Melissa - posted on 06/13/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )
Parental drug abuse is an extremely polar topic and whether you think drug addiction is a disease, or a lack of will power, or a person being selfish, it has become an epidemic. Babies are being born addicted to drugs (both prescription and street drugs) at an alarming rate. In most of these cases, child protection agencies will remove the children and give the parent or parents a certain amount of time to fix their situation before terminating parental rights. A year ago, I was in this situation. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that had opiates in her system. I had taken pain medicine in the last few weeks of my pregnancy because I was in incredible pain, and while that alone would not have gotten the baby removed, my history of drug and alcohol abuse did. I was lost and empty and everyone in the world hated me for what I had done. This was the lowest point in my life. I make it a point to reflect on that moment every day so I never forget how far down I have gone. I spent the last year doing everything and more that the division of child protection and permanency asked of me, and in April, my daughter was returned home. Every drug screen came back negative, I never missed a therapy session, and never missed a visit with the baby. I remained razor focused and sober throughout the process with one goal in mind - reunification. Now that the process is over and I have time to reflect and look back on it, I realize how difficult it was to navigate through. I believe that having a special advocate that can help women who find themselves in my situation would benefit both mother and child. I realize that there are case workers and social workers and therapists, but all of these report directly to the division and sometimes we have a bad day. It doesn't mean that we are going to run out and use, but having a person that has been there and survived it, to talk to, would be incredibly beneficial. Not to mention, the process is difficult to navigate through and some case workers are better than others so having someone there to advise what to expect would have been a great comfort and help. I am trying to make this a positive, hopeful string so please refrain from commenting on how selfish and horrible addicts are as there is nothing that you could say to us that we have not already thought about ourselves. But the truth of the matter is that addiction has become an epidemic, and there are a great many women who could use support. I believe that all people really want in life is to be happy. No person would continue to choose doing drugs when they know the wake of destruction that follows. Addiction is a unrelenting compulsion. However, it can be tamed and you can re-build your life. If anyone finds themselves in a similar situation (lost custody of their children because of drug abuse) and is truly willing to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to get them back, it is possible.