Here’s an alarming statistic: according to a study conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, around 18 million people suffer from alcohol use disorder. While a seasoned DUI defense lawyer can help you when you get in trouble because of DUI, there are other long-term repercussions you have to deal with.
Statistics show that drinking rates among US adults rose dramatically between 2002 and 2013. Often, it won’t take long for occasional alcohol use to turn into binge drinking. Ultimately, binge drinking turns into full-blown alcohol addiction.
Many people suffering from alcohol use disorder do not often realize that alcoholism is a family disease. In other words, it does not only take a toll on you, it can also have a profound impact on members of your family. In many cases, family members suffer as much as the alcoholics themselves.
How Alcoholism Affects Families
While alcohol addiction can damage the individual mentally and physically, it can also be a massive emotional burden to family members. If the individual has children, they can face increased harm risk as the all-consuming illness progresses.
Understandably, the impact of alcoholism on families can vary depending on the individual circumstances. However, below are some of the inevitabilities many alcoholics will eventually face.
According to the Research Institute on Addictions, alcohol abuse is considered one of the primary reasons couples seek counseling. Alcohol problems have also been linked to lower marital satisfaction—one of the main reasons for divorce in the United States. However, when a couple has an alcohol problem, they are less likely to divorce than when only one spouse has an alcohol addiction.
Alcohol addiction can make people unstable and impulsive. If the individual is a parent, their parental skills can diminish significantly as the disease progresses. Those with alcohol addiction tend to interact with their children inconsistently and send mixed signals.
A 2009 study published in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal stated that one of the most common mixed signals children receive from alcoholic parents pertain to acceptable alcohol use. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of underage drinking.
Also, when children’s basic needs are overlooked because of alcohol addiction, they can experience feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. The damage to their emotional and mental states might also last until they become adults themselves. Some children of alcoholics also have a huge tendency to turn to alcohol as well.
Some statistics indicate that children of alcoholics are more likely to have academic problems than those with parents who are not alcoholics. Parental anxiety and divorce stemming from alcoholism might also hamper a child’s emotional functioning and lead to psychological disorders.
Addiction is considered an expensive disease. Depending on a few factors like how much they drink and the kind of alcohol they drink, alcoholics can spend an average of $300 and $1,000 on alcohol monthly. In most cases, this can cause strain to the family budget.
Other financial problems can also occur as an indirect result of alcoholism. Case in point: a DUI conviction can cost thousands of dollars in court fees, fines, and car insurance increases. If an alcoholic gets involved in an accident, they can incur thousands of dollars in vehicle replacement costs or health care or hospital costs.
Another big blow to the family budget can also occur when an alcoholic loses their job because of alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, even a temporary income loss can have a substantial impact on the family’s budget.
Undeniably, domestic abuse is one of the most sobering effects of alcoholism. Abuse caused by alcoholism can be physical or emotional. People struggling with the condition can insult, humiliate, or manipulate members of their families. These are classic forms of emotional abuse.
Physical violence is also considered a very serious issue. According to a report by the World Health Organization, 55 percent of physical assault cases that occur between spouses occur when one or both parties have been drinking.
Since alcohol can minimize self-control by affecting physical and cognitive functioning, alcoholics are more likely to act violently when they get mad or frustrated.
While alcoholism is considered a family disease, it is reassuring to know that help is available. When a member of the family struggles with alcoholism, they should get help as soon as possible. It is also recommended that the family of alcoholics get some help as well. This is important so everyone involved can experience full healing and enjoy lasting and sustainable change.
About the Author
Michelle White is currently the Content Marketing Strategist for Arizona DUI Team. Aside from spreading awareness on DUI and vehicular-related offenses, she enjoys reading and hiking with her family and friends.
Last Updated on 7 months by Evan White