Alcohol abuse is a major problem in this country. Alcohol is easily accessible and no one can tell you how much you can purchase in any given period of time. Alcoholism is a silent killer in many ways; and it can take everything from you. Children suffer from the affects form alcohol indirectly and without their parents meaning to cause them harm. Most parents do not even realize what they are doing to their children and their family. Once they realize what has happened it is too late they already lost their family and possibly their jobs and by this point they are so addicted to the alcohol that they cannot quit.
An entire family can be killed by one drunk driver. An entire family can suffer the affects from one family member being an alcoholic. It can also cause many health problems for the entire family and is a slow death for the alcoholic. Automobile accidents kill more than seventeen thousand people in 2003. There were more than six hundred thousand that were seriously injured. This is a tragic situation in this country that costs more than one hundred and fourteen billion in 2000 (Hogan, 2005). Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive illness that displays symptoms in the different stages of the addiction.
Alcoholism is an addiction that can be a life threatening disease. They may hide their addictions from their families but if you look hard enough at it you can see it. Alcoholism is considered a family disease because it affects the entire family. Children that have gone to an Alateen group report that they have more problems dealing with the parent that is the non-drinker than with the parent that is the alcoholic. Not only is the alcoholic parent getting into trouble or causing problems within the family they are also the ones that are predictable (HelpGuide.org). Some symptoms of an alcoholic are physiological such as hand tremors and blackouts, psychological which would create an obsessive desire to drink, and behavioral problems that cause problems at home and at work (Parsons, 2003).
). The child will know when to ask the parent to go to a friend’s house or to get some extra money. They will know the routine of the parent that is the alcoholic, but the non- drinking parent will not be as predictable. They will be stressed from handling the family and the alcoholic spouse (Parsons, 2003). Children who have alcoholic parents will most likely have low self esteem, loneliness, guilt, feelings of being helpless, fears of abandonment, and chronic depression (Parsons, 2003). A young child may have nightmares, problems with bed wetting, and do a lot of crying. They probably have few friends and are afraid to attend school. Older children may show depressive symptoms such as being overly obsessed or a perfectionist, they may hoard items, be self conscious, and have problems making friends (Parsons, 2003). They had a very unstable home environment, and they tended to get into more trouble like lying, stealing, fighting, and being truant at school (Parsons, 2003).
A mother who drinks while she is pregnant will affect her unborn baby before its first breath. Children who have alcoholic parents will most likely have low self esteem, loneliness, guilt, feelings of being helpless, fears of abandonment, and chronic depression (Parsons, 2003). Birth defects are very common with children whose mothers drank alcohol when they are pregnant. Some of those health issues are brain damage, learning disabilities and other health issues.
Alcoholism does not only affect the children in the family but also the spouse may suffer. They may feel self pity, hatred for their spouse putting them in that situation, they may avoid social events and may suffer from exhaustion and may become physically or mentally ill (Parsons, 2003). Marital problems often start due to the alcohol abuse and are the leading cause for divorce in this country.
Other issues can arise from a family member being an alcoholic. They tend to become codependent, which is an unconscious addiction to another person’s abnormal behavior. When the alcoholic has a period that they are sober it will give the codependent a false belief that the problem can be solved. A person that suffers from codependency is usually the eldest child. They often spend most of their time trying to get the alcoholic to quit drinking or finding a way to control the drinker (Parsons, 2003). They are often also the enabler; they tend to get the alcoholic out of trouble therefore they are enabling the alcoholic to drink more. They do not realize the damage they are causing and the harm that they do to the family. Some symptoms of an alcoholic are physiological such as hand tremors and blackouts, psychological which would create an obsessive desire to drink, and behavioral problems that cause problems at home and at work (Parsons, 2003).
Alcohol Abuse<br />Is easily accessible<br />No one is exempt from becoming an alcoholic<br />No age limit<br />Affects everyone in the family<br />Affects can go unknown for a very long time<br />Most deny they are alcoholics<br />Have trouble finding strength to quit<br />
Family Loss<br />Entire families are affected by one of them having an addiction to alcohol.<br />Innocent people die in a heart beat<br />Many that you love may be harmed<br />Causes many illness to the alcoholic<br />
Children of Alcoholics<br />Are left to care for them selves<br />To care for other siblings<br />To care for the alcoholic parent<br />Learn to take advantage of the alcoholic parent at opportunist moments<br />Have nightmares<br />Trouble with bed wetting<br />May get into trouble<br />Grades drop in school<br />
Children of Alcoholics<br />May become obsessed or perfectionists<br />Don’t make friends easily- have few friends<br />Home stress prevents homework to be done <br />Tend to repeat grades <br />Higher drop out rate<br />Less likely to attend college<br />
Spouse of Alcoholics<br />May enable the alcoholic to continue<br />Feel self pity<br />Hatred of spouse<br />Avoid social events<br />Suffer from exhaustion<br />Become physically or mentally ill<br />Spend a lot of time trying to get them to quit<br />May divorce spouse<br />
The alcoholic<br />May be in denial<br />Codependent<br />May be sober for a period of time giving a false sense of hope to family<br />Have destructive behaviors<br />Feel guilty but can not change<br />Have health problems<br />