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Family Members Need Treatment for Alcoholism Too

There may be only one person suffering from alcoholism in your family, but it is a family disease. Not only that, but it can be contagious as well. If you or any member of your family is drinking or abusing substances in a way that upsets other members or other people in the vicinity, it may be time to seek treatment. There are a multitude of problems that can be caused by alcoholism, and recovery cannot begin until the user commits to the treatment program. Needless to say, the longer an alcoholic abuses alcohol, the greater the problems will become.

Family tries to help

As the family tries to help the alcoholic their lives also become increasingly more complicated. They want to help, and they want to do things to ‘cure’ the alcoholic member for the good of everyone, but they often cannot accept that this is not possible. Seeing the family trying to help is a source of conflict for the abuser. The desire to drink is strong, and the user feels guilt over what alcoholism is doing to the other members; he or she doesn’t want to face the things that go wrong when he or she does drink. Both those things lead to anger and a tendency to lash out and blame the family.

Guilt takes over

The spouse feels guilty as well. He or she may believe that if he or she were better, if he or she kept a better house or earned more money, this wouldn’t happen. He or she tries to fix everything, and he or she is the one left trying to protect the children and hide truths from friends, neighbors and employers. Alcoholism can give both partners a huge sense of shame and failure that seeps into all aspects of life.

Children need parents

Children are affected by alcoholism no matter how hard the alcoholic and the partner try to protect them. There is only so much that either of you can do. The child will try to compensate for missing adult role models in the house. Older children will try to be the parent the younger siblings need, cooking meals and putting them to bed. The children feel the blame; they feel insecure, constantly waiting for the next thing to fall. They may act out, seeking attention, and no matter how hard they try they may be labeled as unreliable, as poor students who are unable to meet their own commitments in school or with after-school sports or activities.

Alcoholism is also contagious and can be passed down to the children. A child of an alcoholic can become an alcoholic due both to genetic inheritance and the unpleasant childhood experiences that come with growing up in an alcoholic home.


Treatment for alcoholism is required for the whole family in order to address the different situations that each member faces. It’s not the same for each, but it is crippling for everyone. Treatment is not a simple thing, but it is possible. Healing and recovery for the alcoholic and the relationships between family members begin with treatment, but they do not end there. It is a lifelong commitment, but the alcoholic family is loyal and committed to each other; they want to succeed.

Learn as much as you can about alcoholism, the family dynamic, and the ways you may be affected.


If you are looking for information on rehabilitation and treatment for alcoholism, browse our website at We have a wealth of knowledge regarding addiction, recovery and sobriety. Check us out today.To know about the effects of alcohol in body, you may also visit Wiki.answers.