Familiy of Alcoholics

Alcoholics inflict both physical and emotional damage to their families with their negligence, violent tempers, erratic behavior and irresponsibility. Families of alcoholics often suffer from abuse and are the innocent bystanders and indirect victims of alcoholism. Although alcoholism can be exceedingly trying on loved ones, the family unit is the most powerful force in helping in the recovery process. By working with a loved one to get them the help they need for their drinking problem, family members are demonstrating their commitment to helping them get well and illustrating that all hope isn't lost. Oftentimes, family can be one of the only things that can bring an individual out of depression-related alcoholism. It's important to remember, however, that it's ultimately up to the alcoholic whether or not they wish to receive help.

What Types of Damage Occur within Families of Alcoholics?

Studies have linked a number of negative trends in family function to alcoholism. Families of alcoholics encounter myriad short- and long-term problems, such as:

  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse/neglect
  • Financial hardship
  • Physical and psychological trauma
  • Abandonment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

In addition to the above risks, children of alcoholics are at greater risk to inherit alcoholic tendencies and all the behaviors that come with.

Children and Alcohol Abuse

Although the general perception of families of alcoholics assumes that a parental figure is the one with the disease, there are many families that struggle with juvenile alcohol abuse as well. These cases often occur with seemingly no cause or warning. Children between the ages of 15 and 20 are more likely to binge drink than any other age group, and parents often don't realize the extent of the problem until tragedy strikes. While it's increasingly difficult for parents to prevent their children from drinking altogether, every effort must be made to educate, monitor and communicate with them regarding the dangers of alcohol abuse and addiction. Although children tend not to drink as frequently as adults, the amount of alcohol consumed per occasion – an average of five or more drinks – is significantly higher.

How Families Can Help

As the group of people usually hit the hardest by alcoholism, families can make or break one's journey toward recovery. The blending of family and couple's counseling with alcohol treatment has proven effective in one's pursuit of sobriety, while simultaneously helping to improve life at home. Another way families of alcoholics can play an important role in alcohol treatment is through organized intervention. If someone you love has developed an addiction to alcohol, you have the power to get them the help they need.

Contact the National Alcoholism Center anytime toll-free at (888) 515-7704 or through our online form for our recommendations of the best alcohol treatment centers for you or your loved one!

Alcoholism treatment should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a professional licensed treatment facility.