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Chronic Alcoholism and Family Life

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

The Consequences of Problem Drinking

Because alcoholics continue to drink despite consequences, they usually lose their jobs, financial stability, health, and family. The family is probably the most saddening because it involves other people. Whether immediate family, friends, or spouses that only wish the best for the alcoholic, who care and love only to get nothing in return because of the addiction.  All of these things you can gain back with hard work and commitment to sobriety but will you. Losing a job can be hard but you can always get another one. With that job, you gain your financial stability back. Your health will get better over time as you work on your fitness and abstain from the substance that made you ill in the first place. Relationships with your immediate family and friends will most likely get better over time after the trust is gained and dependability is shown. Relationships with your spouse are one that is not definite. The family especially marriages probably go through the most toil when alcoholism is involved.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Affect Family Life

Having a family that involves others such as a spouse and children is a level of commitment and trust that once broken is very hard to get back.  When you start a family you get married and make vows, promises to each other that you will hold till “death do you part” and agree to raise children together where you provide and protect. Since alcoholism takes control of mind and body, those promises can be broken; the drink becomes more important and therefore can destroy a marriage. More specifically how addiction can destroy a marriage are:

  • Financially – Alcoholics will do whatever it takes to get their next drink. This means taking every last cent in their bank accounts or joint accounts, stealing from their spouse, or even pawning household items to get cash for their drink. This causes major stress on a family when there are bills to be paid and food to provide.
  • Stress – There is a lot of stress put on the family of the alcoholic. There may be nights that the alcoholic doesn’t come home or is operating machinery such as a car under the influence. The constant worry that the family is put through; where they might be, if they are in trouble, do they need help, are they dead, this much worry can be paralyzing and takes a toll emotionally and mentally.
  • Trust – A family is based on trust and when that trust is broken it can lead to constant doubt and worry. When you have trust in a relationship you believe your partner will do what he/she says. An alcoholic will be unreliable and constantly break this trust and lie whether to get what they want or to cover up their other lies. When there is no foundation of trust in a family it is very hard, almost impossible, to keep.
  • Abuse – Whether physical, mental, or emotional, there is always an abuse of some sort in a family that consists of an alcoholic. Alcoholics drink to fill a void, to escape from a thought or an uncomfortable emotion, therefore leaving a lot of unmanaged emotions. When confronted or unable to get their fix they will have violent outbursts and take it out on the closest to them. Unstable anger can bring down a family real quick.

Family Treatment Program for Alcoholics

Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is a premier medical detox that wants to ensure that our clients here are given the best care possible in the best surroundings and facilities possible. With our team of qualified professionals here to help you every step of the way, nutritious foods, and serene surroundings, we can ease your body and mind during your alcoholism detox process. Once the medically assisted detox process has ended, we also offer a wide range of treatment choices that you can transition into to help you slowly reintegrate into the real world. We understand this process isn’t an easy thing to face and go through, but it is more than worth it to have your life back and we will be here with you every step of the way. We want to give you the building blocks to rebuild your life and maintain long-term sobriety and success. Call today!