Essay about Effects of Alcohol on the Family

2163 Words Sep 7th, 2011 9 Pages
Alcohol Dependence, also known as alcoholism, is a very widespread disabling addictive disorder, affecting 4% of Canadians. Alcoholism may start innocuously, due to the acceptability of social drinking, but over time, can lead to serious health problems, including brain, kidney and liver damage. Although alcoholics seem to be doing the most damage to themselves, they are hurting their families even more. Lesser-known, but just as serious victims of alcohol abuse are the alcoholics’ children. The negative effects start in the womb, where drinking during pregnancy often causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and other defects. After the baby is born, the risks continue, as the children in alcoholic families tend to lack a stable family environment …show more content…
They may have low self-esteem, be hyperactive, and be easily angered or frustrated. Mild or severe retardation, emotional issues, the inability to bond and communicate with other children their age are common traits for a child who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It often results in lower and overall academic performance (compared to non-FAS children), and difficulties in reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics. (Dozois, and Firestone 254)

Another side effect of alcoholism in the family is the lack of a stable family environment. Alcohol has been known to negatively affect marital relationships, breaking up families, be the cause of suicide, result in unemployment and poverty, and cause or exacerbate child abuse. Over 3 times as many people report to have been previously married to an alcoholic, compared to those currently married to an alcoholic, demonstrating that relationships involving alcohol abuse are less likely to last than sober relationships. Often, if one parent is an alcoholic and the other is not, the sober partner feels that the drinking takes precedence over them and their family. This strongly affects couples with children, as they may effectively lose either parent, or end up being shuttled between them. Worse than losing a parent to divorce is the reality of losing a…

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