If you are hesitating to get addiction treatment because you have children at home, this choice could cost you the one thing that you would most fear losing. Statistics reveal that the foster care system throughout America is stretched to capacity because of the increase in children coming into the system from homes where parents abused drugs.

Not going to rehab because you are afraid to lose your child may not be the right choice. Since addiction is a progressive disease, the longer you wait to get help, the greater the chance that you will lose everything.

Why This Nation’s Foster Care System Is Stretched Thin

According to the Brookings Institute, more than 500,000 children are currently living in this nation’s foster care system. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that 92,000 new cases in 2016 alone involved foster care in cases of parental substance abuse.

Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 32 percent increase in drug-related foster care cases. States with the biggest increases in foster care admissions over just one year include Georgia, Indiana, and West Virginia. There has not been anything seen on this scale since the nation experienced the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980s.

These are terrifying statistics, particularly for a parent of young children who has a substance use disorder. While foster care is just one scenario, this does not have to be the reality for you and your children.

Will You Lose Your Child if You Go to Rehab?

While there are never guarantees, addiction itself does not mean that you are a bad person or parent. It is a verifiable disease that only gets worse over time, so you are doing the right thing by getting addiction treatment. If the Department of Children and Families (DCF) becomes involved in your life, it is helpful to know that one of this agency’s goals is to keep families together.

Assuming you want to get help, you are making a responsible choice that is in the best interests of you and your children. You may need to spend some time away from your family to get the services you need, but this time will pale in comparison to what could happen if you make the wrong choice.

Why Getting Addiction Treatment Help is the Best Choice

When you are using drugs, you may be putting your child at risk. Continuing down this path demonstrates negligent behavior and even child neglect or abuse. Without choosing to go to rehab, your life can quickly spiral out of control and your children might end up with relatives or in the foster care system.

Even if you do wait too long and lose custody of your children, you may have a chance to regain custody if you take certain steps. These include attending and successfully completing an addiction treatment program. You may also be required to attend family therapy and undergo an evaluation before you see a family court judge.

If you have children, you may be torn about getting help for your substance use disorder. Time is not on your side with addiction, and getting help should be a top priority before the drug and family courts become involved.