physical signs of drug use?
Is that person’s speech slurred, or do they have bloodshot eyes, or do they appear unkempt, or have they lost weight or has there been frequent illness?
Do they keep appointments? Have there been accidents around their home?
Have your ex-partner or your children been injured?
Before you go off and accuse your ex-spouse of drug use, have your kids said anything to you? Don’t put words in their mouth, or use them to spy on your ex-spouse, but listen to them.
Are they giving you any clues that something might be wrong? Have they said anything at all? Mom/dad has been acting funny. Mom/dad always forgets to pick us up at school.
Mom/dad doesn’t look like they feel good.
Before you run off to child social services, turn to a drug addiction professional for counsel. There is no “one size fits all” answer for this. Take what you have and allow a professional to help you sort it all out.
We have all heard horror stories about the courts ripping children away from their parents. Courts try to do the right thing, but it isn’t a perfect system.
The whole legal tug-of-war can be traumatic for children, just as your divorce was for them. You and your ex have already done damage, no matter how resilient your children are.
The pain of seeing mom and dad break up, having to go back and forth between the two of you is difficult for your kids. If you are convinced that your ex is using and that action is necessary, plan that action and think it through before you begin the process to ensure that your children are shielded as much as possible.
Seek professional help. The nearest drug treatment center is a good start. You can call Al-Anon.
But our main point is not to shoot from the hip. Gather your facts, analyze your facts and form a plan that will accomplish a positive end for your ex, for you and most of all for your children.
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Many people are in this situation.
Divorce is very common now and as a result many kids are spending half time with a drug/alcohol addicted parent. Here are some steps you can take to prevent harm from coming to your children:
1. Calmly make your ex-spouse aware that you're aware of the addiction.
2. Work with loved ones of your ex-spouse and do an intervention to try to get them into treatment.
3. Talk to your child about addiction not to degrade your ex-spouse but to train your child what to do to avoid getting in a car when your ex in under the influence. Cars are the most common cause of injury when someone is impaired.
4. As much as possible be available to pick your child up from any situation if the feel at all scared or concerned. Give them a cell phone and have them call you ANYTIME they are feeling vulnerable. This particularly important if there is a no relative living in the home. (According to studies the incidence of child molestation goes 33% when they are living with a non-relative.)
Do everything you can to protect your child in the very difficult situation. They are very vulnerable. If you have any other drug addiction questions please ask them at Your Questions.
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and Finally Remember:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8
Dan, Ned and Debbie continue their discussion of the 12 steps reviewing what it takes to get everything out of this important treatment progam, this week on Recovery Now!