How Alcoholism Affects the Family

Alcohol addiction affects not only the person struggling with substance abuse, but the people around them. Understanding just how alcoholism affects the family is a crucial part of the recovery process. Unfortunately, anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol is potentially causing psychological, financial, and social stress on their loved ones. 

Children of alcoholics face unique challenges growing up as the result of a parent’s addiction. Similarly, having an alcoholic son or daughter (or any loved one) can lead to family-related hardships. Watching someone you care about go through the struggles of a substance abuse disorder can be frustrating and frightening. An ability to grasp the problem and the ways you can be a positive influence for someone else are crucial in repairing the damage done by substances. 

If you or someone you care about is grappling with an alcohol abuse issue, there is hope and there is help. You do not have to handle it alone. Please call us today at 405-583-4390 for more information on alcoholism and treatment programs that can assist your family in getting life back in order.

How Alcohol Addiction affects Children

With recovery as a goal, understanding how alcoholism affects the family aids in both moving forward and healing.

Children of alcoholics are heavily impacted by addiction. The family environment may be filled with tension, uncertainty, and shame, which can lead to negative emotions and behavior. A child might believe they are the reason their parent drinks, and that the internal family dysfunction is their fault. In some cases, the major responsibilities of a parent fall on the child. Paying the bills, cleaning, and taking care of younger siblings are possible scenarios.

In addition, according to a study by the National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACOA), more than 11 million children live at home with at least one parent suffering from alcohol addiction. Children of alcoholics are often exposed to negative and unhealthy situations. 

For example, situations include: 

  • Inconsistent discipline
  • Emotional neglect
  • General disorganization
  • Violence
  • Mental, physical, and sexual abuse 
  • Feelings of emptiness or loneliness
  • A sense of abandonment

These situations can lead to conflicting emotions and a sense of instability in children. Feelings of guilt, anxiety, trust issues, and anger can result in unhealthy habits that may continue into adulthood. Some children adapt as normally as possible and have great strength and coping skills. Others do not adapt as well and might experience clinical depression, behavioral issues, and eventually substance abuse of their own. 

However, in these situations, the needs of both parents and children should be addressed. Children are greatly affected by their parents’ choices. They might feel angry at the drinking parent, or resentful toward the other for lack of protection and support. Consequently, these issues should be addressed as early as possible to corral negative behaviors that may develop over time. Personality traits and habits developed to cope with a parent with alcohol addiction can then be implemented in adult daily life. Learn how alcoholism affects the entire family with the help of our professionals. Contact us today.

Adult Life After Being Raised with an Alcoholic

Alcohol addiction and the family heavily impact each other. Over time, new personality traits and behaviors acquired in childhood can affect behavior as an adult.

Children may grow up fearing change and confining themselves to familiar environments. Anything out of their hands can trigger anxiety and stress. They may also have difficulty trusting others, which can negatively affect friendships and romantic relationships. Moreover, feeling let down by a parent with an alcohol addiction has made the child close off their heart as self-protection. However, a variety of issues can appear in children raised in an alcoholic home.

Potential emotional and psychological reactions and behaviors, for example, include:

  • Shame and loneliness. Keeping family secrets, such as substance abuse, can produce shame. A child feels judged based on their parent’s actions. This can translate to low-self esteem as an adult. 
  • Self-criticism. The child may be too hard on themselves, and may not understand how to forgive themselves when they make a mistake. Feeling partly responsible for the family’s dysfunction may lead to this. 
  • Perfectionism. Children may expect perfection in everything they do. They try to be perfect to avoid both internal and external criticism. They may also try to achieve excessively in work and social life to prove their value to others. 
  • People-pleasing. A person raised by an alcoholic may experience a strong need to be accepted by others and well-liked as an adult. As children, they may have experienced rejection and abuse, so they avoid conflict with others by any means possible. 
  • Extreme sensitivity. While some children might “close off their hearts” as adults, they might also be very sensitive. They are highly compassionate and caring while also afraid of criticism or rejection.  
  • Being overly-responsible. Children with an alcoholic parent may take on the parent’s responsibilities, such as paying bills, keeping the house functioning, or raising siblings. Consequently, they may try to take too much responsibility for others and their problems.

What is Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse and addiction can be a difficult thing to go through. Working towards sobriety is an important decision for anyone to make. Abusing alcohol can lead to some troubling events occurring, such as fights, both verbal and physical, driving under the influence, making poor decisions, and blacking out. However, effects of alcohol addiction on family include arguments and fights, as well as abuse.

