School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


John C. Thomas


Methamphetamine Addiction, Recovery, Phenomenology, Counselor Educator and Supervision, Stigma, Child Welfare


Counseling | Psychology


Methamphetamine related consequences continue to darken many families and communities. Multiple service provider types are often overburdened in dealing with the reality of methamphetamine misuse (Brownstein et al., 2012). This research explored the impact of the methamphetamine epidemic with a specific focus on mothers with methamphetamine addiction. Mothers present with a myriad of challenges, and inadequate contextual information exists to address these challenges (Alexander et al., 2018; Bathish et al., 2017; Cunningham & Finlay, 2013). This qualitative heuristic inquiry sought to illuminate experiences of methamphetamine addiction in mothers. The qualitative research questions sought to give a voice to the lived experiences of methamphetamine addiction, child welfare involvement, Moms off Meth group participation, and recovery. Participant interviews, as well as archival survey data, provided voluminous data for individual, composite, and exemplary depictions for thematic findings. This study can benefit the counseling and counselor supervision/teaching field with an increased understanding of methamphetamine addiction/recovery in child welfare involved mothers. The findings give insight into the complex dynamics of this phenomenon, as experienced by the Moms off Meth members, and reveals the common experiences related to empowerment/disempowerment, escape, self-medication, co-occurring disorders, domestic violence, and shame. Application of the findings highlight opportunities for providing supportive elements from the Moms off Meth group member experiences to provide child welfare involved mothers who misuse substances the opportunity for safety, accountability, advocacy, and empowerment.