If you have children and are considering drug rehab, you are doing the best possible thing for their health and well-being by putting your recovery first.

Children are not an obstacle to admission to treatment. However, you may not be able to bring them with you, depending on the program. As a result, it is often necessary to find people who can help with caring for your children while you are in treatment. If you opt for a residential treatment program, your kids should be able to visit you.

A drug rehab program may offer services that will assist you in repairing your family.

If I Have Kids, What Do I Need to Know About Enrolling in Drug Rehab?

First of all, if you have kids and you are doing the work to enroll in drug rehab, congratulations. You are making the best possible choice for them, for yourself, and for your family’s future.

A parent living with an active drug addiction is unable to care for children safely or effectively, and your children are at risk as long as you do not have your addiction under control. In other words, the sooner you start drug rehab, the better. There is no better parenting choice you could make.  

If you have children, it is a good idea to look for a drug rehab program that provides you with the support you need to manage your relationships with your children. This may mean looking for a drug rehab that:

  • Is located close to home so you can see your children when it is appropriate to your recovery 
  • Offers parenting classes to help you learn how to take care of your children’s needs without jeopardizing your sobriety
  • Provides family therapy so that you can begin the process of repairing relationships with older children 
  • Offers co-parenting sessions for you and your children’s other parent so that the two of you can begin to work together for the best interest of your children

Will I Be Denied Entry Into Drug Rehab if I Have Kids?

No one will be denied entrance to a drug rehab program because they have children. In fact, drug addiction treatment is encouraged for all parents who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. 

At some drug rehab programs designed specifically for pregnant mothers and mothers of new babies, it may be possible to bring your baby with you to treatment. These programs are few and far between, and they are often connected to the judicial system and drug courts. 

If you have older children, you will need to find a responsible adult to care for them while you are away. If you do not have that option, but you have a safe and stable home for them otherwise, it may be possible for you to attend an outpatient treatment program during the hours they are in school or can be with another family member or friend. 

If you do not have a safe and stable home for your children and no one who can take them in while you receive treatment, it can be helpful to seek out the assistance of a social worker who can connect them with a foster family while you are in rehab. When you are stable in a home that will work for them as well, you can transition them back home with you.

What Happens to My Kids If I Go to Rehab?

If your kids have another parent they can stay with, or if there is another close family member who is willing to help out while you are gone, ask them to work with you.

This can be a difficult thing to do. It is not easy to ask for help, especially if you have been at odds with that person over the past few years due to your addiction, but it is necessary.

Keep in mind that what you are asking is not for you as much as it is for your children. You will be doing the work to come back and be a stronger and better parent for your kids.

Can My Kids Visit Me in a Residential Treatment Program?

If you enroll in a residential drug rehab program, you won’t be able to come home to see your kids, but you may be able to have them visit you. 

During the first two weeks or so of treatment, most drug rehab programs require that you have a “blackout period.” That is, you will be asked to focus solely on yourself and your recovery and have no email, phone/text, or in-person contact with friends and family back home, including your kids. 

This is designed to help you shift your mindset so that you are spending as much time as possible focused on yourself and your recovery, and little to no time worrying about what’s going on back home. 

Residential drug rehab programs will often schedule family visits and outings on the weekends to encourage clients to reconnect and begin the process of rebuilding relationships. Your kids will be welcome to visit with you on those days. Depending on their age, it may be appropriate for them to take part in therapy sessions designed to help them manage how they are feeling and cope with your addiction and recovery.

What Other Options Should I Consider If I Have Kids?

If you can’t find someone dependable to take care of your children, depending on your needs in treatment and whether or not you can be successful in an outpatient addiction treatment program, it may be possible to find an outpatient rehab that can work with you on scheduling. 

No matter what style of drug addiction treatment you attend, you will need to make sure that you continue aftercare services long after your initial stay in treatment is over. The more supported you are when you come back home or find a new home for you and your kids, the more likely it is that you will be able to sustain your sobriety for the long term and provide your family with the stability they deserve. You can connect with programs like: 

The more you do to make sure you have accountability and people who are supporting your sustained recovery after you leave drug rehab, the more likely it is that you will not have to return anytime soon.

How Long Will I Need to Be in Treatment Before I Can Go Home to My Kids?

can i go to rehab with kids

The answer to this question depends on what you need from your drug rehab program to feel stable in your ability to stay sober on your own. For most people who lived for years or even decades in active addiction, this sense of stability and strength comes with 90 days to a year or longer in a comprehensive addiction treatment program. The stronger you are when you return home to your kids, the more stable your life with them will be in recovery.

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