Alcohol abuse by definition is; “The habitual misuse of alcohol.” Alcohol abuse can potentially ruin many lives or even a domestic household by leading to a divorce or separating an entire family. Alcohol abuse can cause problems such as but not limited to, negatively impacting a child’s life, affecting a child’s current school and social life, ignoring children or the family, and even impairing health and happiness to both the child and the abuser.

Children are the future and with their developmental years being compromised by neglectful and ignorant parents, our future as a country may be at risk in the long run. Now, given the fact that not all alcoholics are parents but research from the National Association for Children of Alcoholics states, “Seventy six million Americans, about 43% of the U.S. adult population, have been exposed to alcoholism in the family.” As well as stating that there are over 26.8 million children of alcoholics and 11 million of those are under the age of 18.

This epidemic can cause hangovers which can also lead one to neglect personal responsibility like work, school, or home life. Not only can it cause personal issues but also cause legal issues, such as, fighting others or even domestic violence cases, disorderly conduct, and charges for driving under the influence. Alcohol is also a very addictive substance and can lead to a physical dependency and the inability to stop at will which is the main cause to every other problem alcohol abuse can cause. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states 15.1 million adults 18 years of age or older have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). A website called “rehabinternational.org” claims, “According to new research out of the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, at the University of California, San Francisco, when you drink alcohol endorphins are released in the brain… Endorphins are responsible for making you feel pleasure… the part of the brain has been linked to addictive behavior and decision making… This desire to repeat a behavior can develop into cravings.”

Alcohol abuse can impact a child’s life negatively when their parents suffer from this disease. According to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) one in five adults Americans lived with a relative who abused alcohol which is why this is becoming a larger and larger epidemic effecting households across the country. As well as an article found on the “recoveryranch.com” claims, alcohol abuse in parents can cause a child to become emotionally handicapped in the future as they go through life compared to children who grew up in sober homes. Other than emotional issues, early exposure to alcohol leads one to be four times as likely to develop alcohol abuse issues as well. When children witness the sudden mood swings their relatives go through such as going from happy to angry within a couple of second, the child can believe they are the cause of the issue.

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Alcohol abuse affect a child’s home life and future but alcohol can also affect their current school and social life. Alcohol abuse in parents can cause social issues such as; failing classes or even overachieving and seeking perfection, truancy, act like a parental figure, risky behavior, an inability to bond or make friends, and steal or become violent. Although these situations are unfortunate, they can recover through therapy and treatment for not only the children but also the abusers.

Not only does drinking effect the user and their children, but also other members of the family. The entire family can feel under a constant stress, as if they are living through a daily car accident because of something like alcohol abuse is something completely out of their control. Families will put a lot of time and effort just worrying about their family member who abuses alcohol. It also feels to the family that the abuser is completely oblivious to the pain and suffering they are causing to them.

Alcohol abuse leads to multiple health issues like cirrhosis of the liver and even liver failure. This can also lead to health issues to the non- users of  the family due to them possibly staying up late nights wondering If their loved one has past due to this disease. Alcohol abuse cause many long term health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, digestive problems, cancer of the breast, mouth throat, esophagus, and colon. Also leading to learning and memory deficiencies for example, dementia, and can also cause depression and anxiety.

Like most addictive substances, quitting alcohol isn’t as easy as getting addicted. Withdrawal side effects begin 6 hours and a day after the last drink. According to the American Addiction Center, there are 3 classified stages of withdrawals according to the American Addiction Center. Stage one being the most mild with the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain/ vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, tremors, foggy thinking, mood swings, and heart palpitations. Stage two being moderate and accommodating the symptoms of rise in blood pressure and body temperature, irregular heart rate, mental confusion, sweating, irritability, and heightened mood disturbances. Meanwhile stage three being the most severe includes; hallucinations, fever, seizures, severe confusion, and agitation. The America Addiction Center also elaborates on these stages by stating “Alcohol withdrawal is highly individual, and it is influenced by several factors, such as length of time drinking, the amount consumed each time, medical history, presence of co-occurring mental health disorder, family history of addiction, childhood trauma, and stress levels. The use of other drugs in conjunction with alcohol can also influence withdrawal and increase the potential dangers and side effects. The more dependent on alcohol a person is, the more likely the person is to experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Each person may not go through every stage of withdrawal.”

