A family is an institution with closely knit members of a household who are related by marriage adoption or by birth. These are people who have a strong relationship mutual concern for each other such that when one gets hurt, the other members also feel hurt. It is in this institution that socialization takes place.
A family acts as a shelter for the members because this is where they experience unconditional love. Members do not have to work to earn love or to work for their basic needs to be met. It is a place that members can go back to when all is lost and still be cared for.
Democracy is first experienced in the family because every one is listened to and every member works for the best interest of the other. Additionally, members of a family grow according to certain values upheld by the institution and as a result can be said to be very influential to an individuals personality.
Therefore every family member has roles and obligations that when disrupted can make a family dysfunctional. Alcohol abuse is one of the factors that causes disruption of the family and threatens its stability.
Alcohol abuse has adverse effects on the members in that it deprives them of the basics of the family. This is because most alcohol abusers are violent and often are the ones who initiate fights. The violence when brought home is characterized by such incidences as wife battering, beating of children and financial constrains in the home as and even separation or divorce. Various members of a family can become abusers of alcohol. It can be the mother, the father or even the children. The impact of alcohol abuse usually varies depending on which member is involved.
In instances where the parents are involved, the family hurts financially because in most of the cases they are the ones who are bread winners. As mentioned earlier their priorities change and the amount of money that is usually allocated to family consumption, decreases. Financial strain also could set in as a result of the accidents that come with drunkenness e.g. a road accident that occurs because of drunken driving, costs of treatment for a drunken driver who has sustained injuries and compensation for broken crockery and other wares.
According to children of alcohol dependent parents are usually anxious and suffer from depression. They also stand a risk of having mental and physical problems. Additionally, they have a very high probability of also becoming addicts of alcohol and other substances or drugs. Statistics have shown that most adolescent alcoholics have parents who are addicted to alcohol. Children from parents who are addicted have a lot of money spent on their health and welfare.
This is because they are sometimes subjected to abuse that would warrant their being taken to hospital. Increased health problems of family members create a financial burden to the family up to a level where there no longer exists family cohesion.
The role of the parents is also compromised because they get to levels where they cannot instill discipline on their children. Alcohol dependent parents whose cognitive ability has been impaired because of alcohol cannot be at a position to follow up on how their children are doing at home or school and the latter become their own masters.
The outcome is children who are delinquent and a threat to security in the society. Further it becomes one factor behind the family disintegrating as they start doing their own things without any guidance. In other cases the alcoholic parents are not able to perform their duties and the children take up their roles.
This can get to a level where it gets confusing for the children because they have to take up other roles, i.e. that of being children and that of parents. The family in such an instance becomes dysfunctional because families fail to undertake their obligations of taking charge or leading the family. Children in such a family tend to take up the habit of dealing with issues under the influence of another substance such that they don’t believe that they can make decisions when sober.
This can be explained by the fact that children look up to their parents who have a great influence on them. Children regard their parents as heroes and may conclude in their minds that the consumption of alcohol is a heroic gesture thereby admiring it. This may prompt them to try taking the alcohol in secret so that their alcoholic activity starts at a very early age.
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