It’s impossible to overestimate how detrimental alcohol use disorder is. As physically and mentally damaging as it is to the individual, it can be a huge emotional burden on family members as well. If the person suffering from this all-consuming disease has children, they are at an increased risk of harm as the illness progresses. The effects of alcoholism on families vary depending on individual circumstances, but there are certain inevitabilities all alcoholics eventually face.
Alcoholism in Families: Neglect and Financial Problems
Physical and emotional neglect, as well as financial issues, are the two most common problems an alcoholic bestows on their loved ones. Neglect can take many forms, from not carrying out parental duties to growing distant from a partner. The nature of addiction means that the person suffering from the condition becomes ever more focused on the subject of their addiction. This is beyond choice; it’s a compulsion caused by changes to the reward centers in the brain.
Another fact of alcoholism is tolerance. As the illness progresses, the subject needs more drink to achieve the desired effects. If the person drinks daily, this can cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per day and up. This kind of financial burden can take its toll on anyone, regardless of their social class. Addicts often find that their debts mount as their propensity for earning money decreases. This can be devastating for a family.
Does Alcoholism Affect the Whole Family?
Alcohol use disorder has the most impact on the family members who live with the sufferer and see them daily. In many cases, alcohol causes people who were once peaceful to become aggressive and confrontational. In extreme cases, it makes the individual who drinks too much violent towards their wives, husbands and children. This can be especially true of those who have issues resulting from unresolved trauma that they have never received therapy for.
Once you have children, you are responsible for them and they look up to you as their main role model. If you do have mental health issues that you haven’t faced up to, you run the risk of perpetuating the cycle. It’s best to seek help as soon as the beginning of addiction rears its head, or you could pass down the problems that were handed down to you.
Husbands and wives of alcoholics often bear a heavy burden. They are usually the ones trying hardest to get their partner to seek help. If you are the spouse of someone with an alcohol problem, you don’t need to suffer alone. Seek professional advice, and try to avoid arguing with your spouse. Gently encourage them to get help, and be consistent. Involve as many members of their family as possible in your efforts, and stage an intervention to get them into rehab.
When it’s a younger person suffering from alcohol use disorder, the parents often bear the brunt of the issues associated with alcoholism. It can be an incredible challenge to separate yourself from feeling responsible for your child’s actions as a parent, but you must learn to separate the disease from your loved one. Many parents find that focusing their hatred on the disease helps them to love their addicted children and give the impartial help they require to recover.
Kids are so sensitive and soak up everything they see and hear around them. Often, the children of addicts become overly empathetic and sometimes even end up having to take care of their parents. This dynamic is extremely unhealthy and will have an emotional impact on them that lasts a lifetime. Even if they seem to be coping well, they are the ones who need protecting and looking after. If you’re suffering from this disease, you owe it to them to seek help.
Luckily, alcoholism is a treatable disease. It can be a dangerous process to try to do alone, but there are specialist clinics that can help you and your family get through it. Rehab is a life changer that gives you the tools and a starting point to get back on track to being the best version of yourself. Sometimes, it takes a little coercion to help someone see that they need to seek professional help, and education and positive encouragement are the best methods for doing this.
If you’ve realized that it’s time to seek help for the benefit of you and your loved ones, or you need to speak to an expert about how alcoholism is affecting your family, call Greenbranch Recovery now, at 833-272-6246.