The Effects of Alcoholism on Families

Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the alcoholic, but everyone whose life comes into contact with the alcoholic. It's estimated that for every person struggling with alcoholism, another eight people are affected. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) 76 million American adults have been exposed to alcoholism in the family, making alcoholism responsible for more family problems than any other cause.

Alcoholism does not happen overnight. It can happen so gradually that, like a pan of water coming to a boil, the family members involve continually adjust to the behavior changes a little at a time without fully realizing that things have reached a critical level. It can also happen virtually overnight, such as when an alcoholic marries into an existing family structure. Violence, crime, incest and battering are more prevalent in alcoholic families.

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Alcohol Rehab addresses Alcoholism, Families & Denial

Alcoholism is a family disease and can best be addressed in alcohol rehab where professionals are available to help. All too often, family members are also in denial as to how much the situation at home has deteriorated. They continue to try to “help” the alcoholic by engaging in enabling behaviors. Enabling is doing for someone what they are capable of doing for themselves. Covering for the alcoholic by making excuses to friends, family members or employers is one example. Family members also find their lives revolving around the alcoholic's unpredictable behaviors and moods, which can shift dramatically from depression to violence. Professional help can break through denial and assist families in getting the alcoholic into alcohol rehab.

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Signs for Families of Alcoholics who need Alcohol Rehab

There are signs present for families living with an alcoholic that suggest a need for alcohol rehab. The dominant sign is that life has become unmanageable. Family members lives revolve around the alcoholic's behavior and their own needs are neglected in the process. Signs include:

  • Family member's needs ignored and unfulfilled due to care of alcoholic
  • Sense of hopelessness and despair
  • Unpredictable behavior results in the family members “walking on eggshells”
  • Repeated attempts at communication fail
  • Resentment leads to manipulation, bargaining or violence
  • Continued effort to make an unworkable situation better through family sacrifices

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Alcohol Rehab helps Families and Alcoholics Heal

All too often, family members think that once they get the alcoholic into alcohol rehab, everything will be okay. Alcohol rehab is only the first step toward the healing process. Living with an alcoholic leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms, boundaries and attempts at control that can be detrimental to one's own well-being. SouthCoast Recovery offers Marriage & Family therapy in order to help family members adjust through the period of recovery from alcoholism to sobriety. Just as there were certain roles in place when the alcoholic was active in his or her disease, so these roles must be redefined in sobriety. Al-anon and Ala-Teen can also help family members learn how to remove their sense of responsibility and resentment at the alcoholic's behavior and focus on changing their own.

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SouthCoast Recovery offers Alcohol Rehab for Alcoholics and Their Families

SouthCoast Recovery is the leading drug and alcohol rehab center in Orange County. If your loved one has a problem with alcohol, we can help. Our intake coordinators are available to answer any questions that you may have about our alcohol rehab program. We also have a professional intervention, medically-supervised detox and clinical therapy that includes individual sessions with a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT). Family members play a vital role in the long-term success of a loved one's sobriety.

Call us at 1-866-847-4506 – professional assistance is available 24/7.

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