Show MoreThe Effects of Alcoholism on Family and Children
Society faces problems everyday, however individuals learn to deal with these
problems and solve them in the best way they can. One of societies problems that
has plagued human kind for generations and still is left unsolved is the problem of
alcohol abuse or Alcoholism. Alcoholism has been called the most serious drug
problem in terms of number of victims and cost to society. Why people get hooked
and why they betray family values has baffled scientists for years. The cost of this
terrible addiction, unfortunately falls into the hands of the children in the alcoholic
I chose to address the topic of alcoholism, because it is of…show more content…
the information was difficult, but was found to be valuable in the end. In helping
to organize I used a research notebook. So every time I found a new article I
filed it in my notebook so as to keep a neat record.
During my research process much was learned on the topic, foremost that
Alcoholism in the family is very dangerous, and as was stated before is a major
problem in society. Not only in America, but worldwide. In the family, family
members often become obsessed with the alcoholics behaviour. Family members
often become depressed, angry, frustrated, confused and need treatment as does
the alcoholic. This disease has created such a problem that almost every family
is affected by it. According to Joel Dinnerstien, a jewish rabbi and doctor,
"Alcoholism is accountable for fifty percent of all the cases brought to family
court"(Dinnerstien par. 11).
Anger, frustration, these are all outcomes of the terrible addition called alcohol
abuse. Injected into the family core before family members realize, this often
scary addiction sends a family into confusion. Some of the greatest pressures fall
on the children of alcoholics. Children usually experience their parents alcoholism
while they are in their maturing stages, and most often childrens minds are affected
for lifetimes. This is not hard to believe due to the fact that many
Alcoholism is a family disease because it affects the family as a whole and each member individually. Living with alcohol abuse means being in an unsafe environment filled with disruptions to normal routines, the tension of strained relationships, and dishonesty.
The disease of alcoholism affects every family member's life, attitude, and way of thinking perhaps more dramatically than it does for the drinker.
Although more than 10 percent of kids live with a parent who has alcohol problems, your family's situation could involve an alcoholic teen. There are over 600,000 kids ages 12 to 17 with alcohol use disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Alcoholism Takes Your Family by Surprise
With alcoholism, the heat is constantly being turned up, but nobody notices. Cunning and baffling! As a progressive disease. It may start out with casually accepting unacceptable behavior. Oh, he didn't mean that. He just had too much to drink last night. A few years down the road the behavior has slowly grown more and more intolerable, but it is still being accepted and becomes the "norm."
Your family ends up with chaos in your own home that a few short years ago would have been unthinkable. If you looked out the window and saw the same kind of things taking place across the street at the neighbor's house, you would probably pick up the phone and call 911 to get those people some help!
Alcoholism and the Children
Children lack positive role models in an alcoholic family and need stability to thrive. The alcoholic parent is dysfunctional. The other parent models enabling behavior and may be a victim of physical abuse. Children are sensitive to the arguments and psychological warfare going on in an alcoholic's home.
One minute mom is screaming and threatening him with everything from divorce to death. The next minute she may be compassionately rescuing him from the consequences of his latest episode by dutifully cleaning up his messes, making excuses for him and accepting an increasing degree of unacceptable behavior.
The Partner As the Enabler
As the alcoholic behavior escalates and becomes routine in your own home, the last thing that would occur to you is to get help. You've been slowly drawn into the thinking that you should protect the alcoholic because you care. You cover for him, lie for him and hide the truth. You keep secrets, no matter how bad the chaos has become.
"Protecting" him by telling lies has actually created a situation that makes it easier for him to continue (and progress) in his downward spiral. Rather than help the alcoholic, and yourself, you have actually enabled him to get worse.
When Will Your Loved One Get Help?
The disease of alcoholism typically continues to progress until the person is ready to reach out and get help for himself. However, waiting for that to happen is not your only choice.
Family members can begin to recover whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not by contacting an Al-Anon Family group, SMART Recovery Family & Friends, or other outreach organization for support and advice.
There is hope and help out there. You just have to take the first step.