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Are Children a Hindrance to Moms Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment?

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Rosiland Tompkins-Whiteside has lived drug free for close to 20 years now.

As executive director of Mothers in Crisis, an agency that helps deliver mothers from substance abuse, Whiteside credits her young daughter as motivation to get clean.

"Once I was pregnant with her I stopped completely, and that was for the first time in 12 years. Then after she was born, just taking care of her and watching her grow, I just wanted to be a good mother," says Tompkins.

FSU professor Dina Wilke says a survey of about 1,300 women in this situation has shown her that some mothers may resist treatment because of fear of losing custody of their children or acknowledging a drug problem.

"There are some ways they could have a beneficial role, and in some very big ways, they could really get in the way of women successfully completing treatment. That has nothing to do with the desire to change her life," says Wilke, who has found feelings of guilt, depression, and low-self esteem as factors which cause a woman to take the extra step of seeking and completing substance abuse treatment.

This study is published in the journal "Child Abuse and Neglect."


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