Alcoholism is a Family Disease

By The Care Centers. Posted on Fri Feb 26 2016

Does alcoholism run in your family? If so, you should really talk with your kids about it and about how to stay safe and healthy, despite a predisposition toward addiction or peer pressure. Unfortunately, all too often, people keep their families’ history of alcoholism a secret because they feel like it’s something to be ashamed of. However, keeping your family’s alcoholism a secret from your children is really no different than keeping a history of cancer in the family secret from them. Not only is it nothing to be ashamed of, but it is actually dangerous not to talk about it.

With Hereditary Alcoholism, Knowing Is Half the Battle
First of all, you were not born an alcoholic or a drug addict. Neither were your parents, and neither were your kids. However, if your parents had a genetic predisposition toward alcoholism, you and your kids may have the same. This doesn’t mean that you will automatically become an alcoholic one day, but it does mean that you may be more susceptible to addiction and alcohol dependency than others. If you know this and your kids know this, then you will all have the tools you need to watch your drinking and ensure that you don’t put yourself in dangerous situations that could lead to addiction.

Handling Trauma Without Alcohol or Other Substances
If you know that you have a history of alcohol abuse in your family, and one of your children has a traumatic experience, you should keep this in mind. Whether you have your child talk with a psychologist or another trauma specialist, keep them informed that you have this history in your family, so that they know that trauma may be a trigger for alcohol abuse down the line.

Alcoholism Affects the Whole Family
Not only is alcoholism partially hereditary, however, but it’s also a disease that affects the entire family. Because it comes on slowly – one or two drinks here and there, followed by one or two drinks almost every night, and eventually regularly drinking to excess – the change in someone’s behavior as they become dependent on alcoholism is almost unnoticeable at first.

In fact, violent outbursts, sullenness, and inability to deal with difficult situations will often be written off at first, but eventually they’ll be so commonplace that no one can deny there’s a problem. Unfortunately, in a family situation, that problem doesn’t just affect the person suffering from alcoholism – it affects everyone, and especially your kids, who will grow up with a skewed view on how much alcohol is safe and healthy and what kind of behavior is acceptable.

Fortunately, if you or someone else in your family has a problem with alcoholism or substance abuse, there is help. From 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous to in-patient rehab facilities, you can get the assistance, care, and support you need to help yourself and your family live a better, healthier life from now on. Not sure where to start? Contact The Care Centers today.


Tags: Substance Rehab