Sunday, February 10, 2008

Helping Mothers and Children Recover from Drug Addiction

In this morning's Birmingham News there are two great articles about Lovelady House in Birmingham. I had never heard of this place before I read the articles this morning. Apparently Lovelady House serves women who have been in prison for drugs by offering them a safe place to live, job training and classes to improve their lives. But the most incredible thing they offer is a place where children can come and be with their mothers during the process.

The first article is Drugs divide mothers from children, but Lovelady Center restores relationships

I completely disagree with the headline. Drugs don't divide anything....LAWS do. No drug ever ripped a child away from its mother and placed it in the care of strangers. No drug ever put an addicted mother in prison instead of in treatment. Only cold, power hungry, heartless human beings would do that to one another. Despite the headline the article is very good.

The second article is Children of Drug Addiction Face Risks Beyond Drugs

I would love to be able to volunteer some time at Lovelady House. When my foot heals I plan to do just that. I support any program that aims to reunite mama's and babies. That my friends is a most beautiful thing. Restoration of the family unit is a very important part of harm reduction and drug policy reform.


Julia said...

I like that you are providing resources for mothers who are addicts and children caught in the crossfire. I would just like to offer my experience as a recovering drug addict and mother. Although I didn't end up in prison I lost my son to the system. Looking back on that it was the best thing that could have happened. If I wasn't bringing my son around various drug houses or using around him, I would completely abandon him with anyone who would take him, sometimes for weeks at a time. Although I knew what I was doing was wrong and I wanted to be the mother he deserved, I couldn't stop using. I am thankful for the courts stepping in when I clearly was putting my child in danger. Today I have custody of my son and I'm living a great life in recovery.

Julia LeGene

Loretta Nall said...

Hi Julia,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I should have been a little more clear about what I meant. Yes there are times when intervention is necessary for the safety of a child.

From what you described in your own personal case that was probably best. But there are cases where marijuana is the only drug involved and the children are taken and the mothers placed in prison. Those are the ones that are just so wrong. I can understand removing a child if there is a meth lab....but not if there is just some green plant material and nothing else. That is what happened in my case. DHR tried to take my children over weed. I won that battle though.

Placing anyone in prison for an addiction is wrong. Prison is no cure for addiction. Addicts need medical attention, love and support and if they are mother's then their babies are a huge part of recovery. Generally no effort is made to ensure that mothers and children have the opportunity to repair relationships. That is why I think this place is so great.

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