Alcoholism & Family
“Alcoholism has an effect on everybody around the person suffering from it. This is especially true for a family.” says William Belle in the Ole! Times. In his article, which recounts his own struggle with alcoholism and (for the moment) sobriety, he provides statistics about how pervasive the problem is:
According to a 2002 survey conducted by the U. S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are 18 million American adults who abuse alcohol or are alcohol dependent which works out to be approximately 6% of the population. In Canada, the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey reported 2.6% of the population with an alcohol addiction.
More pertinent your own family, “Alcoholism statistics tell us that about 43% of US adults or 76 million people have been exposed to alcohol dependence in the family. They grew up with or married a compulsive drinker or had a blood relative who was a problem drinker.”
Mike Woodard was one of the many people who grew up in homes with an alcoholic parent. Or in his case, both parents. In his article he explains how “My parents, both drunk, were having a fight. My father pushed my mother with enough force that she broke her pelvis and ended up in the hospital. This was one of many crazy memories of that I have of my family.” His experiences growing up led him to not only harbor resentment to his own father, but also to people outside of his family. As he says: “when there are significant unresolved issues in the family, it will affect all our other relationships.”
Mike was able to overcome his family relationship issues by taking to heart some advice he got from a friend while at university. “Somehow, dealing with the relationship with my dad set me free,” he says, “and taught me lessons the have made other important relationships better.”
Have you witnessed the fallout from alcohol abuse, either in your own family or with someone you know? Have you been able to escape the legacy of alcoholic parents, or are you currently struggling with such issues? If you feel like you need someone to talk to, please contact us to be matched with an email mentor.