Children who grow up in a home where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism can suffer deep and long-lasting repercussions. The effects of parental alcoholism extend well beyond the life of the addict and into the lives of their young children. These kids, who are frequently referred to as children of alcoholic parents, suffer a special set of difficulties that can affect their social, emotional, and psychological well-being.
Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches examines how alcoholism affects kids and the wide-ranging repercussions that come with this regrettable reality. To help increase awareness, offer to understand, and aid people in navigating the challenging journey of growing up in the shadow of alcoholism, we want to put light on this frequently ignored subject.
How Children of Alcoholics Are Affected
The strain of having parents who are alcoholics weighs heavily on children in every way, even if they are functioning alcoholics. Such an alcoholic is someone who seems to have their life together, such as they can maintain relationships and their job, but they consume alcohol to a level that is unhealthy. Kids with functioning alcoholics as one or both parents will frequently struggle emotionally with confusion, guilt, and shame. They can hold themselves responsible for their parents’ drinking tendencies, thinking that if they were more polite or endearing, their parents would change. This ongoing internalization of blame can result in diminished self-worth and low self-esteem.
In addition, growing up in a setting where people behave in unpredictable and explosive ways can leave kids feeling anxious on a regular basis. They might continuously be on the lookout for conflict or tension, never knowing what the day would hold. Their immune system may become weakened, and they may experience sleep disruptions, migraines, or other physical and mental health problems as a result of this ongoing stress. Additionally, the absence of consistent emotional care and support from an alcoholic parent can obstruct the growth of good coping strategies, leaving these kids ill-prepared to manage stress and navigate relationships in adulthood.
Parental drinking has repercussions that go beyond the emotional realm and can have a significant impact on how a child develops as a whole. Children of alcoholic parents frequently struggle academically because of the unstable and chaotic environment in their homes. Their ability to focus may be hampered by frequent interruptions, neglect, and irregular routines, which can lead to subpar academic performance and a higher risk of dropping out of school.
Additionally, the social development of these kids may be further hampered by their isolation from their peers due to the stigma and shame associated with parental alcoholism. They could find it challenging to build lasting connections and have trouble placing their faith in others. The likelihood that these children would grow up with addictive tendencies is also increased by their ongoing exposure to dysfunctional behavior and drug use.
Does Alcoholism Run in Families?
Yes, alcoholism does tend to run in families. Alcohol use disorder (AUD), the clinical term for alcoholism, has been linked in a number of studies to the likelihood of acquiring it. According to research, those who have a history of alcoholism in their families are more likely to get AUD than people who don’t.1
The likelihood of alcoholism in families is enhanced by a number of factors. Studies show that there are particular genes linked to alcohol dependence and susceptibility to addiction, demonstrating the importance of genetics in addiction. These genetic components can affect a person’s receptivity to the effects of alcohol, their capacity for self-control, and their propensity to experience difficulties associated with alcohol.1
A child’s probability of developing alcohol-related problems is further increased by growing up in a family where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism. Children of alcoholic parents may see their parents’ problematic drinking behaviors and internalize them, which can affect how they feel about and act around alcohol as they get older. Additionally, the environment in such homes, which is frequently characterized by stress, dysfunction, and a lack of effective coping skills, can raise the likelihood of alcohol abuse and addiction.
While there is a genetic component to alcoholism, it is vital to understand that this does not automatically preclude people from becoming alcoholics themselves. Upbringing, social influences, mental health, and individual decisions are only a few examples of environmental and human elements that are important to consider.
Programs and Support for Families of Alcoholics
As a patient receives alcohol addiction treatment in Lake Worth, their children and other family members have the opportunity to receive additional support. This is crucial considering the weight that many experiences when watching their loved one struggle with such a destructive addiction. Our Lake Worth drug rehab offers an excellent family program that allows children to have their voices heard and gain a greater understanding of the disease their parent is overcoming.