Addiction Treatment for the Working Dad
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Updated: July 8, 2022

Addiction Treatment for the Working Dad

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that between 2009 and 2012,  an estimated 8.7 million children lived in a household with a parent with a substance use disorder.

Many men enter addiction treatment each year. However, very little attention focuses on their fatherhood and parenting status. It can be almost impossible for a parent to miss a month or more of work, which may be needed to complete treatment for substance abuse.

How Addiction Impacts Fathers

When battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is challenging to be the husband or father a family requires. Some of the most common causes of addiction among fathers include:

  • Relationship issues
  • Stress at work
  • Needing to decompress
  • Mental health conditions
  • Financial hardships
  • Having a parent or other family member who struggled with addiction

Barriers to Fathers Finding Treatment

Many barriers to addiction treatment may cause fathers to continue substance abuse longer, allowing their condition to deteriorate over time. Fathers may face some unique obstacles that get in the way of their recovery.

One of the most common is the stigma of confessing the need for addiction treatment. Stigma can produce a fear that causes people to believe they are weak because they need help. In men especially, admitting defeat can be difficult.

Men may fear failing as fathers or husbands if they seek treatment for their addiction. The fear of being separated from their children or feeling as though they can’t leave their daily responsibilities to help themselves heal can be overpowering. These concerns are enough to cause some men to avoid treatment.

Stigma can create fear that admitting an addiction or seeking treatment could have social consequences. Some additional stigmas and stereotypes associated with addiction include:

  • Judgment towards one aspect of an individual’s life
  • Life-long labels
  • Disgrace
  • Embarrassment or shame
  • Being treated differently than others
  • Feeling self-hatred
  • Feeling the need to hide behavior one is not proud of

Substance use treatment programs rarely incorporate a parenting component in their treatment planning. If there were more options for working dads to find treatment and continue daily living, the number of children growing up with parents in addiction might decrease.

Approaches to Help Fathers Recover

Scientific studies have implied that fathers' lack of knowledge and awareness of substance abuse approaches or treatment programs factors into seeking care. Furthermore, a survey of fathers entering outpatient substance use treatment found that 16% felt that they would like fatherhood or parenting-related issues to be part of their substance use treatment.

Dads have specific requirements, and the methods that often work best include:

  • Therapy sessions involving men only
  • Learning new coping mechanisms to handle anger, aggression, and stress
  • Managing risk-taking behaviors
  • Family counseling to re-establish interpersonal relationships and enhance communication at home
  • Outpatient treatment that can be scheduled around job or family commitments

A Father-Friendly Treatment Program

There are viable options available to fathers regarding alcohol or drug addiction treatment programs. One of the treatment options that may best fit the life of a working dad is an outpatient program.

There are several benefits of outpatient treatment programs, including:

  • Outpatient treatment fits a person's schedule. Integrating issues associated with fatherhood in an outpatient program schedule should inspire the fathers to engage and allow them to continue normal daily activities and still receive treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment is personalized according to the patient's specific needs. Inpatient treatment programs often involve participating in group therapy sessions. Some may feel that the individualized care they require for a successful recovery is lacking. With an outpatient program, fathers can tailor everything within the treatment process to meet their needs instead of participating in therapy as part of a group. The one-on-one interaction between a client and their therapist helps determine what works for them.
  • Outpatient programs are more affordable. Inpatient substance abuse treatment is usually more expensive because of the round-the-clock care provided. Outpatient programs are more affordable, and insurance companies may be more agreeable to paying for outpatient services.
  • Outpatient programs are more private. Some fathers might not want others to find out they are in a treatment program. An outpatient program takes place in an intimate setting, working one-on-one with a trained psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, or a licensed social worker. The one-on-one setting ensures there will be more privacy than in an inpatient program.

As a father, you want your children to look up to you as their hero, but if you are battling addiction, the effects of your substance abuse are guaranteed to impact your family.

Finding a treatment program that works with a person's job and family commitments is essential to moving forward in recovery. Finding practical treatment approaches may help to preserve the family unit.

If the cost of addiction has become insufferable for you and your family, seeking treatment is the first step to a more satisfying and wholesome life. If you are a dad or know a dad who struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, we are here to help. Present Moments Recovery center in San Diego, California provides an individualized approach to addiction treatment with many levels of care to foster a successful recovery. We focus on extended treatment that is less intensive to encourage long-term sobriety. At Present Moments Recovery, our outpatient programs can help form a firm foundation for your sobriety while allowing you to continue working to support your family. At our family-run treatment center, you will talk with therapists one-on-one in our nurturing environment, ensuring that all your needs are satisfied. Call us today and learn more about our treatment services at (619) 363-4767.


If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

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