One person’s addiction can affect their entire family. Children who grow up with parents who abuse alcohol or other substances often face mental health challenges. What’s worse is that the numbers of mothers and fathers who abuse substances is still incredibly high, in the hundreds-of-millions worldwide. Yet, while society has somewhat normalized drinking for fathers, mothers who abuse substance often face higher levels of scrutiny.
Greenhouse Treatment Center’s Dr. Casey Green spoke with writers from Care.com about these family dynamics, and about the stigma mothers who abuse substance face.
When a Parent has a Drinking Problem…
Parents are susceptible to drinking problems, just like anybody else. It is estimated that 25% of children in America grow up in a household where substance abuse is present. What doesn’t help is the normalization of substance abuse among parents. In media, fathers are often portrayed as drinking, associated with having cold beers after a long day of work. Mothers on the other hand…not so much. Yet, both are equally vulnerable to substance abuse.
While fathers are granted a degree of shelter by the normalization of paternal drinking, mothers are seldom given the same excuse. Society still views mothers as the primary caregiver, and a mother drinking a bit of “mommy juice” is often met with shaming and derision. Casey Green commented on this dynamic, calling it a significant “double-standard.”
“When a woman is drinking in the household, it is assumed the impact on the children is much greater than that of male drinking,” Green wrote. This stigma not only distracts from the problems of fathers drinking but can also discourage mothers from seeking substance abuse treatment.
Finding Treatment at Greenhouse
If you or a parent are struggling with substance abuse, know that you aren’t alone. Greenhouse’s medically informed, patient-centric treatment program can help you or your loved one start their journey to recovery. Don’t wait to find help, call today to start your life in sobriety.