New BBC Documentary: Family Rehab

The BBC has just released a documentary that looks into the world of the UK’s sole rehabilitation centre where children are allowed to stay whilst their parents attempt to get sober and stay sober.

The rehab concerned, Phoenix Futures, offers the service despite the obvious recklessness of combining parenting and addiction. Parents attend the rehab centre as a final warning. If they trip up, they will have their children immediately removed from their care.

The documentary is called ‘Addicted Parents: Last Chance To Keep My Children’ and you can watch both episodes by clicking here.

This particular service is offered through Phoenix Futures Specialist Family Service. It is unique in the United Kingdom. No other rehab centre allows children to attend whilst their parent undergoes rehabilitation.

Phoenix Futures offers a six-month rehab programme for families who successfully apply. If parents fail to remain sober for this period, they risk having their children put into the care system.

This BBC documentary offers viewers a candid look inside its inner workings. You will be shocked and surprised by this unique offering from the BBC. You will gain an appreciation of how the process works. Key workers explain how family rehab works. You will also learn the deep emotional reasons that cause parents to become addicted to drugs and alcohol in the first place.

The parents offer an excellent analysis into why they resort to drug and alcohol addiction. The documentary takes you on an emotional roller coast from start to beginning. The raw emotion of parents really shines through. The documentary explains the nuances of addiction and helps to remove some of the attached stigma.  Many of the parents suffered from sexual abuse and neglect in their own childhood, and addiction treatment aims to help them overcome these issues so resorting to drug and alcohol abuse is no longer the solution to helping them fight away these traumas.

Many of these parents stumble along the way in meeting their recovery goals. For instance, you gain an understanding of the initial detox/withdrawal process. You also gain an insight into the very real risks of being asked to leave the rehab and the associated loss of child custody that this would entail.  In the end, you will begin to sympathise with these parents and root for their success.

You also learn about the process from the children’s point of view. The documentary reveals the inner thoughts and emotions experienced by these children whilst they themselves see out this peculiar process.

One teenage boy attempts to help his mother by telling her not to berate herself for relapsing. Another girl motivates her mother to press on with the process even when her mother seems to be considering defeat. These children offer views a rare look into a world that was hitherto invisible to the vast majority of people who have no experience assisting people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.