How Does Alcohol Affect The Family?











Alcoholism will never be just your problem. When a family member becomes alcoholic it affects everyone in the family.


Alcoholism can be what brings two people together into a dysfunctional and toxic relationship. If a marriage starts healthy, any number of millions of reasons could cause someone to become alcoholic later on. When a spouse becomes alcoholic they change, mind, body, and spirit. The experience of watching a beloved partner fall under the grips of alcoholism can be traumatizing. While divorce rates are already high, the rate of divorce in marriages where alcoholism is a present problem are even higher. As the relationship grows increasingly dysfunctional, it grows increasingly strained.


Every day, babies are born addicted to drug and alcohol. FAS, fetal alcohol syndrome, results in a fetal infant being deprived of essential nutrients while negatively influencing their developing brain. In grown children, adolescents, teens, and adults, alcohol has a significant impact. For the developing fetus and born infant, the impact is devastating. Typically born with physical complications, babies born with FAS can be deformed, and suffer mental issues. Long term, the child is more prone to develop mental health issues or alcoholism issues.


Children of alcoholics grow up to be Adult Children Of Alcoholics, or ACOA’s. Adult children of alcoholics and young children of alcoholics struggle emotionally and frequently develop mental health issues as a way to cope with the difficult reality in their home. Tension, stress, low self-esteem, challenges performing in school, and other issues may show up. Codependency is common for those who grow up in alcoholic homes, either assuming a caretaking role or an avoidant role. Either way, their ability to emotionally intimate is typically strained.


Alcoholic parents can be violent, abusive, neglectful, and abandoning. Growing up in a dysfunctional home can have a ripple effect for generations. Children of alcoholics grow up with dysfunctional mannerisms and become alcoholics themselves. Learning from their parents, they either repeat their patterns or compensate by going the other direction which can be equally as harmful.


Lakehouse Recovery has seen the family heal in unimaginable way. Through family therapy and family weekends, our clients are able to communicate with their family members for the first time and find common ground for growing forward. For information on our residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction, call us today at  877.762.3707.


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