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What Do I Do With My Children And Pets While I’m In Rehab?

The decision to enroll in a drug rehab center, although highly recommended, can be one of the hardest things for a parent to do. 

The thought of being away from your child (or children) can be scary, and even worse, the fear of losing your child’s custody can deter you from seeking treatment. 

If you’re a committed pet parent, you might also be wondering about your pet’s welfare and how it will cope when you’re away for treatment. 

It’s normal to worry about your children or pets’ futures when you’re away for extended periods to receive substance abuse treatment. 

The good news, however, is that it is possible to seek treatment without losing your children or pets. And this should be enough motivation to get you started with the treatment process and power through the weeks with something to look forward to. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do with your children (and pets) when recovering in a residential treatment facility.

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Will I Lose My Child When Going To Rehab?

While it is impossible to guarantee that your child won’t be removed from your custody when enrolled in a treatment center, chances of being permanently separated are close to zero, especially if you complete treatment and remain committed to rehabilitation. 

Even when Child Protection Services (CPS) is involved, the odds of being reunited with your children remain high as the federal law requires that CPS agencies make reasonable efforts to reunify parents with children upon completing addiction treatment. 

However, the situation might become complex if you fail to complete substance abuse treatment, exactly why you should focus on treatment throughout your stay in a residential facility. 

What To Do With Your Children When Enrolling In An Inpatient Rehab

Now that you’ve decided to change for the better and receive professional assistance in a substance abuse treatment center, here’s what you can do with your children while receiving treatment. 

Ask For Assistance 

One option you have is asking for support from loved ones and close family members. If your spouse is around, then they will be the best option, especially if they’re present and equally invested in your children’s welfare. 

You can also ask your parents, aunties, cousins, or other close family members for assistance. And if you don’t have any family to turn to, then you can reach out to close friends, more specifically those that are close to your children for assistance. 

Reaching out to people you trust will give you the peace of mind that your children will be in safe hands once you kick-start substance addiction treatment. 

Enroll In Rehabs That Allow Children

Some rehab centers allow parents, more specifically mothers, to enroll with their infant children. The whole idea of such treatment centers is to help mothers focus on addiction treatment without worrying about their children’s welfare. 

Other outpatient facilities offer daycare services to children, which ensures children are in accommodative and highly conducive environments while their parents attend group and individual sessions.

Some of the services offered in such rehab centers include vocational and family therapy, medication management, and career counseling. 

While not all treatment centers will allow you to have your children on-site as you receive treatment, most have friendly measures in place to give you access to your family during treatment. 

Therefore, you can consider enrolling in a treatment center with friendly visitation policies, as you’ll get to meet and interact with your children regularly. 

How to Prepare For Rehab If You Have Kids

Talk To Your Child (Children)

Once you’ve decided to attend inpatient rehab, it is crucial to have a sit down with your child and notify them of potential changes and the new guardian. 

For older kids, involving them in the decision is usually important, as they might prefer staying with some relatives more than others.

Either way, since it is a decision made with the best interests of everyone at heart, you should talk to your children about the changes to ensure they feel like part of the process. 

Notify the School

It is also essential to communicate with your child’s school and notify them that a new caregiver will take charge of your child’s welfare as you seek treatment. 

You may need to sign permission slips and other relevant documents to hand over temporary responsibility to the caregiver of your choice. 

Consider Outpatient Treatment

If you’re not dealing with chronic or long-term addiction, an outpatient substance addiction program might work well for you. 

Outpatient rehab allows you to receive treatment for substance abuse disorders without relocating your children or handing over parental duties to a guardian.

What Can I Do With My Pets While In Rehab?

If you’re a pet parent and want to receive long term addiction treatment, here are some of the options you have: 

Get Help From Friends

Your friends can come to your rescue when looking for a new home for your pet as you receive treatment. Ideally, you should choose a friend or family member who is passionate about pets and would take genuine care of your beloved companion in your absence. 

Consider A Pet Sitter

You can also hire a pet sitter if you have a hardy pet or one that requires little maintenance, like a turtle, cat, bird, or lizard. 

A pet sitter can come as many times as possible, depending on your pet’s needs. While you might pay a considerable amount for a professional pet sitting service, you’ll have the peace of mind that your pet is receiving adequate attention while you’re away.

A pet sitting service works well when you’re enrolled in partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs. 

Consider A Boarding Facility

A boarding facility can come in handy when you’re looking to enroll in a long-term addiction treatment program. 

Not too many rehabs will allow pets due to safety reasons and the comfort of other patients, meaning you might need to seek an alternative solution for your pet. Fortunately, there are several pet boarding programs that specialize in long-term pet care. 

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

Wrapping Up 

While it’s normal to fear losing your child or pet as you start addiction treatment, you shouldn’t allow fear to get the better of you. 

Receiving treatment means you’ll be increasingly present and hands-on when raising your children, which is crucial to ensuring they get the best possible upbringing. 

Consider requesting assistance from close friends and family members as you’ll have the peace of mind that your little ones are receiving proper care as you recover. 

For pets, it’s best to either consider professional pet sitting services or boarding facilities if you’re enrolling in a residential facility. You can also request a loved one to take care of your pet as you receive treatment. 

Either way, you shouldn’t let your fears stop you from starting addiction treatment. 

Contact a rehab center today to kick-start treatment and break the chains of addiction!

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