Frequently Asked Questions
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The effects of alcoholism on the family differ from what many people think. Some assume that only the person who suffers from alcoholism experiences negative consequences. The reality is that everyone in the household suffers, even families and friends outside the home.
Alcoholism is a family disease. The social effects of alcohol abuse can reach a person’s entire social network, like a ripple effect.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the short and long-term effects of an alcohol use disorder on family members, covering the short-term and long-term effects of alcoholism on the family.
When alcoholism is present in the home, relationships usually suffer. There are plenty of people who become mean, belligerent, or neglectful when they’re drunk. Others may become jealous, controlling, or run the streets half the night.
In the case of alcoholism in the family, the children experience neglect or abuse. Children of alcoholics can learn to fear their parents, which can cause significant harm to the psyche. They think, how can someone meant to love and protect them mistreat them?
The partner or spouse is likely to suffer as well. They may have to tend to the household or parenting duties alone, as their partner’s over-drinking makes them unreliable. This can cause plenty of arguments, resentment, and chronic stress.
It’s not uncommon for partners and loved ones to develop codependency characteristics too. They may begin enabling their loved ones, become insecure, depressed, anxious, controlling, and so on.
If the person drinking becomes angry and begins to break items or yell, household members may become anxious, wondering what might happen next. In worst-case scenarios, situations like domestic violence may take place.
If they go out all night, the family sits home worried until they get home safely. The erratic behavior causes loved ones a great deal of stress.
Excessive consumption of alcohol causes hangovers, which can affect the entire household the day after the drunken episodes. For the person struggling with alcoholism, nursing hangovers can cause them to miss work, be grumpy, skip self-care, and more. Their finances can suffer if they miss work or aren’t as productive.
Alcohol is expensive, especially when you drink often. This can undoubtedly cause financial problems due to money spent on alcohol, poor decisions, or legal issues. For example, someone who gets drunk may go on a shopping spree online or in person, whereas they wouldn’t have spent that money had they been sober.
Also, spending a lot of money at the bar is easy. Maybe you intend only to have a couple of drinks, but by the end of the night, you could have spent hundreds of dollars on yourself and others.
Around 50% of marriages end in divorce but when alcohol abuse is present in a household, the chances of divorce nearly triple. Alcoholism increases the chance of divorce immensely. Both partners get tired of the cycles of drama, arguments, emotional absence, and so on.
Side effects of alcoholism on the user include mental health problems like depression and anxiety. As the alcohol misuse continues and the family does not seek treatment, everyone is susceptible to negative mental impacts.
Children are always affected by alcoholism. Some will develop codependent characteristics, such as people-pleasing, walking on eggshells, repressing feelings, anxiety, disconnecting from emotions, and fear of abandonment.
Of course, the more dysfunctional the household, the more it will impact the children. It’s likely children won’t quite understand why their parent(s) have mood swings, aren’t there for them as much as they need, or pass out. Some believe it’s their fault, struggling with feelings of blame, shame, confusion, sadness, and anger.
Children may also grow up thinking drinking to cope is normal. They may grow up and begin drinking themselves. Some will follow in their parent’s footsteps and struggle with alcoholism. They may suffer similar problems with alcohol and relationships in and out of the home.
The effects of alcoholism destroy families. If someone in your household struggles with alcohol abuse, it will get worse before it gets better. The good news is that there are alcohol and addiction treatment programs available.
Here at Soul Surgery, we’re here to assist you and your family in finding the recovery you deserve. Our centers offer a variety of programs to fit your individual needs, including holistic therapies, support groups, and more.
Please call today (833) 568-6619 and talk to a substance abuse specialist to discuss your options. There is hope.
Published On: October 28, 2020
Updated On: November 14, 2022