So far as the family is concerned, there is no addiction with as prolonged and severe an impact as alcoholism has. In many parts of the globe, it is part of the daily dietary consumption, and yet it continues to pose a great challenge to the family welfare whenever addiction takes control of the individual.
If there is one single reason why alcoholism needs to be curbed, it is the adverse impact it can have on the family.
Alcohol itself causes probably lesser damage to the health than smoking does, and yet, in most societies, alcoholism is frowned upon much more than smoking. The main reason for this aversion to alcohol is due to its interference with a person's ability of thinking and judgement. A drunken person is unlikely to be able to perceive or understand the needs and expectations of his family members, or respond to them in a worthwhile manner.
The family is the basic unit of society and its happiness and its well being is always one of the primary objectives of all that we attempt in life. More than the adult members of the family, the family atmosphere and the interpersonal relationships between the parents have a great impact on the development on the children. A happy family is one of the prerequisites for developing children into responsible and compassionate members of the society.
All alcohol consumption is not alcoholism. In most societies, moderate or social consumption is very common and hardly associated with any great adverse effects.
However, when alcohol becomes an addiction, to an extent that a person is unable to control himself from putting a stop to his drinking or when it begins to take the form of compulsive drinking, then it is time to ring the danger bells.
A drunkard, who finds it difficult to remain in his senses after the Sun has set on the horizon, will never have any time for the other family members. Even if he wishes to interact with them, they would not like it in all probability if he is always drunk and that drunkenness reflects in his inebriated behaviour. This can become a permanent hurdle in his communication and bonding with his family members.
Addiction to alcohol can throw a person out of his job. Even when that does not happen, a drunkard is usually not very likely to progress as much in his career as he would have done otherwise. Thus alcohol can extract huge economic costs, which in turn can put the whole family and all dependent members under severe stress. Since they are bound to associate this stress with the addictions of their mentor with alcohol, it may be difficult for them to just forgive him and forget. If they are not able to forgive him for this, the tensions within the family are bound to keep getting precipitated and explode from time to time.
Alcohol's impact on family may not always be significant, but for all addicts and abusers, an adverse impact of alcoholism on the family is inevitable. Sometimes, family members may be able to adjust and tolerate this one weakness of their dear one, provided they treat this as his weakness, and if apart from this, their relationship is highly successful. On the other extreme, a lot of families get split because of the problems arising from alcohol.
Alcoholisms is basically a case of psychological dependence on alcohol. Its impact on family is unavoidable. The damage will depend upon the maturity with which other family members can handle his addiction and aberrations of behavior resulting from it. There may be a case of counselling the family members to harness their support, if and when a de-addiction program is attempted to help such an individual.
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