Date: March 1, 2011
Alcoholism and its Effects on the Family
Alcoholism or alcohol dependence syndrome is a disease characterized by compulsive and uncontrollable consumption of alcohol (Parsons). Alcoholism usually begins with the person binge drinking and abusing alcohol. Alcoholism can affect people of any age, background, social or ethnic group. Alcoholism is sometimes referred to as a “family disease” because it greatly affects the family, not just the one consuming the alcohol. The person consuming the alcohol can develop cardiovascular disease, chronic pancreatitis, liver disease, damage to the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The long-term effects of alcoholism can basically damage every organ and system in the body. The effects of alcohol on a family can result in violence and financial troubles. The harmful effects of alcohol not only severely hurt the person consuming it, but negatively affect their family.
The most noticeable person affected by alcoholism other than the person drinking, is their spouse. Domestic violence often results when there is an alcoholic in the family. According to G. Berger’s book “Alcoholism and the Family”, 75% of domestic violence cases involve a family member who suffers from alcoholism. Another ways that the spouse is hurt by alcoholism is infidelity, meaning that their alcoholic partner is unfaithful to their marriage. As a result, "most relationships affected by alcoholism end up in divorce" (Foster). The spouse may also have feelings of hatred, self-pity, and avoid social interaction. They may also become exhausted because they have to do the duties of both parents. The person suffering from alcoholism cannot function well enough to help out with their family. With one parent acting as two, this often causes the non-alcoholic parent to become demanding and neglect their children. All these negative effects are only the effect alcoholism can have on...
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