sobriety

Although alcohol abuse can be devastating, it isn’t permanent for the abuser or the family. Victims of this disease have many options, for example, a multi-step treatment. Beginning with detoxing, which is the first and most important and lifesaving step. Detoxing is abstaining from or ridding the body of any unhealthy substances, in this case, alcohol. Withdrawals may occur and there are facilities in which can help monitor your progress in a safe way. Treatment begins after the detox process has begun which can vary between behavioral treatments, medications, or mutual support groups, which are chosen depending on the patient. Next, there comes aftercare, which happens after getting treated and on the road to recovery. After care is also a very important part in recovery due to it being the practice of not relapsing. Consisting of learning your triggers that lead you back to drinking varying between social or psychological factors that would set you back. One would also have to learn to cope with their stressors and craving and remaining committed to sobriety which can be helped with regularly attending group meetings with people on the same path. It also helps one to accomplish sobriety when one keeps the mind on the entire goal and outcome of their new lifestyle. Lapsing is not uncommon but when one does so, it is highly encouraged to seek help and contact someone immediately after the incident. If done successfully one can regain the trust and relationships one might have lost during their dark time.

This topic can be very sensitive and important to a lot of people, including me. My father happens to be an alcoholic and refuses to seek help or fix his issue. All my life he has been a drinker and it has not been a pretty childhood. I rarely speak to him now and we live in the same house. My family is split into fractions and the root of it all can be traced back to his addiction. My mother lives away from him and us and we don’t speak to her all that much either and my sister lives across the country meanwhile I live with my younger brother as we get to watch our father drink away his finances and his health. Neither I nor my brother enjoys alcohol and this can be a very strong factor as to why and it truly is devastating watching it all happen. Maybe one day he’ll listen to one of us and put down the bottle for good but one can only hope.

Annotated Bibliography

“What Are the Problems & Effects of Alcoholism on Families & Marriages.” American Addiction Centers, americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/family-marital-problems/.

This website is a founded from the American Addiction Center. It specializes in all of the addictions known to the U.S.  I am using it to find factual research for alcoholism and its effects on a family. I am 90% positive they are credible assuming they specialize in addiction.

How Alcoholism Affects the Whole Family.” The Ranch, 23 Dec. 2016, www.recoveryranch.com/alcoholism/how-alcoholism-affects-the-whole-family/.

This source give additional information about the affects families suffer from due to alcohol abuse. More-so talking about financial consequences of the disease. I use the information given to show the consequences of binge drinking. This website specializes in recovery of alcohol abuse and financial irresponsibility

“Alcohol and Public Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Jan. 2018, www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

This website is informational on alcohol and public health in general. They specialize in disease prevention. I used this site to bring in statistics to my essay and the qualifications of “one drink”. It’s the CDC, it’s reliable.

“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics.

This site represents the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Their goal is to spread awareness and health tips and statistics. I used this website to add facts and statistics to my essay. I would say that this national institute is a credible source.

“What Makes Alcohol So Addictive? | Rehab International | Drug & Alcohol Rehab Guides.” Rehab International, rehab-international.org/blog/what-makes-alcohol-so-addictive.

This source gives information on how alcohol is addictive and that is what I used this source for. It explains the way alcohol is addictive and how It can affect the human body and mind. This source is credible due to it focusing on rehabilitation.

“Treatment for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse -.” Addiction Solutions of Florida – Rehab Center in Florida, 4 Oct. 2017, www.solutionsrehab.com/educational/treatment-alcoholism-alcohol-abuse/.

This website is also put up for information on substance addiction. It is not specifically alcohol. I used it for information on actually recovering from this addiction. I would say it is credible due to it being specifically for addiction.