5 Ways Alcohol Addiction Affects a Family
Alcohol addiction is, unfortunately, a common issue that affects millions of people. When a person is dependent on alcohol or suffers from true alcohol addition, it can have far-reaching effects on both the individual and his or her family members. For many people, it’s the consequences to family members that form the motivation to find freedom from addiction. Here are five ways alcohol addiction affects a family, along with important steps to take if you are dealing with alcoholism.
1. Broken Relationships
Perhaps one of the most devastating effects of alcohol dependence or addiction is the emotional toll on family members. People dependent on or addicted to alcohol can exhibit extreme emotions such as anger and depression. These intense emotions can occur both during use and when sober. A person with alcohol dependence usually sees worsened relationships with the spouse, children, parents, and close friends.
2. Financial Difficulties
Alcohol dependence or addiction can also lead to financial difficulties for the individual and his or her family. Alcoholics may not be able to hold a job and may find it difficult to be sober enough to find new employment. Additionally, a person dependent on alcohol will often ignore budget concerns to buy it and may even go into significant financial difficulty to continue consuming alcohol.
3. Potential for Other Addictive Behavior
Sometimes an addiction to a single substance will open the door to further addictive behavior. An alcoholic may suffer from additional addictions to prescription or illicit drugs, food, or nicotine. This addictive behavior can manifest in several other ways including addiction to gambling, pornography, or video games. Dependence or addiction can also hinder a person from developing sufficient impulse control and can lead to a pattern or risky decisions.
4. Health Problems
Alcohol dependence and addiction have both immediate and long-term consequences to health. Immediate problems associated with drunkenness include nausea, headache, and loss of awareness. There are numerous potential long-term problems too including heart disease, liver problems, cancer, and memory loss. It can be extremely difficult for family members to watch an addict continue in destructive behaviors without regard to the immediate and long-term consequences.
5. Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are dependent or addicted to alcohol, chances are you will suffer from a variety of withdrawal symptoms when not consuming alcohol. These can include emotions such as depression, anger, and irritability, as well as temptation to ignore work and family obligations in order to start drinking again. Sometimes it can be difficult to self-diagnose alcohol dependence, especially when dealing with withdrawal issues. However, there is a wealth of helpful information on sites such as addiction.com to help addicts and family members understand addictive behavior and learn to how to deal with it effectively.
Despite significant negative consequences, alcohol dependence and addiction are very common struggles. It can be difficult for individuals and their families to diagnose dependence and find effective methods of treatment. However, there are several signs of alcoholism and its effects to help determine whether or not drinking is becoming a problem. Additionally, there are multiple sources for help including websites, physical rehabilitation centers, and medical professionals. For some people, simply reading articles about the signs and consequences of addiction is the first step toward realizing the problem and seeking help.