Alcoholism and Family
The effects of alcoholism and family go from private pain when only the alcoholic suffers, all the way through a complete breakdown because of associated problems. A few of the problems associated with alcoholism illustrate the strain it puts on any family: legal, financial and health issues, violence, infidelity, and child abuse. The broad spectrum of harm doesn't end with the alcoholic parent themselves -- there is a strong link showing that alcoholism is more likely to appear in the children of alcoholics as they grow up.
With alcoholism and family, a very strong family foundation can help or hurt the chances an alcoholic will recover. On the one hand, a caring and supportive environment can make treatment more successful once it starts, but that same solidity can shield the alcoholic from the consequences of drinking -- delaying the start of treatment. It remains unfortunate that in the 21st century, alcoholism is still seen as something shameful that must be concealed instead of a disease that warrants treatment.
In a word, alcoholism creates chaos for families. One family member becomes a drain, both financial and emotional. This is even harder than a terminal illness, because the progression isn't predictable and extends over years. Several children may suffer their entire early lives from the same damaged parent. Divorce is common in alcoholism and family, but that, by itself isn't a solution.
The bottom line is that help is out there when dealing with alcoholism and family. Spouses and children can find aid, either separately or as a family. "Sister" organizations for family members of alcoholics exist with the sole mission of helping the forgotten victims of the disease -- those who love and care about an alcoholic.
To help alcoholism and family without spending a dime, and with complete anonymity, family members can share and get help online through forums and chats. Don’t let your own sense of helplessness or failure stop you from reaching out!
Alcohol is a poison. It kills the user and ruins their relationships. But there is hope for alcoholism and family. Take action – you are not alone.