28 Jun The Effects of Alcohol Addiction on Alberta Children
All through towns and cities in Alberta, children experience the effects of a parent with alcohol addiction. Alcohol is a socially accepted drug, and that makes alcohol addiction difficult to recognize and dangerous to both the alcoholic and his or her family, and for children of alcoholic parents, the effects can be devastating.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent can cause life-long difficulties. Children of alcoholics are more likely to experience emotional and physical neglect, and mental and physical abuse. They are more likely to struggle in school and have social problems. They will find it difficult to maintain stable relationships, and they may suffer from depression and turn to alcohol themselves, in fact approximately 50% of children who have an alcoholic parent will develop an alcohol addiction, and while sometimes generational alcohol addiction is learned, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism released a study revealing that genetics is a key factor in the risk of developing alcohol use disorder.
Alcoholism often leads to aggressive and violent behavior, and it is the most common cause of domestic violence. Children who are raised in a household where alcohol addiction and aggression are a regular occurrence often suffer from PTSD, but they may not know it, and they don’t know how to find help. These children are the forgotten victims. They are not protected from the effects of verbal, emotional and physical abuse they suffer at the hands of an alcoholic parent.
Children of alcoholics don’t know what is normal behavior or a normal family relationship. They don’t have good role models and this makes it difficult for them to set boundaries and discern what is a good relationship or a bad one. Children raised in a family where alcohol abuse is frequent grow up frightened and insecure, and they often become the victims of bullying. Many of these children show symptoms of emotional trauma such as:
- Separation anxiety
- Withdrawal and Isolation
- Frequent nightmares
- Emotional Instability
It’s not always obvious that a child is suffering from an abusive home life. They may become aggressive and violent themselves, they may lie and cheat, and unfortunately, it’s all too easy to label them as a ‘bad child.’
If only one of the parents is an alcoholic, the spouse who has to deal with abuse and drama and may be unable to give their children the protection and emotional support they need. And they may be too ashamed or frightened to seek help.
If your spouse is an alcoholic, and you need help getting them to admit they have an addiction problem, call an interventionist. This is the first step you can take to help your child.
Alcohol abuse can begin suddenly, and it can happen to good people. Alcohol abuse can start with the loss of a job, financial stress, illness, or divorce. A family may be going through a difficult time and need help seeing that alcohol is not the answer. They may not be aware of the pain they are causing, and maybe they just need help finding a way out of despair or depression.
It is terrible to watch a child in misery because one or both of their parents is an alcoholic. If a friend or member of your family is addicted to alcohol, don’t stand by and watch them suffer, call an interventionist. They may help the alcohol addicts see the extent of the harm they are causing their children. And you may just have helped those children avoid years of pain and suffering.
If you are unsure if you should interfere, call an interventionist. There are many professional interventionists in Calgary. We can help you decide the best course of action, and we can give you the information you need.
We are not here to cast blame or pass judgment, we are here to help.