Opiate addiction impacts parents’ ability to keep children

Holly Solomon_360838

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Addiction to opiates and other drugs leads to parents losing custody of their children. After treatment, they can, in some cases, regain custody.

For Holly Solomon, the call came from her husband in September. She was asleep after working a night shift.

“He called and said, ‘Your mom took our kids,” she remembered. “I said, ‘What?’”

Solomon said her children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, were at daycare, so she quickly called the facility.

“I said, ‘Don’t let my mom pick up the kids,’” she said. “They told me I needed to contact the court.”

Solomon’s mother and step-father had petitioned for emergency custody of her children because she was addicted to painkillers. Solomon said her husband was too.

“In a way it is hurtful and nerve racking,” she said. “I think a little bit of all kinds of emotions.”

Solomon said losing custody of her children sent her into a depression and her addiction grew.

In fact, she said she started using meth to handle her emotions.

Subsequently, Solomon failed a drug test at family court and the judge restricted her from having any contact with her kids.

That led to her using drugs all day, every day, until November when she had enough. At rock bottom, she entered treatment at Turning Point in Southaven Mississippi.

Turning Point is a recovery residence and is a part of the Addiction Campuses recovery facilities.

Solomon has been sober since November 30, 2016.

“I had been abusing drugs now eight years,” she said. “Now that I am clean and sober I am working to mend my relationships.”

The exact number of parents who have lost custody of children due to opiate addiction is not clear. However, judges have said there is an increase in children entering foster care as a result of parental drug abuse.

Davidson County General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland runs the drug court. From the bench he has seen how drugs get between a parent’s love and their children.

He is not presiding over Solomon’s case.

“When you take a drug that is affecting your brain you start loving that drug more than you love your baby or you love your child,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It is the drug that is taken over your brain.”

He continued, “It’s telling your brain to love this substance over anything else, including your child.”

After treatment, that parental bond and love regains control, according to Judge Moreland.

“That is one of the ways we know in drug court our participants are starting to get better because all of a sudden the most important thing to them is regaining visitation of their children or regaining custody of their children,” he said. “They then start doing everything they can do, treatment wise, to get to that point.”

Solomon passed a drug screening at her most recent court hearing at the end of January. She has another hearing in February where she hopes to learn when she could regain visitation and custody of her children.

According to Solomon, her husband has relapsed, and as a result, she decided to separate from him.

Addiction Campuses has a 24/7 hotline at 1-888-614-2251. You can also contact them through their website at addictioncampuses.com.News 2 will take an in-depth look at the opioid crisis in Middle Tennessee throughout the day Thursday. Our Town Hall on the epidemic will air at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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