It’s estimated that 15 million people in the United States have an alcohol use disorder.1 This problem not only impacts the person who has the disorder but also affects the person’s family. Alcohol abuse often causes a person to make drinking their number one priority. All other relationships (and even responsibilities) take a backseat, often with devastating consequences. To avoid this from happening, it’s important to seek help at a Costa Mesa treatment center such as Clear Life Recovery. Let’s take a look at what defines an alcohol use disorder and how it impacts the entire family unit.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Since many people may be in denial that they have an alcohol addiction, it’s important to know what to look for so that you can seek treatment. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines a person who has an alcohol use disorder as having the following characteristics:
- Spends a lot of time drinking
- Has a craving to drink
- Drinking, or being sick from drinking, interferes with a job or other responsibilities
- Need to drink much more than before to feel any effect
- When the effects of alcohol wear off, withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, and depression, and others set in
- Continue to drink although it causes health problems
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you or relate to a family member, an alcohol use disorder may be present. It’s important to understand how it affects the family and to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Continued after video:
How Alcohol Use Disorder Impacts the Family
People with an alcohol dependency may be in denial that it is only their problem and no one else is affected. In reality, it affects everyone around them.
Alcohol Abuse Destroys Relationships
Alcohol abuse creates a relationship between the person and their addiction, pushing everyone else away. There’s no time for emotional bonding or to be active in other people’s lives because they are too busy drinking. When families are not spending time together and bonding emotionally, there is a breakdown of the family unit.
Alcohol Abuse Can Destroy a Marriage
When someone drinks heavily, their judgment is often impaired. This can lead to lying, infidelity, and in some cases domestic violence. Any of those scenarios can destroy a marriage. When people drink a lot, alcohol becomes the priority and nothing else that they used to care about matters anymore.
Alcohol Abuse Affects Children Greatly
Children of parents who abuse alcohol can be more likely to have emotional problems compared to children who live in a sober home. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry2, children become confused when they see their parents drink too much. Children witness their parents acting erratically and can’t make sense of it. Many blame themselves which can cause problems as they grow up. Alcohol abuse can also lead some parents to abuse their children both physically and emotionally.
Alcohol Abuse Can Affect Family Finances
Addiction is very expensive to maintain. Many people will drain bank accounts just to support their habit. This can make many families head down a path of financial instability.
Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Legal Problems
When people drink too much it can lead to legal problems such as DUI or DWI charges. These types of offenses can damage a family and be costly to take care of.
Whether families experience one of these effects or all of them, it can damage a family. Many end up seeking therapy. This therapy can be a part of alcohol treatment to help the person fight their addiction.
Seeking Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder at a Costa Mesa Treatment Center
When you have an alcohol use disorder, seeking treatment is the best answer. This will not only help you to heal but the family as well. At Clear Life Recovery, we can help you battle your addiction and lead a sober life.
At a Costa Mesa Treatment center, we begin with helping patients detox from their alcohol addiction. This is done under the guidance of doctors and nurses who can help with any withdrawal issues that may arise. Our alcohol addiction program also includes therapy, both in the group setting and one-on-one. This helps patients to get to the root of their addiction and mend relationships with their families. There is also life-skills training to help you cope in the outside world, living a sober life. If you’re ready to take the first step, contact us today so we can help.