Experiencing Motherhood with Drug and Alcohol Addiction


Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on Jan 21, 2020 | Women Addiction Treatment

motherhood and drug addiction

About 1 in 8 children in the US live with at least one parent struggling with a substance use disorder. From those, almost 14% live in a household where both parents struggle with substance abuse. However, is the mom wine culture making it practically impossible to stay away from drug and alcohol addiction? Experiencing motherhood and drug addiction or alcohol addiction can be stressful and challenging, but there’s hope. 

How Addiction Affects Moms

Women are still significantly more likely to attempt to hide their addictive behaviors than men. They are also considerably less likely to seek professional treatment than men. They will typically only succumb to seeking outside professional help if initially pressured into it by their family members or close friends. 

What starts as a bottle of wine every other night, not a prescription to help with pain or anxiety can easily escalate to a full-blown addiction. Mothers struggle with many underlying issues that can exacerbate the situation, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Unhappy relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of purpose
  • Undiagnosed mental health issues
  • Past trauma

Why Mothers Don’t Seek Treatment

Unlike men, addiction treatment for women still carries an immense burden and stigma. Admitting a substance abuse problem is challenging for anyone, but the societal shame and the backlash from family members and even their children can be worse for moms. After all, moms are supposed to be caregivers. Some of the barriers preventing mothers from seeking treatment include:

  • Difficulty accepting there’s an issue
  • Dealing with the stigma linked to the illness
  • Having issues spending time away from their children

In many cases, mothers struggling with addiction are single parents, which means the possibility of checking into a rehab facility is off the table. These and more barriers keep mothers from seeking treatment for their addiction. 

Seeking Help for Addiction

Mothers who struggle with dependency or addiction can often feel guilty for not being there for their child. The guilt only makes the substance abuse worse, making women fall into a vicious cycle. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Treatment options are available to help moms recover and fight their addiction. 

Most moms choose treatment for their children and partner, which is why family involvement in the treatment plan is paramount. Having the support of family and loved ones is often the best way to treat substance abuse. 

If you’re a mom struggling with addiction, it’s time to take the first step towards healing. Our evidence-based treatment programs at Lighthouse Recovery Institute are here to help you reclaim your life and break the chains of addiction. Our special women rehab programs address your specific needs and give you access to the support you need. It’s time to say goodbye to the “wine mom” culture and forget about societal stigmas or expectations of mothers. We know you’re doing the best you can to care for yourself and your family, and we promise to do the same for you.

Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "Experiencing Motherhood with Drug and Alcohol Addiction." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Jan 21, 2020, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/motherhood-and-drug-addiction/.


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