Alcoholism can be defined as a medical condition wherein the person feels a physical compulsion to drink. A person affected with alcoholism would be physically dependent on alcohol for proper functioning. This condition negatively affects the person, his life, and his family. Moreover, it will give rise to complex issues to deal with. Here are some of the issues that a person will have to deal with when he depends a lot on alcohol.
Impact of Alcoholism on Spouse or Partner:
Alcoholism can be tough on a person’s partner or spouse. Often, the partner would feel stressed or mentally traumatized, which adversely impacts his or her physical health and wellbeing. The partner or spouse would start having doubts about themselves, such as, are a good partner, how can they help in the quitting process, how they would handle the children, how they would hide this addiction from friends and family, etc. Though the partner would feel hurt, he or she will try to mend the relationship by keeping the addict out of trouble. The partner or spouse will tell lies to acquaintances, take more responsibilities, give excuses to the employer, etc. This can be referred to as codependency where the partner supports the addict. Codependency can further boost the problems if the partner permits the addiction to continue.
Moreover, the addiction can affect the married life too. The relationship between husband and wife can suffer from improper communication, increased stress, anger and abuse, reduction in intimacy, financial problems due to spending more on alcohol, etc. Consequently, it is not shocking to know that the divorce rate among partners who drink is considerably higher than the average.
Impact of Alcoholism on Children:
Alcoholism can affect children even before they are born. A child may be born with what is called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) if the mother were drinking during pregnancy. Babies born with FAS may suffer from irreversible physical and mental problems as well as other growth problems. Other children born without such complications still get affected by the drinking habit of parents. Such children generally have lower self-esteem, high anxiety, depression, feelings of despair and guilt, phobias, and can also experience instances of bed-wetting.
Children of alcoholics often feel guilty and believe they’re the cause of their parent’s condition. Consequently, they develop a negative image of themselves. They also have problems establishing a relationship with other people and are less likely to attend college. Further, the problems may continue even after they grow into adults. They are likely to be suffering from depression and anxiety and are prone to becoming alcoholics themselves.
Impact of Alcoholism on the Alcoholic’s Life:
Alcoholism will no doubt affect the individual’s life in multiple ways. Here are some of the ways by which alcoholism can affect an individual’s life:
- DUI Cases: When a person is diagnosed with alcoholism, it is probable that the person may become a victim of a DUI arrest. Not only are DUI arrests difficult to deal with, but they also burn a hole in your pocket. Getting arrested for DUI means hiring a lawyer, frequent visits to courts, hassles of driving license and much more. At such times, dealing with anxiety becomes quite difficult.
- Divorce Issues: Alcoholism can have a significant influence on a marriage as mentioned earlier. While dealing with such issues, a person may end up getting a divorce. Not only will the divorce affect the spouse and children, but also leave a lasting impression on the addict. The addict may have to deal with the further depression of losing the family.
- Child Custody: Welfare of children is a priority for any parent. In the case of an alcoholic parent, the situation would become more complicated. If the addict wants the custody of the child, he or she will have to provide enough evidence of sobriety, adding more pressure on the addicted person. The fear of losing one’s child will surely make the person frightened.
- Employment: Due to alcoholism, a person may have to take frequent leaves owing to numerous instances of sickness. Also, the risk of accidents is increased due to frequent drinking. Contrary to a drinker’s beliefs, alcoholism affects the productivity at work. As a result, drinkers may face the risk of unemployment and once unemployed, they may drink more in despair of losing the job.
- Health Issues: Drinking beyond limits can damage different organs of the body. These include the brain, heart, and liver. Apart from these obvious ones, alcoholism can seriously affect the pancreas, the immune system and increase the risk of cancers such as mouth, esophagus, liver, and throat. Further, it can also lead to more stress and anxiety. Unborn children also inherit health issues of alcoholism.
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