Whether it’s your spouse, child, parent, significant other or friend, the effects of alcohol can tear your family apart. Dealing with someone with alcoholism is extremely difficult due to the person’s erratic behaviors. You may feel powerless in the situation and not know how to help, but there is hope for things to get better. The first thing you should learn is that alcoholism is a very severe illness, and your loved one is sick.
Understanding the Effects of Alcohol
For most people, drinking alcohol isn’t a problem, so seeing your loved one have an issue can be very confusing. Alcoholism is an addiction, and addiction is a legitimate disease according to the medical community. This is one of the primary reasons why the Affordable Care Act mandates insurance providers cover substance abuse treatment. A disease is an illness that has specific symptoms and affects an organ, and in this case, it’s the brain.
The brain has many different functions, but when it comes to addiction, we can look at the stop and go systems. The go system is a requirement for human survival because we’re reward-based learning creatures who need nourishment. This evolutionary adaptation helps us remember where to find food when we’re hungry, but it can also be our downfall. The stop system is what keeps the go system in check and out of danger when we’re pursuing pleasure.
The other responsibilities of the stop system include:
- Logical decision making
- Emotional regulation
- Connection to others
- Fear modulation
The Effects of Alcohol Aren’t Your Fault
You may have an immense amount of guilt when it comes to your loved one’s addiction, and this is very common. It’s even more difficult when your child is struggling because you think you did something wrong raising them. The first thing to understand is that you have no control over your loved one’s addiction just like any other illness. The next thing to realize is that while your love can support your loved one, it isn’t going to help them get sober.
Finding Help for the Effects of Alcohol
It’s a natural instinct to want to save your loved one when he or she is struggling with addiction. The reality is that he or she is going to need proper treatment in order to recover from alcoholism. In treatment, including addiction counseling, your loved one will begin learning about his or her addiction and the sources of it. They must begin the healing process on their own before they can begin healing on the family disease.
Steps to Recovery is located in Levittown, PA, and we provide everything from intensive outpatient treatment to sober living. Call us today at 866.488.8684 to find out more about how we can help your family through this difficult time.