Parents with children at home have many treatment options for substance abuse, some of which include outpatient care, allowing them to stay at home with their kids.
However, for parents facing more severe substance use disorders, inpatient or residential treatment may be necessary, which means living apart from their children during their treatment program.
These parents will be able to see their children during their treatment program, but visiting rules will apply, which vary from one rehab center to the next.
Can My Child Visit Me In Drug Rehab?
In general, most addiction treatment centers allow your child and other immediate family members to visit you while you are completing a rehab program.
However, visitation policies differ, so be sure to check with individual rehab centers to make sure you understand their rules and procedures.
Visitation policies may vary according to:
- days and times when visits are allowed
- places on the campus where visitors are allowed
- the length of time for visits
- no-contact periods
Understanding a rehab center’s visitor policy before enrolling in a treatment program will give you the opportunity to talk to your child and set expectations about visits before you enter the program.
Common Visiting Rules At Rehab Centers
Treatment centers usually allow immediate family members, including children, to visit, but there are rules that must be observed.
For instance, typically rehab centers do not allow people who are currently engaged in substance use to visit.
Other common visitation rules include:
- Visitors must stay in the visitor’s area.
- Visitors are only allowed during set hours on specific days.
- Visitors who have unhealthy relationships with the client may not be allowed.
Setting age-appropriate expectations for your child can help the visits go smoothly, such as letting them know ahead of time that visiting hours are limited.
Treatment centers might also offer tips to help ensure a good visit with family members and other loved ones, such as to avoid talking about the past and instead focus on the positive.
In addition to family visits, you also may be able to keep in touch through phone calls. Most treatment facilities encourage maintaining communication with children or other family members.
Phone calls may be an option for interacting with your children and reassuring them until they can visit.
Exceptions During The Detox Process
For people who require medical supervision during detoxification from drugs or alcohol, there may be a period of time when visits aren’t allowed, typically just a few days but maybe longer.
This is to help ensure your health and safety during this critical time, when withdrawal symptoms may be severe.
Take the time to prepare your children for this period. Let them know that it is necessary for you to get better, and that you will see them as soon as it’s over.
Making The Most Of Family Visits
There are many ways that you can help your child adjust to seeing you only periodically during visits.
Being positive about your treatment and how it’s helping you get better can go a long way toward putting children’s minds at ease.
One way to do this is to introduce them to the staff at the program, so that they get to know them and see them as real, caring people.
You can also shift the focus to your child, asking them about school, teachers, friends, and other aspects of their lives.
Helping your child feel at ease and being as positive as possible during their visits can help your children look forward to visiting you.
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Published on September 27, 2023
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- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Recovery and Recovery Support