The sad truth is, nearly everyone in America is affected by alcoholism or drug addiction to some degree. Not necessarily personally affected, but affected by
association at the very least. The amount of women between the ages of 30 and 44 who reported abusing alcohol has doubled over the course of the past decade, and recent statistical studies show that roughly 10% of children throughout the United States currently live with an addicted parent. The internally frazzled but externally maintained soccer mom toting a toddler on one hip and holding a thermos full of red wine with her free hand has become a widespread reality, and more and more women in motherhood are seeking treatment for alcohol and drug dependency now than ever before.
Motherhood and Drug Addiction
However, women are still significantly more likely to attempt to hide their addictive behaviors than men. They are also extremely less likely to seek professional treatment than men, and will typically only succumb to seeking professional outside help if initially pressured into it by their family members or close friends. Most women feel a certain sense of overwhelming obligation to their husbands, their children, and their trite societal roles as homemakers and housewives. Because of these standards and seeming expectations, most women will silently suffer through secret addictions rather than reach out for the professional help they truly need.
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Many Single Mothers Abuse Painkillers and Alcohol
In many instances, the unsuspected stresses of motherhood will send many a mom straight to the liquor store. The inability to adequately cope with emotional distress can lead to a gravitation towards chemical substance. While ‘the alcoholic soccer mom’ has been a long-time stereotype, many new mothers are turning towards prescription pill abuse as a means of coping with often overwhelming aspects of motherhood. The meaning of ‘taking the edge off’ has transitioned from playdate happy hours with the fellow desperate housewives to popping pills in seclusion while trying to survive another day of diaper changes and temper tantrums. Middle-aged women comprise a major portion of the individuals being admitted to inpatient treatment for substance abuse – however, these numbers pale in comparison to the amount of mothers who actually need treatment.
Seeking Help for Drug Addiction
Mothers who struggle with drug abuse and dependency are not merely hurting themselves – even though it may not seem like it, they are severely hurting their children. Emotional availability is crucial – children need their mothers at every phase of early development. Even if a mother is there for her child physically, if she is high on pills and not emotionally or mentally present, the child will inevitably suffer. Without recognizing it in most cases, mothers who are engaging in regular drug use will be incapable of providing their young ones with adequate supervision, and will likely expose them to unintentional social isolation – which will provide a multitude of psychological and emotional issues further down the road.