How Does Alcohol Addiction Affect Families?
Alcoholism is a recognized problem which is very common in many countries around the world. It is a condition that is brought on by the excessive use of alcohol. After a while, the need for drinking the alcoholic beverage is an impulse that the person needs to abide by. People who are alcoholics for a long period of time will develop severe medical problems such as kidney and liver failure, heart problems, blackouts , and even death.
The drinking of alcoholic beverages has been done for thousands of years by every civilization. Wine and beer are the most common types of alcoholic beverages in many of the countries today. With the proliferation of alcohol, it is no wonder that there is such a large problem with the abuse of alcohol in the world today. In Canada, it is estimated that 75% of the population drinks alcohol to some extent. Up to 4% of the population suffers from severe liver cirrhosis , with a mortality rate of about 2200 people each year. It is also estimated that the average amount of drinks per adult is up as high as 10 drinks a week.
While these numbers might seem high, Canada is, in fact, on par with many of the western countries. One way that these numbers to stand out is how alcoholism impacts families. Alcoholism can invade a family very easily if someone has succumbed to this debilitating issue. Alcohol addiction can inflict anyone, in any walk of life. For the most part, alcoholism is a part of many families’ lives through a parent or a teenager.
Alcoholism is one of the biggest disruptions in family life. Out of the 75% of the Canadians, 20% are underage drinkers. This means that there are many teenage drinkers that are looking at a life of alcoholism if some sort of intervention is not done. In a family setting, a teenager who has a drinking problem can put a severe strain on the unit as a whole.
Many teenagers begin drinking because of hereditary factors. It has been studied, rather extensively, the link between new drinkers and the possibility of the "drinking gene" been passed down from their parents. While there is no definitive gene that has been singled out, there has been significant progress in this field of study. However, it is the problem within the family that teenage drinking causes.
When it is determined that an underage drinker is addicted to alcohol, the family must begin to take action. This can mean a tremendous strain on the relationships within the family, as well as the financial status. Many families have a hard time recovering from alcoholism in one of the younger members of the family. But, what happens when the alcoholic is a parent?
There are plenty of family problems that are caused by alcoholism in a parental figure. Children suffer from low self-esteem, are often abused, and are made to feel like they are the cause of the problems. Babies of women who drink while they are pregnant can be diagnosed with Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome. Financial problems, broken marriages, and even criminal charges are other serious problems the family unit must face because of alcoholism.
There is hope for the ones with alcoholism problems. There are some really good private alcohol treatments in Canada where they have a very good success rate. Help is also available in funded rehab for alcoholism.