Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder can impact not just the drinker but their families as well. Most alcoholics believe that their near ones remain unaffected by their drinking, but that is not true.
The entire family of an alcoholic person is devastated, especially the children who live with these negative effects through adulthood as well.
In any AA meeting, you will meet many people who will relate how their own drinking was heavily influenced by a parent’s.
Risks related to alcoholism
While it is true that the family of drinkers faces many issues later in life, if the alcoholic seeks help well in time, all of them can build happy and healthy lives together.
Here are some risks the children of alcoholics may suffer from:
They are at a higher risk of developing an alcohol addiction in their adulthood. At AA meetings, many recovering addicts say that living with an alcoholic parent normalized drinking behavior for them and led them to experiment with alcohol quite early on. Many experts believe that alcoholism may contain some genetic elements too.
The corrosive effects of drinking cannot be overstated. It derails a child’s self-esteem and snatches their confidence away. Most such children have anxiety and depression. Some do very poorly at school and act out most of the time. Some develop personality disorders, while some face learning issues.
Many such children indulge in self-judgment and find themselves inadequate – not good enough. They find it difficult to make friends and remain isolated even in social situations.
Abuse and Neglect
In case you want help in fighting this demon, you can attend a meeting for similarly struggling people. At an AA meeting in Arkansas, you may find attendees sharing horrific stories about facing abuse and neglect while growing up.
Alcoholics live mostly in a stupor. They are unable to think or act clearly. This leads to their neglecting even the very basic needs of their child, like food, protection, and safety. This causes irreparable harm to a child’s psyche, who finds themselves completely alone and helpless. Even when growing up, they find this affecting their own relationships, which may cause them to become abusive to their own family.
The family atmosphere in such a home is riddled with lies, secrets, and denials. It is a negative and toxic atmosphere that leads to severe trust problems in the child’s mind. Since the alcoholic parent keeps lying and breaking the made promises, these children learn the hard way never to trust anyone. So they avoid getting close to others and struggle in romantic relationships.
Getting help at the right time is key to saving one’s family from the negative consequences of drinking. It is a treatable medical problem. There is a lot of help available that can help you to recover from this issue.
Support and counseling can help you remain sober for a very long time. Many ex-alcoholics swear by the 12 traditions of AA. They say following these kept their cravings at bay, and they were able to lead happy and healthy family lives with their children.