Families & Alcohol Use
TOPIC: Understanding Alcohol Use and Abuse
Alcohol and Other Drug use and abuse problems cost society in pain, suffering and in dollars: automobile crashes, physical and sexual child abuse, child neglect, rape, assault, vandalism, spouse battering and a host of many other crimes all associated with the use and abuse of drugs – primarily alcohol.
It is generally recognized that people drink for two reasons: to feel pleasure and to escape pain. In reality, a drink or two helps many people feel better, at least for a little while. After the drink wears off, whatever was a problem more than likely is still a problem.
TOPIC: Alcohol and Anger
Suppress past pain and hurt is expressed as anger. Consequently, people who are angry are also people who have a lot of bottled up pain ready to come out. The pain is bottled up because of their inability or unwillingness to discuss their pain and hurt when it happened. So, the stage is set for violence to be expressed given the right conditions. For many, the right conditions entails alcohol since drinking will help them escape their pain and hurt and momentarily feel better. Serving as a disinhibitor, the alcohol now releases the past pain, which comes out as anger, coupled with the violence they’ve seen modeled or experienced. Clearly not all people who drink get violent. Some get sad, flirtatious, happy, withdrawn – the whole range of emotions. The key here is, drinking and the release of feelings are a sure thing.
TOPIC: Alcohol Use and Pregnancy
Never, never, never, never drink when you’re pregnant, think you’re pregnant, or hoping to get pregnant. The combination of alcohol and pregnancy results in a condition known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Fetal alcohol kids have birth defects that can be totally prevented by staying away from drinking. The syndrome includes intellectual disabilities, abnormal brain functioning, delays in development, intellectual impairment, and abnormal head and face features. Don’t risk damaging your baby.
TOPIC: Why Do People Abuse Alcohol?
There are a number of common reasons why people abused alcohol:
- Parental history of problem drinking. Children of alcoholics are at a higher risk for developing alcoholism than are children in the general population. If both parents are alcoholic, the risk of becoming an alcoholic is probably over 50%.
- Heavy drinking or drug use. The more a person consumes, the more the body tolerates the alcohol and becomes dependent upon it. Heavy and continuous drinking is a predictable contributor to the increase in alcoholism.
- Genetic factors. Research now indicates that the risk to become alcoholic is also passed down from parents to child. Studies of alcoholic family members show that alcoholism runs in families.
- Psychological problems. Stress, pressure, problems, suppress pain all increase the likelihood that a person would use alcohol to help numb the pain. This is especially true for families with a history of problem drinkers.
- Enabling. Enablers are people who make excuses for the problem Drinker, or try to cover up the problem or keep it a secret. In many ways, enablers are part of the alcoholics problem because they shield the alcoholic from all the problems caused by their drinking.
TOPIC: The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body
Alcohol is a depressant, and like many other depressant, it acts as a sedative and induces sleep. Drinking can slow down Reaction Time by about 10%, has a detrimental effect on memory, vision and judgment, and during periods of heavy drinking, can cause blackouts, which makes drinking and driving a foolish thing to do.
Drinking also encourages many people to become disinhibited. That is, people will do things under the influence of alcohol that they normally wouldn’t do when sober. Heavy drinkers are often malnourished because of low food intake and poor absorption of nutrients by the body. Too much alcohol may cause cirrhosis of the liver, inflammation of the pancreas, damage to the brain and heart, and increase risk of many cancers.
Take the families and alcohol use questionnaire. The questionnaire is designed to increase your awareness about your and members of your family’s alcohol use.