Recovery for women from opioid addiction is a constant uphill battle. Days are consumed with efforts to maintain sobriety and keep benefits intact while managing court appearances about daily treatment and guardianship of their children. Many women in California and other states often delay treatment fearing they will have their child custody rights suspended because of opioid abuse.
Studies show that postpartum pain is often the gateway for opioid abuse among women. Opioids are often used to treat pain after childbirth, and research shows that 1 in 300 women with no history of drug abuse will become persistent users. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that doctors often over-prescribe opioids for childbirth-related and reproductive procedures.
The cultural expectation that women are typically the primary caregiver often stalls treatment attempts. Methadone programs lack supportive services such as childcare and other necessary resources for women. The growing demographic across the country are women who are being treated with opioids in a medical setting and becoming addicted. Experts at the Women’s Health Research at Yale say that medical professionals tend to be gender-blind about opioid use among women.
The opioid epidemic continues to ravage lives in California and every other state, and children are often caught up in the middle. Those who have concerns about the well-being of a child or the parent he or she lives with may benefit from speaking with a lawyer. An attorney who has first-hand knowledge of opioid addiction and child custody issues can help determine what is in the best interest of the child.