When someone is addicted to alcohol, they are not the only one who suffers from this disease. Alcoholism impacts anyone that is a part of the alcoholic’s family, including their spouse, children, siblings, parents, and close family friends. As such, alcohol use disorder is often referred to as a family disease. For example, when some people drink, they become over joyous and happy. Then, some alcoholics become sad and depressed. Yet others can be quick to anger. As a result, there are numerous ways alcohol addiction and how it affects the family occurs because alcoholism is a rather complex disease that impacts families differently.
#1: Couples who drink together could both develop alcoholism
It is very common for couples to drink together. When one person starts to abuse alcohol, it is equally common for them to want their partner to drink along with them. Initially, the loved one might resist, but eventually, they could give in to peer pressure. Once they do, they could be on their way to becoming dependent on alcohol, as well.
#2: Children in homes where one or both parents drink are more likely to become alcoholics
Many children have difficulties expressing how alcohol addiction in their family affects their lives. They could feel embarrassed and not want to share the problem with others openly.
Unfortunately, they look for other ways to cope, and one such coping mechanism is to turn to the very thing that is hurting their family – alcohol. Once they start down that path, alcohol could be the gateway that leads to behavioral problems, using drugs and becoming an addict themselves.
#3: Alcohol abuse causes a person’s moods and behaviors to change
There are several ways that alcohol abuse can damage family relationships, such as:
- An increase in psychological and emotional abuse like making hurtful remarks or threatening violence
- The potential to physically abuse loved ones
- The potential for sexual abuse
- Increased risk-taking that could lead to infidelity, experimenting with drugs, driving under the influence, etc.
- A sense of resentment towards one’s family that could lead to separation and divorce
- A desire to encourage others to drink, like offering alcohol to the children
- Withdrawal from the family when they express concerns about drinking
- Attempting to hide drinking from family and friends
#4: An increase in financial problems for the family
Alcohol abuse does have impacts on the family’s finances as well. As a person becomes dependent on alcohol, they will spend more and more money on it. Furthermore, to achieve the desired effects of alcohol, they have to consume larger and larger quantities.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for alcoholics to branch out and start abusing drugs, resulting in more money going out to support their substance abuse habits.
Not to mention, as a person progresses through the stages of alcoholism, they will eventually get to the point they have to constantly drink just to function. As such, they could lose their job, resulting in a loss of income for the family.
#5: The family member with the alcohol abuse disorder will put their needs first
Alcohol addiction will cause the addicted family member to put their needs above anyone else’s in the family. For example, their spouse asked them to pick up a birthday present to celebrate their child’s birthday on their way home from work.
However, some of their co-workers say they are going out drinking after work. The alcoholic would reason that they could have a few drinks with their co-workers, get the birthday present, and be home in time to celebrate their child’s birthday.
Yet, what typically occurs is the alcoholic will remain at the bar drinking until they are cut off, or the bar closes, completely ignoring their responsibilities and ensuring their need to drink remains the top priority.
#6: Alcoholism affects childhood development
Children of alcoholics can experience a wide range of emotions and feelings that impacts their development. The actions of the alcoholic in the home can affect children’s perceptions of what a typical family is supposed to be like. For instance, they can grow up believing that it is perfectly acceptable to drink excessively, cuss and swear, and throw things when they get angry.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Atlanta
When families are involved, alcohol rehab treatment programs need to focus on not just treating the addict but also their loved ones. The ways alcohol addiction and how it affects the family must be addressed for the entire family to start their journey of recovery and sobriety.
Family alcohol addiction therapy helps treat the entire family in an encouraging, supportive, caring, and safe environment to address the negative feelings and emotions brought about by alcohol abuse. Addressing the disease’s impacts on the family is vital to the recovering addict’s long-term success.
When you are ready to take the first steps to recover from your alcohol addiction, Buckhead Behavioral Health is here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact us at 908-489-5564 to learn more about our customized alcohol addiction treatment programs and family therapy programs today.