INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A growing number of Indiana children are being removed from their homes with alcohol or substance use indicated as one of the removal reasons.
According to Indiana’s Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System report, in 52.7 percent of the cases when Department of Child Services removed children from their home, alcohol and substance abuse was listed as one of the removal reasons. That’s up from 31.7 percent in 2013.
The Dove Recovery House sees the reality of those numbers every day. They can serve 38 women at a time. Wendy Noe, the executive director there, says at least 90 percent of the women they serve are moms.
“We have to change the narrative about what addiction looks like because the reality is, it’s getting a lot worse, and we’re seeing more and more people being affected, especially young women who are being affected by the heroin overdose,” she said.
Chelsea Boggs is one of the women who went through the program at Dove Recovery House because of a heroin addiction.
“It did destroy my life,” she says.
Her addiction took away everything, including her daughter who was sent to live with relatives.
“I was more worried about going out and getting high and getting my drugs and wasn’t really being the parent that I knew that I could be,” she said.
But after spending nine months at the Dove Recovery House, she got her daughter back, and is now working at Dove Recovery House to help women who are in the same spot she once was.
“It’s helped me grow a lot as a person and a mother,” she says.
Noe says by changing the narrative surrounding addiction, we can better address the issue.
“We can’t ignore it away, we can’t shun it away, we can’t expect that it only affects a type of woman or a type of ethnicity or a certain income level because it’s not the case,” she says.
She says 90 percent of the women who go through their program suffer from some sort of trauma or PTSD.
“They are someone’s mother, someone’s sister, someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend. they don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘I can’t wait to go get high and not take care of my family or not take care of my children,’ this has been a progressive disease or an issue,” she says.
Although they have recently moved into a new location, Noe says they are full and there is a wait list.
“And that’s heartbreaking. The work that we’re doing is urgent, and we don’t have time for somebody else to just do the work because women are dying and kiddos are being raised by people that they don’t know and losing their moms,” Noe says.
For more information on Dove Recovery House, click here.