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Child custody rights terminated because of addiction

Drug addiction is a severe epidemic, and children are usually the casualties. More and more children are removed from their parent's custody because of substance abuse. Experts say heroin is the most common drug of choice, making it the most difficult to treat, and the pain from withdrawal often has serious complications. In California, child custody rights are often terminated to protect the children of addicts.

Experts worry about the long-term effects on children who spend their childhood watching their parents get high. Sometimes, children who see a parent passed out from drug use are not sure if their mother or father is dead or alive. Children of addicts are used to taking care of others, often putting others ahead of themselves. Studies show that drug addicts can become good parents once they are free of drugs.

In the two years that a judge forced a heroin addict to turn over custody of her daughter, the woman has completed all the required treatment programs. She has gone above and beyond, following through on everything that Child Protective Services asked her to do, including attending parenting classes. The 29-year-old mother has been preparing for her daughter's homecoming, and she is happy that she gets a second chance now that she is clean and sober.

Many people find themselves caught up in the endless battle of addiction. Child custody rights are likely to be revoked and custody is given to another family member because of a parent's active addiction. In California, those who have concerns about children living with a custodial parent with addictions may benefit from consulting with an attorney knowledgeable about drug addiction and child custody issues.

Source: krem.com, "Heroin's Children: Rebuilding a childhood lost", Taylor Mirfendereski, Feb. 23, 2018

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