alcohol effects on family relations

For those closest to a problem drinker, it is a difficult and emotional roller coaster.  They have likely heard the alcoholic say that it’s no one else’s problem and doesn’t affect anybody other than themselves.  They have probably tried to get them into an alcohol rehab or an inpatient alcohol treatment center without success.

If the alcoholic only knew how great the toll is on their loved ones, perhaps they would stop they think.  However, addiction knows no bounds and the alcoholic is often oblivious to the destruction they are causing the family.

Alcoholism is a Family Disease

Alcoholics come in all forms and you probably unwittingly know someone who is one.  Alcoholism does not discriminate.  Alcoholics may be rich or poor, have a husband or wife, have young or grown up children and brother or sisters.  They can completely disrupt family life and inflict physical, mental and emotional wounds that can last a long time.

According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, “Alcoholism is responsible for more family problems than any other single cause” and “76 million American adults have been exposed to alcoholism in the family.”  This is one of every four families.  If one of those four is you, there is no need to wait for the alcoholic to get help to seek to help yourself.  Contact an alcoholism treatment center if you are troubled by someone’s drinking.

Family Problems Created by Alcoholism

  1. Frequent Conflict Between Spouses, Constant Arguing: Alcoholics have a selfish nature and trouble being open to other peoples viewpoint.
  2. Jealousy: Alcoholics want to control their environment and can be easily triggered at perceived slights.
  3. Domestic Violence: Alcoholics can fly off the handle easily and have trouble controlling their physical impulses.  If this happens to you or your children, don’t hesitate to pursue counseling at an alcoholic rehab center.
  4. Economic Hardships: Alcoholics often lose their jobs or abandon working altogether to pay their addiction more attention.  Families of alcoholics often have financial troubles, paying bills and in some cases, losing their homes.
  5. Isolation and Divorce:  Alcoholism is an insidious disease and it wants the alcoholic to themselves.  They will often abandon their family both physically and emotionally, and divorce during alcoholism is common.  However, marriages can be saved, if they can get sober, often achieved at inpatient alcohol treatment centers.  Standard outpatient alcoholism treatment centers can help, but they are not as successful.

Family Coping Mechanisms

When the addiction becomes noticeable, family members will often express concern, which is typically given lip service along with denial.  They will be told that nothing is wrong and they have nothing to worry about.  Famous last words.

Soon, though, the addiction carries on and many deny the problems existence and change their own behavior to adapt to the alcoholic.  Many times they will be to abuse substances themselves to deal with or numb the behavior.  They might frequently apologize for the alcoholic. Sadly, though, they will have no idea how bad it will become.