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Alcoholism and the Family

Alcoholism tends to cause problems for the entire family. Family members of the person with the alcohol addiction problem can develop anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related issues as a result of their loved one’s addiction. They will often bear the brunt of emotional outbursts, and may even suffer physical abuse, as alcoholics will often lash out at people who try to help them. 

Alcohol addiction has destroyed many families. Try searching for a nearby AA meeting if you have a family member, or a friend, who needs help. 

How Alcohol Addiction Affects Relationships

Someone who struggles with alcohol addiction may try to distance themselves from their families, to protect them from the effects of alcohol abuse. They also tend to lie and minimize how much they drink. However, this usually doesn’t work as families suffer from the financial and emotional implications of alcoholism. 

Alcoholism is also a leading cause of divorce and tends to lead to unstable parenting. Children of alcoholics can have more academic problems and could develop psychological disorders as a result of the constant stress in their lives. 

Financial Stress

Alcoholism is also expensive and may drain the family’s budget. Other related problems, such as being arrested for drunk driving and having to pay fines and court fees, can also lead to massive expenses. Vehicle insurance may also increase and if people were injured in an accident, it could also lead to significant healthcare costs. 

The family could also suffer major financial losses if the alcoholic ends up losing their job as a result of their disease. 


Alcohol abuse can also lead to emotional and physical abuse in the family. Alcohol reduces self-control and reduces critical thinking skills, which makes a person even more likely to react in a violent way. 


Alcoholism and the problems it causes, usually don’t go away on their own. Family therapy is also usually needed to help families find healthy ways to deal with problems. The alcoholic needs to find treatment, but it can be difficult to persuade them to find help.

Various support groups are available for alcoholics, as well as their friends and family. The aim of group therapy is also to help family members or friends understand that they’re not responsible for the alcoholic’s behavior. Therapy helps the family come to grips with the situation and find ways to deal with the challenges faced by their family members, or business. 

High-functioning alcoholics may sometimes refuse to go for treatment, as their addiction hasn’t had consequences on their lives yet. It’s essential to keep on trying to persuade the person to go for treatment. 

Psychologists now acknowledge that many problems such as addiction and depression, originate in childhood, and could be the result of a person’s upbringing. If the alcoholic struggles to express his or her emotions, they may also benefit from Inner Child Therapy

Final Thoughts

Alcoholism is a serious problem that can destroy not only the life of the alcoholic but affects their entire family. When there are young children involved, having an alcoholic parent leads to constant uncertainty and stress, which can lay the groundwork for mental health issues in adulthood. 

It’s important that the alcoholic should seek help and the family should receive counseling. Everyone should learn how to cope with the situation and how to develop healthier styles of communication. If the alcoholic is unwilling at first to get treatment, keep on trying to persuade him or her. 

Photo by Ramakant Sharda from Pexels

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