How to Go on Methadone Maintenance and Still Be a Parent
Being on methadone maintenance while being a parent of a young child can be difficult. However, just try to remember that you are taking a positive step by attending treatment and that this decision is partly for your children so they can grow up in a more stable environment without opioid abuse and addiction.
MMT and Parenting
It can definitely be a juggling act to attend methadone maintenance and be a parent at the same time. Both require a full amount of attention and both can cause unforeseen issues at certain points during your recovery. It is important to remember, though, that your attending treatment is going to benefit both you and your child.
One of the best first steps you can take is to talk to your clinic doctor about your situation. Discuss with them that you have children, and make sure they understand where and when you need to be present in order to take care of them. Ask if they have any advice on this matter. Some methadone clinics also provide childcare or can help you find a childcare service that is inexpensive and easily accessible from treatment.
Other tips for parents in methadone maintenance treatment include:
- Discussing your treatment with your child, if they are old enough to understand what you are doing
- Asking a friend or family member to help out with childcare, especially during the first few weeks of treatment when you are being stabilized on your medication
- Inviting a friend or family member to live with you for a while if you normally live alone
- Choosing a methadone treatment facility that is close to home so your travel time is minimal
Your Child May Require Treatment Too
You may want to consider attending family counseling with your children or allowing them to see a counselor, especially if you can find a methadone clinic that provides these options. It is likely that your child will have many feelings about your opioid addiction and treatment, and they will need to have a safe place to talk about these issues if they are old enough. According to the National Institute of Justice, these programs often provide additional counseling to patients and their loved ones, depending on the specific location.
You are Doing the Right Thing
Understanding that it will be a struggle to manage both sides of your life is important, but do not doubt that you are doing the right thing. According to a study from the Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, “Methadone maintenance reduces and/or eliminates the use of heroin, reduces the death rates and criminality associated with heroin use, and allows patients to improve their health and social productivity.” It allows patients to live happy, productive lives in a way that further opioid abuse doesn’t, and it can also help you better connect with your family members.
The most important thing to remember is that you are asking for help, which is the right step to take, and that asking for further help from family and friends at this time can be necessary. You can also call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?) today to find out more tips for safely attending methadone treatment while still being a parent.