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Alcohol abuse and addiction have bigger impacts on the family and other relationships of the afflicted individual. As much as the impacts are widespread, the immediate family and close relatives take the biggest toll. Understanding the adverse effects of alcohol abuse on family and relationships makes it easier to find and consider treatment from alcohol abuse centers and other intervention measures. Highlighted below are the effects of alcoholism to note.
Damaged Family Relationships
Alcoholism quickly destroys the strong and intact bonds between family members. When a family member starts drinking heavily, it becomes a struggle to create a strong emotional bond that was present before. The situation worsens when the problems start with the parents. The risks of negative interaction are higher when an immediate family member starts to drink. The situation worsens when they develop alcohol addiction. You should also note that marital satisfaction is also lower in a family where one or both adults are alcoholics. Most alcoholics lie or deny their condition, destroying the trust and confidence that existed among family members.
Increased Risk of Domestic Abuse and Violence
One of the adverse effects of alcohol abuse is the increased risk of domestic abuse and violence. There are low chances of making sound decisions or judgments when an individual is under the influence of alcohol. In this regard, afflicted individuals tend to act irrationally and, in the process, become violent towards their loved ones or people around them. Apart from physical abuse and violence, family members of alcoholics suffer from emotional abuse. Alcohol affects cognitive and physical functioning, increasing the risk of domestic abuse and violence.
Developmental Struggles in Neglected Children
The risks of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive problems are higher in children whose parents are alcoholics. These children experience physical and emotional abuse from their parents and find ways to cope with the situation as they grow up. The parents are also neglectful to these children’s physical and emotional needs, compelling them to look for coping mechanisms that, in most cases, are unhealthy. It becomes easier for these children to develop academic problems, have difficulty developing intimate relationships as adults and experience poor emotional development.
Damaged Communal Relationships
The struggles and hardships of the afflicted alcoholic’s family can spill into other people in the community. The relationship between the immediate family and community also gets tainted as the addiction and condition worsen. It becomes hard for children whose parents are alcoholics to interact and play with other kids due to shame and discomfort. There is also stigmatization from community members that makes it hard for families and children of alcoholics to interact and relate with others.
Increased Risk of Poverty
It is costly to sustain alcoholism. One has to spend more as the alcohol frequency increases. While alcoholics strive to quench their thirst, their families struggle with financial independence. The more these families struggle financially, the higher the risk of getting into poverty. There are also increased debts in the family as they borrow to sustain their basic needs with no means to pay them back. The financial struggles and debts take a big toll on the family, pushing them deeper into poverty.
As much as alcohol addiction is a treatable disease, its effects are widespread and can cause so much damage. The impacts are greater on immediate families and relationships. It, however, becomes easier to seek professional help and treatment to avoid the adverse effects when you have the right information and knowledge.