Becoming a parent is one of the biggest commitments a person can make. What could be powerful enough to make a parent neglect and abuse their children? Methamphetamine can. It makes not only the user’s life a mess, it also separates children from their parents in many cases.

The foster care system is busy with children of meth addicts. Drug rehab is usually the only way to get a meth addicted parent’s life turned around.

Meth Addiction Hits Like a Ton of Bricks

Meth isn’t something people can casually use like alcohol or even marijuana. Those drugs can become addictive, but not when used infrequently and in moderate amounts. Meth is more like heroin or prescription drugs, which are very quickly addicting. Many people get addicted on their first try. It’s not uncommon for someone to try it one night and spend the next few days in a row on a binge. Yes, that may sound unbelievable, but it can certainly happen. That’s how powerful meth is.

Much like opiate drugs, meth closely matches the brain chemicals that stimulate a pleasure response. When a person takes a dose, it hits the bulls eye right away creating a “rush” sensation. Your brain and body want that to happen again and again. This sets up the cravings and desires to get and use more soon after the first dose.

A big problem with meth is that it not only stimulates the pleasure response, it also suppresses the natural chemicals that do this on an everyday basis. So the user can quickly become dependent on the meth to give them *any* sense of pleasure because their body can’t do it very well. Plus, this change in the brain makes it impossible to create the same level of pleasure as the first time.

A user “chases the high”, usually to little avail. A psychological and physical addiction are likely to follow.


Drug Rehab Can Help Families Come Together

When drug busts reveal children living with poor sanitation or little supervision, they are often put into foster homes. The meth addicted parent needs time to go to drug rehab, possibly do jail time, restore their finances, and so on.

Many parents want to be reunited with their children, but getting into recovery from a meth addiction is hard work. It may take a long time before they restore their lives enough to be a responsible parent.

Drug treatment is so important, especially with a meth addiction. Meth does some awful things to your brain, body, and emotions. A meth addict may relapse and need several rounds of drug treatment before their life is stabilized. In most cases, parents and children want to get back together. However, children often need counseling and support for the difficult life they did not choose for themselves.

By Wendy Lee Nentwig, Contributing Writer