Being a parent means always putting your child first. While addiction can be uncontrollable and cause you to do things that you would never do if you were sober, it is important to think about the safety of your child. Parents with substance abuse disorder need to go to treatment if they still want to be able to raise their kids.

If there are any accusations or complaints of children harmed by their parents who are tackling substance use, courts have the power to respond to them. They can take action when substance abuse gets in the way of a parent’s ability to care for their child or put them in danger. When these complaints are raised during hearing, the courts will investigate to see if what is being said is true and impacts the child’s care. If the courts see that there is a documented history of the parent’s past substance abuse, the parent’s actions during that time period will be considered.

If the statements are true, parents may be restricted contact with their children by changing visitation rights and/or the arrangement. If two parents have joint custody of their child, the court can modify these order and give the parent who does not have a drug problem sole custody. There also might be supervised visits in a safe and controlled environment by a court-appointed social worker or a family member. Visitations will remain supervised until a parent demonstrates a change in their circumstances like taking part in substance abuse counselling or going to rehab. Children can be granted supervised visits with their parents while they are in treatment.

If this is your former spouse that you feel is threatening the safety of your child based on their substance abuse, there are steps for you to take like documenting police reports, DUI charges, and similar evidence that you can bring to the court. This evidence should show that this person is not fit to be a parent until they get better. This can mean filing a restraining order against them or refusing them to see your child. Do not wait until your addiction hits rock bottom where you permanently are never allowed to see your child. Make sure that you or your ex-spouse is doing something about substance abuse disorder so that they can continue being a parent to their child and are proven to be safe around.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.