Alcohol addiction has destructive effects that extend beyond the individual drinker, often permeating the lives of those closest to them—their families. The devastation alcohol use can cause to the family unit is very real, and it’s important for those affected to recognize how alcohol addiction affects their closest relationships.
At Michael’s House, we understand how difficult it can be for families dealing with a loved one with addiction. We provide patients with an alcohol addiction treatment program emphasizing the importance of family participation, and we work with patients to foster a healthy relationship between them and their families. Call us at 760.548.4032 to learn more about how alcoholism impacts a family and how to get your family’s support.
How Alcohol Addiction Impacts Family
Understanding how alcoholism impacts a family is crucial to recognizing why treatment must involve the family unit. Here is how alcohol addiction can affect certain members of a family:
Spouse with an Alcohol Addiction
When one spouse is drinking heavily, every joint endeavor may come to a halt. For one thing, it’s tough to maintain a budget. Daily binges can take a significant toll on finances. It is common for spouses of those struggling with alcohol addiction to experience a range of emotions, such as anger and self-pity. They may also avoid social situations and experience exhaustion. In some cases, they may even suffer from physical or mental health issues due to living with their partner’s addiction.
Parents with an Alcohol Addiction
Planning family outings and communication can be difficult and even painful when one parent is frequently intoxicated or fails to show up. Rather than the parents focusing on each other on their children, the sober spouse, and children’s attention is on the alcohol addiction. There can be so many difficulties surrounding it. These may include legal and debt or bankruptcy and marital issues.
Neglect and abuse of children are often the side effects of addiction when left untreated by the parent(s). Children who grow up in homes where one or both parents have an addiction often struggle with issues that follow them for the rest of their life.
The kids end up fending for themselves. They feel emotionally abandoned. Self-esteem issues often develop. This leads them to make those poor choices referred to earlier. This may play out as skipping school. They may have unprotected sex at an early age. Naturally, they might also join their parents in seeing alcohol and other drugs as a way to cope with all the chaos in their lives.
Teen Child with an Alcohol Addiction
When a child starts drinking excessively and develops a teenage alcohol addiction, it can cause significant disruptions in the household dynamics. It is common for parents to engage in arguments and place blame on each other for their teenager’s alcohol use. Additionally, they may have differing opinions on the most effective way to support and assist their child.
The other siblings may resent the fact that so much attention is given to the “troublemaker” in the family. This can lead to a feeling of neglect on the part of those siblings.
What Happens to the Fetus of a Mother with an Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is carried to all of a mother’s organs and tissues. This includes the placenta. There, it easily crosses through the membrane separating the maternal and fetal blood systems. When she drinks, the concentration of alcohol in her unborn baby’s bloodstream is the same level as her own. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, it can lead to the development of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in her baby. FAS is one of the top three causes of birth defects.
Seek Help for Your Family at Michael’s House
Following detox, family therapy, and alcohol addiction treatment for your family member with addiction, it is possible to rebuild a relationship and restore your family’s health. At Michael’s House, we understand the unique dynamics that come with addiction in families and provide effective treatment that can bring hope back into the lives of our patients and their families. With our help, you can begin to heal from the devastation alcohol addiction has caused. Contact us today at 760.548.4032 to learn more about how alcoholism impacts a family and get the help you need.