Alcohol can affect anyone. There is no prejudice. It can claim the life of someone with a high or low socioeconomic status and it can destroy families and relationships.
Let’s take a closer look at the effects of alcohol use:
It can affect an individual whose parent is using alcohol excessively. The child may come home every afternoon from school and never see their parent before they go to bed because they are still out with their friends after work. They may cook dinner for themselves every night because they do not know what it’s like to eat dinner as a “family”. Or maybe they do eat dinner with their family, but not without arguments or lack of communication for fear they will set the parent “off” on a tangent. This can cause the child to feel as if they are to blame for their parent’s behavior. For more detailed information regarding the effects of alcohol on children, visit the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). There is also the situation where the child is now an adult and their parent is misusing alcohol. That individual may receive those calls at 10pm from their parent who wants to “give you a piece of their mind”.
Spouses are also affected when their partner misuses alcohol. It is difficult to live with someone who is drinking. One minute the partner who is misusing alcohol is upset and angry and the next, they are apologizing for things they have said and done. This can make the the spouse who is not using alcohol feel as if they are not enough and often attempt to do more in order to compensate for their partner. Read here to see the 5 ways alcoholism affects your marriage.
What about the son or daughter who is using alcohol excessively? How might their parents be impacted by their use? Maybe the parents stay up at night worried their son or daughter will use too much alcohol and get into an accident. Perhaps the parents have already spent thousands of dollars to bail their son or daughter out of jail or send them to rehab multiple times.
Always remember, other families have dealt with this before. It’s a difficult road, but recovery is possible. It’s never a bad idea to seek help if you are experiencing trouble with addiction or someone you love is battling an addiction.