Very often, in case of alcohol and drugs, it is not only the person who suffers from it but its effects are seen on the entire family and loved ones. It is extremely difficult to handle a person who is alcoholic in the family. You never know what kind of erratic behavior a person may display when he is drunk. It leads to a constant fear and suspicion of the person. The fact that alcoholism has disrupted many lives and families is not unheard of.
Sometimes, if the earning member of the house is an alcoholic, it can lead to severe financial crisis as he may spend all money on drinks etc. it can lead to physical mental and sexual abuse of any member in the family.
Drinking problems leads to family problems and more the family problems increase, drinking increases. Thus it is a vicious cycle. Relationship and marital problems are extremely common amongst those abused by alcohol. And it can have serious effects on the development of children.
Children of alcoholics may be either too aggressive or too inhibited. They may blame themselves for the constant bickering in the house. They may become afraid of the person who is an alcoholic. They may develop a low self esteem, a feeling of helplessness and insecurity and chronic depression. Parents are the immediate role models for their children. It may trigger a need to experiment amongst the child as well.
Other family problems that are likely to co-occur are infidelity, wastage of money, jealousy of co-worker or spouse, economic insecurity and general guilt and insecurity when under influence.
If a woman is continuously on alcohol when she is expecting it could lead to severe brain damage to the fetus or could lead to miscarriage or premature delivery.
There are a number of programmes to treat alcoholics like Alcoholics Anonymous which include family counseling as well to help the family cope up with the trauma of living and dealing with an alcoholic.
Sometimes, withdrawing from the person who has a problem is not the answer. Helping him overcome his problem definitely is.