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Alcoholism Essay, Research Paper
Alcoholism : Children and the family
Society faces problems everyday, however individuals learn to deal with these
problems and solve them in the best way they can. One of societies problems that
has plagued human kind for generations and still is left unsolved is the problem of
alcohol abuse or Alcoholism. Alcoholism has been called the most serious drug
problem in terms of number of victims and cost to society. Why people get hooked
and why they betray family values has baffled scientists for years. The cost of this
terrible addiction, unfortunately falls into the hands of the children in the alcoholic
I chose to address the topic of alcoholism, because it is of interest to me, and
because I experienced it in my childhood. This particular topic was not chosen
simply because of the fact that I grew up with it, but because I want to hear what
research has to offer on the topic. I hope that I will have a better understanding of
alcoholism and why my father drank so much. It hurts to write about it but I feel
that I will grow from this experience.
Alcoholism was a part of my life, but I really did not understand what it was all
about. I knew it was an addiction and I knew it was common in society. Before
writing this paper, I really knew nothing in terms of facts or data related to the
topic. All that I knew was that it affected me psychologically because I felt it was
in some way my fault. I thought about it a lot and always tried to put it in the back
of my mind. That is probably why I knew so little about it, because I didn’t want
As I started my research on Alcoholism I found that there was extensive
information on the topic. Using the University library I collected sources such as
books, articles, magazines and most of all, articles from the internet. Organizing
the information was difficult, but was found to be valuable in the end. In helping
to organize I used a research notebook. So every time I found a new article I
filed it in my notebook so as to keep a neat record.
During my research process much was learned on the topic, foremost that
Alcoholism in the family is very dangerous, and as was stated before is a major
problem in society. Not only in America, but worldwide. In the family, family
members often become obsessed with the alcoholics behaviour. Family members
often become depressed, angry, frustrated, confused and need treatment as does
the alcoholic. This disease has created such a problem that almost every family
is affected by it. According to Joel Dinnerstien, a jewish rabbi and doctor,
“Alcoholism is accountable for fifty percent of all the cases brought to family
court”(Dinnerstien par. 11).
Anger, frustration, these are all outcomes of the terrible addition called alcohol
abuse. Injected into the family core before family members realize, this often
scary addiction sends a family into confusion. Some of the greatest pressures fall
on the children of alcoholics. Children usually experience their parents alcoholism
while they are in their maturing stages, and most often childrens minds are affected
for lifetimes. This is not hard to believe due to the fact that many children in
America experience these hardships. Dr. Ron Pitzer of University of Minnesota
said , “A large portion of our population is affected, then, since an estimated
30 million American children live in alcoholic homes”(Pitzer par.1).
It is hard to escape the problem of alcoholism, prevalent in home across the
country, it’s presence like an entity. Children usually grow up, not understanding
why their parents drink and often times put the blame on themselves. This ” not
understanding” can lead to a cycle from generation to generation. When the child
is in the maturing stage he/she is very sensitive to these sorts of problems
The child who is in the alcoholic home usually is emotionally unstable, and has
a lack of self-esteem. Also the child is aggresive and or antisocial and sometimes
is a trouble maker. The child is usually labelled as a problem child. Another result
of the parents alcoholism is that children of alcoholics are prone to fighting with
those of the opposite sex. All of these factors create turmoil in the family and in
the child’s life (Alcoholism: a childrens viewpoint par.3).
Facts are facts, and the fact is that children of alcoholics are at a high risk for
alcohol and other drug related problems. Tension, stress, anxiety and depression
all are the results of a child living with an alcoholic parent. Children are
unfortunately left with the consequences of their parents problems, but it is
seen all the time, and it will only get worse if help is not found. An article on
Alcoholism stated :
When guardians in charge of children are alcoholics, there is strong
evidence that children in these families are more likely to develop the
disease of alcoholism as well. The fact is, alcoholism tends to run in
Children are under pressure and usually can not handle it, it is of no wonder
many children of alcoholics end up alcoholics themselves. Usually these children
of alcoholics grow up to marry alcoholics and create the same stressful factors they
had in their childhood, passing on their alcoholic genes to their children. A student
I interview was a product of two alcoholic parents. He believes the gene was
passed on to him, for he also is an alcoholic and is trying to quit. He tried to
explain his difficulty in fighting the gene by saying:
Alcoholism has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old, I grew
up with it, but I’m not ashamed. I had a lot of problems at home and
when I felt down, I just started to drink. I came close to dying last
year and I hate my parents for what they did to me(Andrews int.).
Sometimes this alcoholic gene skips a generation. For example, the child of an
alcoholic may never drink, but then his children become alcoholics. This skip can
be prevented by having the child grow up in a peaceful environment and
monitoring the child for adverse behaviour. The children with this gene often
has feelings of shame, guilt or loneliness, they may also show off, or act tough.
To rid these children of their problem, it is often helpful to get them involved in
something about which they feel good. It can be a hobby or a sporting event, or
even just spending time with the child. It is also important to not push the child,
simply letting him/her to grow at their own pace(Children of Alcoholics par.5).
Society can always try and solve the worlds problems and sometimes succeed,
however, to overcome the disease of alcoholism individuals will have to concern
themselves with the future, and think about their children. They are the only
solution to this problem. Only through them can the addiction be erased. Whether
alcoholism is a gene that runs through the family or just a hobby taken to far,
something must be done. Families across America and children around the world
are losing their chances to become something better. Children should concentrate
on more important things than how many drinks their father had. If a solution is
found, children everywhere will have better lives and parents around the world
will have a peace of mind where their childrens drinking habits are concerned.
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