Can My Children Attend Methadone Treatment with Me?
Normally, your children would not be able to attend your methadone treatment with you. This is the case for many reasons, especially because most methadone maintenance programs take place in outpatient clinics where patients come and go from appointments quickly each day. However, there may be extenuating circumstances in certain cases that would allow you to bring your child to methadone treatment.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Child Care
It can be difficult to juggle methadone maintenance treatment and parenting, and while this can cause you to take on extra responsibilities in your already busy life, remember that you are attending treatment partly for your child and to ensure you can both have a better life. Even though it is difficult, you can attend your treatment sessions while also being a good parent, and it can help to reach out to your friends and family members during this time. You can ask them to babysit, pick up your kids from school, or otherwise help you take care of your many responsibilities during this time.
Because the program often requires only a short period of time out of your day and there are many individuals coming and going, it is usually not recommended that you bring your children to a methadone clinic. Some facilities, though, may provide helpful solutions to this issue.
Solutions for Children of Methadone Maintenance Patients
Some facilities may provide childcare for those who need it while others might offer discounted childcare at another facility. The National Institute on Justice states, methadone treatment centers often provide “referrals to community-based agencies that can assist with health and mental health issues, HIV prevention and intervention, services, education, housing, and employment,” and some programs may also refer you to a place where you children can be looked after during your treatment.
Making Inquiries About Clinic Policies
Asking about whether or not your children may be permitted in the clinic couldn’t hurt, and there may be a policy that kids under a certain age are allowed to remain with you while you receive treatment. Because every facility is different, you can’t know what their policies are unless you ask.
Do My Children Need to Come With Me?
For the most part, it isn’t necessary for you to bring your children to your maintenance clinic, and if someone else can watch them while you go through the daily procedure, it is usually best. However, if you were pregnant while going through methadone maintenance and have had your baby since then, you may be asked to bring your child so your doctor can examine their health and make sure they are adjusting appropriately. And, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “In some communities, special programs offer services for mothers in recovery” to help with different areas of parenting during treatment.
Everyone’s situation is different, so it is important to ask about your options and to consider which will be best for you. If you would like to find a methadone clinic or learn more about the treatment itself, call 800-891-9360.