Effects of Alcoholism on Family

effects of alcoholism on family

Effects of Alcoholism on Family

When people think of alcohol addiction, they may only picture the impact it can have on the lives of those who become addicted and overlook the impact on family. But the disease affects the family and friends of the addict in ways that you might not imagine. Learning how addiction can have a negative effect on families and friends of the person addicted to alcohol will help you understand that alcoholism is an issue that society needs to solve as soon as possible.

Physical abuse and financial instability are just of few of the complications to which you could be exposed if someone you love is combating addiction. Learning about the threat and what you can do about it will increase your odds of getting the person you love on the path to recovery. Read on to learn more about the effects of alcoholism on family.

Effects of Alcoholism on Unborn Children

Getting drunk can result in unplanned pregnancies, and not everyone will be able to stop drinking as soon as they learn about the child. You must take the time to understand how drinking can impact unborn children if you want to give them a fair shot at life.

Since unborn children share blood, oxygen and nutrients with their mothers, women who drink will pass the alcohol to their unborn child. This issue will increase the child’s chance of being born with defects that can impact physical features and mental functionality. Pregnant women who are addicted to drinking must seek help right away so that they can protect their unborn children from harm.

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Young children and teenagers of alcoholics will also feel the impact of the disease in ways they might not realize. When someone is facing addiction and does not know how to combat the problem, drinking becomes a No. 1 priority. Normal obligations and the well-being of children will take a backseat to the addiction, causing some parents to neglect their children. Because children want to look up to their parents, they will often blame themselves for their parent’s drinking problem.

When parents overlook the basic needs of their children, the children can experience low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. Those who are not old enough to cook or prepare meals are at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Teenagers of alcoholics will often lash out to get attention or to battle the negative feelings associated with watching their parents throw their lives away. The resulting damage can last for years and be difficult to reverse, and some children never fully recover. Unfortunately, many children of alcoholics will turn to alcohol as well.

Married to an Alcoholic

When you want to get a clear picture of how alcoholism impacts families, learning how it can affect spouses is difficult. In many cases, a person may have met their spouse before the alcohol abuse was deemed to be a problem. In other situations, a person may think they will be able to change their spouse after some time. 

Without the right alcohol abuse treatment, most people won’t escape from the problem, and it will only get worse as time passes. Since people addicted to alcohol overlook their daily obligations, spouses need to take on extra responsibilities. This may lead to resentment and ultimately a lack of support when the person abusing alcohol decides to seek treatment. 

Parents and Other Family Members

Parents and the other family members of alcoholics are often confused about how they should approach the problem, and everyone hates seeing addiction rob loved ones of their lives. People who are battling alcoholism will often ask to borrow money from their loved ones, and this issue can become complicated. On one hand, they don’t want to support the habit, but they also know that their loved one could opt to buy alcohol instead of getting food or paying rent. An alcoholic’s family members can face depression and other mental health issues themselves if they don’t know how to handle the addiction and the issues surrounding it.

Domestic Violence Secondary to Alcohol Abuse

Consuming alcohol can impair judgment and cause people to act impulsively, but alcohol withdrawals can cause agitation and mood swings. Whether or not alcoholics have access to alcohol, their family members may be exposed to domestic violence.

When alcoholism leads to domestic violence, it often starts as small acts of aggression and gets progressively worse over time, and it can cause lasting damage to relationships if nobody stops the problem as soon as the red flags present themselves. Yelling can turn into hitting and punching before the victims realize the issue has grown out of control.

Finding Help for Alcoholism

If you are the friend or family member of an addict or are addicted and want to stop drinking before you have an impact on family, you have come to the right place. When you enlist help from the staff at Springboard Recovery, we will learn about you and your unique situation so that we can craft a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Admitting that you need help and reading this guide are the first steps toward a solution, so you are already on the right track. Our caring staff will take you by the hand and guide you through the healing and recovery process to optimize your odds of reaching a favorable outcome, and you are invited to start right away.

Contact an addiction counselor now for help.

Photo Credit: Kevin Delvecchio

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Springboard Recovery was born from the passion and personal experience of its founders. We understand the real-world challenges of early recovery and are here to help and we are passionate about helping our clients lead balanced, healthy, and fulfilling lives.