The Effects of Alcohol Abuse On Your Family

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The effects of alcohol abuse can touch every area of your life, and the family of an alcoholic can be hurt worst of all by their loved one’s problem. In fact, alcoholism is thought of as a family disease, and the recovery process often involves the entire family. The effects of alcohol abuse can hurt every member of the family and manifest themselves in a variety of ways.

What are the Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Family?

Finances
Alcohol abuse can hurt the family economically. If an alcoholic spends money on drinking every day, the amount can add up and cause serious financial problems for the family. In addition, alcoholics may lose their jobs or be unable to work because of their problem. These issues can put added financial strain on other members of the family.

Stress
The worry and stress caused by an alcoholic’s drinking problem can be an issue for members of both the immediate and extended family. If someone is out drinking all day or night, family members will likely worry about where they are and whether or not they are safe. Family members can develop an ever-present concern for their loved one’s health. This is one of the most harmful effects of alcohol abuse because the stress may be detrimental to other areas of their life, including their job, schoolwork, or personal health.

Romantic Relationships
Relationships between married couples or partners are often damaged by an alcoholic’s behavior. Alcoholics will often put their need to drink before the needs of their partner. As a result, a partner may feel neglected, unimportant, and undervalued in the relationship. Alcohol abuse can also change the way a person acts. A person who was previously calm and reasonable can become angry and hopeless under the influence of alcohol. This change in behavior can lead to arguments and general unhappiness. Many times, the partner of an alcoholic will feel like their relationship is no longer tolerable, which results in divorces and separations.

Children
One of the biggest effects of alcohol abuse is the way it is damaging to children. Children learn from the behavior of others, and alcoholic parents are setting a dangerous example for their kids. An alcoholic parent may inadvertently put their addiction before the needs of their children. Kids can be deprived of much needed attention and feel unloved. If their parents split up because of an alcohol problem, children will miss an important parental figure in their life. When an alcoholic seeks treatment, they are setting a positive example for their children.

Children can also be harmed by alcohol abuse before they are born. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant, the alcohol in her blood can cross into the fetal bloodstream. As a result, the baby can develop Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome causes birth defects, learning delays, and speech difficulties.

The effects of alcohol abuse on the family are wide-ranging and severe. If an alcoholic chooses to get help for their problem, family relationships can improve dramatically. Family members can encourage an alcoholic to seek help for their problem.