Alcohol addiction in families is the main cause of family breakups

Category: Addiction, Alcohol
Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
Pages: 5 Views: 81

Alcohol has in the recent past become one of the major leading drug killers in most of the world.  Alcohol addiction refers to cases where a person feels a compulsive need to take alcohol to help his or her body system to perform its normal tasks.

A person is said to be addicted to alcohol when he or she cannot contain or limit alcohol drinking and any such attempts lead to withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and nausea.

In the past, only “hard” drugs like cocaine, mandrax, and heroine were thought to be hazardous to the health of an individual. However, in the recent past, tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol have also been categorized as drugs. These are usually used by many individuals around the world thus meaning that most of the people in the world are exposed to drugs regularly.

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However, these drugs are used in moderation by a majority of these people thus reducing any forms of negative effects that arise from drug abuse. Alcohol is very addictive and a major cause of different health hazards to an individual. Alcohol addiction has also been attributed as a leading cause of family breakups and divorce especially in western countries. Family addiction to alcohol especially by the parents has dire consequences on marriage as well as the children (Dunlap, para 4).

Hypothesis: Alcohol addiction in families is the main cause of family breakups, divorce, and poor academic performance of children as well as drug abuse by young adults and also a leading killer in the United States as well as other parts of the world.

Alcohol Addiction in Families and Its Effects

In America for example, alcohol has been ranked the third cause of deaths with more than 100,000 people dying from alcohol-related complications. It also costs the region about $ 150 billion annually which is lost through the treatment of alcohol-related complications, lost productivity, accidents, and crime. It has also been the leading cause of the rising divorce cases in America as well as domestic violence.

It is estimated that more than 14 million Americans struggle with drinking problems with about 8 million of these people being addicted to alcohol. While in the past alcohol was only being taken by men, this trend has changed with more women are becoming alcoholics. Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs which have the potential of producing long term effects that could be devastating and terminal (Goodwin, pp 56).

 In the recent past, the rate of alcohol-related cases of divorce has increased in most parts of the world. However, since most of the addicts of alcohol start out as responsible drinkers, it has been hard to know when a person begins to be addicted to alcohol until it is sometimes too late. Alcohol addiction has been rate among the top ten causes of divorce alongside infidelity and domestic violence.

Alcoholism and alcohol addiction is one of the most cited reasons while filing for divorce cases in the United States as well as other countries around the world. Spouses who have lived long enough with alcohol addicts find it hard to continue supporting them especially due to the addictive nature of alcohol and the subsequent withdrawal symptoms which follow in attempts to stop alcohol consumption (Brian, para 4).

Another effect of family alcohol addiction is that it leads to loss of livelihood of the addicted individual which usually leads to adverse effects on the family especially if the addicted person is the breadwinner. Usually, people who become addicted to alcohol find it difficult to live without it and in turn end up drinking even when working.

Alcohol has been known to be a brain damager and excess consumption of the same lowers the productivity of an individual hence job loss. Most of the parents who become addicted to alcohol end up losing their jobs which is devastating to the family and more so the children who lack basic necessities. Even after a job loss, an addicted person continues to drink for the simple reason that he or she cannot live without alcohol which only adds to the misery and disintegration of families.

Also, the frustration and shame which comes with being unable to support a family drive a person to chronic consumption of alcohol which may lead to health complications or even at times death. This has far-reaching psychological effects on the dependants of such a person. Also, a person who is addicted to alcohol becomes dependent on other family members thus increasing the family burden (Cleveland Clinic, para 2-3).

Children who are reared by alcohol-addicted parents are also not spared as they tend to engage in drug abuse or criminal activities to fill the void of their parents or guardians. Researches have revealed that most of the children in the rehabilitation centers have had a parent who engaged in and was addicted to alcohol.

This is especially the case when both of the parents are addicted to alcohol. In such situations, children only find consolation in drug abuse as the parents are unavailable for them. In an attempt to escape reality, children may also turn to alcohol or even other hard drugs like cocaine or heroine. The lives of such children end up being ruined just because of their parents’ addiction to alcoholism (Brian, para 6).

Family addiction to alcohol is also a major contribution to the academic failure of many children. Alcohol addiction mostly of parents and other close family members affects the psychological development of an individual as well as the concentration capability.

Alcohol addicts at times tend to be violent and unruly towards their family members including the children. This is in turn reflected in the academic performance of such children which is usually below the standard. Also, the social life of children is negatively impacted by alcohol addiction in families.

Children who hail from families with some members who are addicted to alcohol tend to be anti-social and uncooperative. Psychologists argue that this scenario is caused by the shame and frustration such children are put through by their alcohol addicted parents or siblings. They thus fear to associate as they feel that the other people may disown them or even discriminate against them (Segal, Gerdes & Steiner, pp 235).

Family alcohol addiction has been identified as a leading factor in domestic violence and other domestic-related crimes like murder. Due to the anger and frustration that most alcohol addicts go through especially after a divorce or loss of a job, they tend to be aggressive and violent towards the other family members as a means of vetting out their frustrations. Most alcohol addicts also tend to live in denial and they blame their partners or at times the children for their failures.

Most alcohol addicts also blame the family members as being the cause of their drinking habits. As they vet out their anger, they tend to be violent and may even commit murder leading to their subsequent incarceration. This leads to double tragedy, especially where parents either both or one are victims of alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction is very costly to family members as well as friends.

In a recent study which was carried out in the United States, it showed that one child out of four children and this is approximately 28.6% is exposed to family alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse. There are many documented cases that correlate with alcohol addiction and interpersonal violence (Adams, para 4).

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Alcohol addiction in families is the main cause of family breakups. (2016, Jul 01). Retrieved from

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