Many individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse assume that it does not affect their family members. Unfortunately, this is a false sentiment. In fact, an individual’s excessive alcohol use affects their family members more than any other relationships. Furthermore, there has been significant scientific research to back the idea that dependence on alcohol may be a genetic trait that can be passed down from generation to generation—making it even more of a family issue.
Alcohol Abuse and Genetics
One false assumption about alcohol abuse or any type of substance abuse and genetics is that there is one gene that causes people to abuse drugs and become addicted. The truth is that there isn’t just one gene that is associated with addiction. Rather, there are multiple biological differences that may make an individual have a higher propensity for addiction.
For example, some people naturally get sick when they use a specific drug, so this is a natural factor that will help them stay away from addiction to that drug. Others get an exceedingly impressive high from specific drugs, which means that they may have a higher propensity to become addicted to those.
How Addiction Affects Families
Aside from genetics, the other side of the family coin is how alcohol addiction in one family member affects everyone else in the family. Here, it’s important to remember that alcoholism in all forms is destructive. It’s destructive to your body physically, to your brain, and to your emotional and mental capacities. So it nearly goes without saying that if alcohol is affecting your mental faculties, it is also affecting your family relationships in a negative way, as well.
Multiple familial problems may arise because of alcohol. In fact, even if a full-blown addiction to alcohol is not present, excessive drinking can cause multiple problems. Often, these issues are related to one of the following:
- Aggressive or withdrawn behavior that leads to conflicts between family members and spouses
- Memory loss regarding arguments, responsibilities or promises
- Domestic violence
- Isolation and negligence of children
- Loss of job and economic hardship
How to Help a Family Member Who Struggles With Alcohol
At Steps to Recovery, we understand how difficult it is to have a family member who is struggling with alcohol. Often, approaching the issue with them is embarrassing, frustrating, and heart-wrenching and these usually seem like good reasons to avoid the conflict.
But that’s not the right thing to do. Someone who has an alcohol abuse problem is not thinking clearly and needs help. You can help them by referring them to a professional rehab center for their alcohol abuse problems. At Steps to Recovery, we have numerous services that can help you and your loved one, such as:
- Help with interventions
- Smooth initial intake and counseling of new clients
- Regular updates for family members
- Family counseling process groups
- Aftercare resources and support
To help your family member with their alcohol dependence, call Steps to Recovery at 866.488.8684 today. Don’t let addiction continue to control your family. We can help you get your family member and relationships back on track.