For instance, alcohol addiction can also lead to many physical ailments:

  • Memory loss
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease

The reason that an alcohol addiction requires medical detox is that there are toxins that are built up over time from abusing the substance. The body chemistry changes because of the substance and starts to physically rely on it. This is why it can be dangerous to attempt detoxing alone. This is best done under the influence of medical professionals in a clinic. Making the decision to seek help and enter a rehab center can be a difficult decision, but it can lead to a life of happiness and sobriety. A treatment plan and its services will help you achieve success. 

In addition, alcohol addiction is a reliance on and abuse of alcohol. Those who have an alcohol addiction should reach out for help from a rehab center near them. Detoxing from alcohol abuse can be painful and even lethal in some situations. This is why supervised medical detox is necessary when treating alcohol addiction. Alcohol Addiction can impact all aspects of a person’s life, such as work and school, and even family and friends.

This is why it is important that all aspects of a person’s life should be addressed within a treatment plan. Many factors contribute to the reason why people abuse alcohol. However, all of them will have a unique struggle and path, and a rehab center will take into consideration everything about you. There are services within rehab treatments that work to address different aspects of the patient’s life, such as family therapy or one-on-one therapy. If you need more information about how alcoholism affects the family then contact us today.

How to Get Help for Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction can affect everyone in a person’s circle. Fortunately, when it comes to recovery and therapy, the entire family can benefit from treatment.

While a person works through their addiction struggles in a rehab program, the family can receive support as well. Family therapy is an excellent option that involves every affected family member. This can be an opportunity for parents and children to talk openly and address their feelings. The therapy improves parent/child communication, and aids in moving past the addiction towards forgiveness. Moreover, individual therapy sessions also contribute to either parent or child. Sometimes, just a sympathetic ear goes a long way. At the same time, therapy provides useful tools for confronting difficult emotions and situations that come with daily life.

Treatment Options Available

Remember, help is available, with a variety of methods focused on struggling families. The dilemma of family and alcohol abuse requires deep understanding and a willingness to fix what’s broken. Alcohol addiction does not have to be an ongoing issue in anyone’s life. Various treatment programs like inpatient and outpatient treatment exist. Services include therapy options and educational programs as well. 

In addition, receiving help from a rehab center is an important opportunity and should be safe and easy. This is why rehab centers only employ those who qualify and care about helping others. These employees sometimes have even dealt with addiction themselves and went through the rehab process just like you. However, they can offer support through your recovery process and help you achieve sobriety.

Starting Your Recovery Journey

Alcohol addiction affects many people, include both the patient and their family. It is important for the patient to come to terms with the effects of alcohol abuse on family. Understanding this helps them to move forward and heal from the past. Oftentimes, alcohol addiction affect children the hardest. It is difficult to see their parent, the person they look up to, suffer with substance addiction and not understanding their actions.

Furthermore, children with alcoholic parents lack knowing right from wrong because their parents cannot give them the guidance they need. These children may feel unsupported by their parents and this can invoke many negative feelings and actions. Confusion, depression, anxiety, and lashing out might be ways that children try to cope with a parent with an addiction. Some kids handle these situations very well and have great coping skills. Other children cannot handle these situations alone. Regardless, children of people with addiction deserve to get help and feel heard. It is important to work through these challenges as soon as possible, and understand that the parent must also receive help before anything can heal and get better.

Get Help Today

In conclusion, while it can be a difficult thing to do, getting help is necessary. Finding the right rehab center is necessary and important. Patients need to feel heard and understood. Treatment centers work on meeting the needs of each person and provide a specialized treatment plan designed for their unique struggles and path. Patients will have a chance to communicate all their problems in both individual and group therapy.

While the patient is in recovery, it is important to try and make amends. The patient works on coming to terms with who they might have hurt and how alcoholism affects the family. while under the influence. However, rehab offers time and a place to work through problems with family members and friends. This includes the patient’s children as they have also been affected by their parent’s decisions. These children will have a lot of complex emotions they may need help understanding and work through.

Family therapy is a great option for those working through alcohol addiction and who have children. How alcoholism affects the family is an important step towards recovery. Discovering the effect of alcoholism is one of the main priority of the rehab center.  Don’t forget, your family and friends care about you getting better and achieving your goals. A rehab center can make that a reality for you. Call (405) 583-4390 today for more information on how children and patients can work together during the recovery process.


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