Tag Archives: Parents

Tag Archives: Parents


WSMV News Channel 4
Story By: Rebecca Cardenas, WSMV News Channel 4
Posted On: Aug 21, 2019

Since 2000, the number of children being placed in foster care because their parents use drugs has more than doubled, according to new research by JAMA Pediatrics.

“It just really hurts when the two people that are supposed to love you and care about you can’t really do that because they have a disease,” Brittany Hines, who knows that statistic firsthand, said. “I remember calling hospitals and jails and praying to God that she was in the hospital or in jail instead of just out using drugs and leaving us again,” she recalled. Her parents were both addicts. She lived with six families before she turned 18, when she got custody of her younger brother.

“I did not ever want to be split up from my brothers or sisters. I was fearful they would be taken away,” she said, calling many of her childhood memories traumatic.

The CEO of Cumberland Heights Jay Crosson said they’ve watched this trend with their own eyes. “It’s a consequence of untreated addiction,” he explained. “We see grandparents raising their own grandkids a lot.”

He said the alarming rise of kids in foster care is largely due to the opioid crisis, and more broadly an addiction crisis. “There’s an overall increase in acceptance of drug use overall by people.”

Every patient that we see wants to be a good dad and a good mom. The insanity of this disease is that despite knowing these consequences that are out there they still can’t stop,” Crosson added.

“I never ever once doubted that my mom and dad loved me,” Hines said. She is a mother herself now, a role she’s taken on since she was a child. One of her sisters is still in her custody and now, her brother’s daughter. She works full time at an addiction treatment center

“Drug addicts are not bad people they’re just really sick,” she said. “My dad may not have been able to make it or get sober, but I hope somebody else’s dad is able to get sober and they’re able to get their dad back or their mom back.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, you can go to cumberlandheights.org.

parenting an addicted childParents battling addiction may lack the ability to provide structure and support for their children. This can be an incredibly stressful time, as children often do not understand why or how their parent became addicted to substances and often blame themselves. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACA) notes that children face a number of stressors when parental addiction is involved, such as conflict within the home, increased isolation and decreased family cohesion. If you are a parent who has been working diligently in recovery and have reached a place where you want to reconnect with your child, you must realize that it will take time.

A study conducted at Western Sydney University in Australia emphasized the importance of empathy and emotion regulation when it comes to re-connecting with one’s child. There are three main aspects to this:

  • Cognitive empathy – being able to understand what your child may be going through and perceiving what his or her feelings may be
  • Emotional reactivity – the ability to respond emotionally to your child’s pain
  • Social skills – being able to gauge the effect of your behavior on your child and on others

Many 12-Step programs endorse this, but it’s important to admit to your child the pain you’ve caused them and explain that it wasn’t their fault. It will take time to rebuild trust, but acknowledging how you’ve affected them is a great place to start. As you work towards strengthening this relationship, maintain open communication and remind yourself to see things through your child’s point of view. They’re hurt and they may be very upset and unsure if they can trust you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t repair your relationship with them, it just means that you’ll have to prove to them – with your words and actions – that you are on the path of recovery and will be staying there.


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.


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