It is vital to understand that alcoholism has huge adverse effects on the family of the addict. The close family members of an alcohol addict are the one who bear the largest brunt of suffering. During the early stages of the addiction, family members start to blame themselves for the misbehavior of the alcohol addict. The source of this self-blame is always the perception that they are the ones who drove the alcohol addict into excessive, probably for causing them much stress or simply denying them what they needed (Catanzaro & Laurent, 2004). There is a very huge sense of disappointment that grips all the close family members. They feel quite embarrassed by the misbehavior of their loved one when drunk. This disappointment normally leads to breakdown of communication between the alcohol addict and his or her family members (Lawson, 2008). The embarrassment they get when he or she is drunk makes them start to avoid associating with them. Moreover, in many cases, this breakdown of communication may cause divisions and bitter disunity among the members of the family as they sharply differ on the right remedy to implement in order to help the addict.
Therefore, alcohol addiction brings about huge social problems for the family. As explained earlier, it also brings about psychological challenges as the family members start feeling embarrassed and disappointed by the misbehavior of the addict. For the family members of an alcohol addict, living with him or her is always an emotional challenge (Steinglass, 2008). It gives the family members grief and emotional pain when they see their loved one leading a spoilt and meaningless lifestyle. The family members may also get health complications as a result of stress, loss of appetite and nausea.
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Catanzaro, S. J., & Laurent, J. (2004). Perceived family support, negative mood regulation expectancies, coping, and adolescent alcohol use: Evidence of mediation and moderation effects. Addictive Behaviors , 29 (9), 1779-1797.
Lawson, A. W. (2008). Alcoholism and the family: A guide to treatment and prevention . New York, NY: Aspen Publisher.
Steinglass, P. (2008). The impact of alcoholism on the family. Relationship between degree of alcoholism and psychiatric symptomatology. Journal of Studies on Alcohol , 42 (3), 288-303.