Addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate – it strikes people of all ages, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ethnic groups, socio-economic classes, and so on – yet statistically speaking, addiction is more common among men. In fact, males are twice as likely to report battling substance abuse and dependency issues as women. This makes it important to talk about men’s recovery issues, as they do exist…and this is especially true for fathers who are in recovery, or who are still struggling with addiction.
Fatherhood Can Be a Difficult Rite of Passage
Many wonder what it really means to be a man in our modern world. The “Man-boy” phenomenon characterized by movies dedicated to an immature lifestyle, like The Hangover series, highlights the fact that society often struggles with how to define male role models; men who have lacked such role models in their own lives can struggle with modern-day rites of passage and what it means to be a responsible adult. In secular, modern, peaceful society, when does manhood occur? When you get your first car? Graduate from college? Own a home? Most people would agree that becoming a parent means reaching adulthood. And while everyone wants to be a good parent, not everyone has the means or skills to do so, because these may never have been taught.
Father’s Day is coming up on June 16th, 2019. What does it mean to you, to be a Dad?
For Some, Fatherhood Did Not Stop the Addiction
For some, fatherhood came as a complete surprise. But even when a child was planned, children don’t come with a manual on how to be a good Dad. Here are some of the issues today’s fathers can face, whether or not they are struggling with addictions:
- Fears/feeling of inadequacy around how to parent properly
- Pressures around supporting the family
- Struggle to balance family time with increased work responsibilities
- Relationship stressors
- Lack of support from family and friends
- Loneliness and isolation as social circle shrinks
- Difficulty expressing intimacy and other feelings/emotions
Now add to these potential struggles, the problems of a father struggling with a drug dependency:
- Financial problems/inability to keep a job
- Concurrent issues of violence and/or mental health issues
- Guilt, shame and remorse around inability to parent effectively
- Ongoing conflict with spouse or partner as well as other family members and children, over the effect the addiction is having
- Interventions from CAS or other child welfare agencies
Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Addiction is Possible for All Men – Fathers, Sons, Uncles, Brothers, Husbands…
Studies show that men are more likely than women to abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with social or behavioural problems and stressors, such as parenting children. If drugs or alcohol have gotten in the way of your ability to be a good Dad, a present Dad, an involved and caring Dad, there is help. Perhaps your own father raised you with the “macho” philosophy that asking for help was a weakness and that you should handle all your own problems by yourself. But alcoholism and addiction are recognized as diseases, so trying to tackle them on your own can be compared to trying to cure yourself of diabetes!
Addiction is not a moral weakness. Help is available. And gender-specific addiction recovery services from Renascent, far from compromising your job status or family life, can actually save your career and help you meet your family obligations the way you’ve always wanted to.
If you or a man in your life is struggling with substance abuse, give them the best Father’s Day present of all: Call Renascent today for a free, friendly chat about alcohol and drug addiction rehab and treatment centre options. We have helped thousands of men celebrate Father’s Day in recovery and we can help you, too.