Most moms can find joy in giving their children the love and attention they need to thrive. Substances like cocaine change all of that. Even when she’s not actively using the drug, cocaine addiction can impacts a mom’s ability to respond to her child’s needs. In fact, the act of mothering becomes less rewarding in light of the euphoric high produced by cocaine. As a result, children of addicted mothers are often at risk of neglect or abuse.
Whether you’ve struggled with your mom’s addiction for years or she recently developed a substance use disorder, witnessing a parent’s cocaine addiction is unbearable. The more you understand this insidious disease, the more empathy and understanding you can extend to your mom, despite years of neglect and heartache.
How Cocaine Addiction Impacts a Mother’s Care
Cocaine addiction doesn’t just impact the user. Its destructive influence spreads to everyone within reach, especially children. Substance use disorder can create serious problems in unborn children, but it also devastates children already born when their mom developed a cocaine addiction.
Children of individuals addicted to cocaine are confronted with situations no child should have to face, including:
- Abusive or neglectful homes
- Witnessing their parent’s cocaine use
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Feeling unloved or that their mom is choosing cocaine over them
- Having to raise or care for themselves
- Risk of developing an addiction of their own
Moving Beyond Past Hurts
While you know your mom needs help, perhaps you’re too angry to let go of the past and be there for her. However, there are a few truths that may help you forgive your mom so that you can be a source of support and encouragement for her recovery.
1. Addiction Doesn’t Develop in a Bubble
It may be hard to understand why your mom chose to start using cocaine. Nobody wants to become addicted to a substance. There could be a wide variety of reasons she sought out the drug. Many moms develop addictions because they’re using the drug to deal with deep unhappiness, stress or fear. Underlying mental health issues like anxiety or depression frequently lead to addiction. Your mom may have chosen cocaine as a way to ease her symptoms and find relief.
Thankfully, many addiction treatment programs include care for co-occuring mental health conditions. If your mom struggles with a dual diagnosis, she can get the help she needs for both addiction and mental health issues.
2. Your Mom’s Addiction Is a Disease
Perhaps you’ve begged your mom to stop using. Maybe she would disappear for days at a time when you were a child. Whatever your mom’s relationship with cocaine has been, try to see her actions as compulsory — not deliberate choices.
The truth is that addiction is not a choice. Prolonged use of substances like cocaine can lead to this chronic brain disease, which is characterized by compulsive drug use despite its painful consequences. Addiction disrupts impulse control and decision making. Your mom probably knows that her cocaine use is destructive. She may have even attempted to quit in the past. Yet, the nature of her addiction makes her feel unable to stop.
By helping your mom realize that her addiction is a disease that can be treated, you could encourage her to seek treatment.
3. You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
Your mom’s health and recovery don’t rest on your shoulders. Many children of addicted mothers take on the role of caretakers. This role reversal can leave you feeling emotionally, mentally and physically drained.
If you’ve committed to helping your mom with her recovery, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. Consider going to counseling or finding a support group for loved ones of people with addiction. You can express your fears, frustrations and hopes among those who completely understand your day-to-day challenges.
Tell Your Mom About Effective Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Gateway Foundation
If your mom is ready to take the next step toward a life of sobriety, Gateway Foundation can help. Our individualized cocaine addiction treatment programs can address your mom’s unique needs in an environment of care. We can also treat any co-occuring mental health disorders and help her learn ways to cope without using cocaine.
Don’t give up on a better future for you and your mom. If you would like to learn more about our addiction treatment services, please contact us today.