Hi there and welcome back. We’ve been discussing how CPS handles parents with drug addictions during abuse and neglect investigations. As we mentioned before, substance abuse is a growing problem here in Michigan, especially when it comes to opiates. Which means that if CPS is really going to help families battling this issue, they will most likely need to take a more robust approach that they are right now.
Quitting drugs is hard. Even harder when you’re a parent!
So in order to overcome that addiction, you have to fight a very long and painful battle that for most people, is simply more than they can handle on their own. Now consider how challenging and stressful parenting is – the baby that cries for hours because of gas, or the toddler who throws temper tantrums throughout the day, and the teen whose hormonal roller coaster makes them hard to predict, and even harder to handle. Trying to manage day-to-day parenting commitments while also trying to overcome an addiction is almost impossible for most folks.
Parents faced with the loss of their kids feel cornered
Although CPS workers will often suggest that parents battling addiction take substance abuse counseling, group therapy, or even attend rehab, the reality is a little different. Rehab is expensive, and means missing a lot of work, which not all parents have the option of doing. Whereas once weekly therapy sessions simply aren’t enough to address a daily problem. Couple that with the fact that addicts often fear the “drying out” process because they know how badly it’s going to hurt. And yet doing nothing isn’t an option either!
But money is a huge obstacle on the road to recovery.
Unfortunately, the fears of addicts and the ineffectiveness of drug treatment counselling are only part of the problem. Addressing substance abuse requires time, effort, commitment, and above all else – money. Therapy and counseling sessions aren’t free. So it’s understandable why the state isn’t excited about footing the bill for thousands of hours of substance abuse counselling (And it would be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of hours in total!). Yet, if Michigan is truly committed to saving children’s lives and preserving families, this is a fight we need to be willing to engage in.
And rigid mindsets are another issue we need to address.
There is a social stigma attached to addiction. People often view substance abusers as “dirty”, “lazy” and a “blight on society”. CPS workers are no different. They tend to view parents who struggle with addiction as being ‘unacceptable people’, and specifically ‘unacceptable parents,’ even if it isn’t true. This mindset can make it much easier to remove kids from their parents homes.
The legalization of marijuana in Michigan is only going to complicate matters!
In the wake of recreational weed being legalized, this issue of social stigma versus legal right is only going to get more complex. Join us next time for the wrap up on this subject, and a look at how CPS will have to handle those specific drug-related cases. Until then, if anyone from CPS accuses you of being a bad parent, or threatens to take your kids because you struggle with addiction, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 right now. Our experienced CPS defense attorneys are standing by to defend your parental rights.