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The Effects of Alcoholism on the Family - Research Paper Example

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Running head: EFFECTS OF ALCOHOLISM ON THE FAMILY Effects of alcoholism on the family (name) (school) Abstract Alcoholism has a significant impact on the family. First and foremost, it affects the alcoholic physically, making him vulnerable to various illnesses like cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and other organ dysfunctions…
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The Effects of Alcoholism on the Family
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The Effects of Alcoholism on the Family

Download file to see previous pages... Attempts to maintain the family mythology causes the spouse to protect the alcoholic’s habits and to enable and excuse his alcoholism. It also affects the children with some of the children taking on the roles of the hero, the scapegoat, the mascot, and the quiet one as a means of coping with the parent’s alcoholism. It affects adult children, making them less able to function normally in society as they go through failed relationships and careers. The management of alcoholism includes cognitive-behavioral therapy for the alcoholic and for the patient. Family therapy and a drug regimen can also manage the alcoholism and teach the family proper coping techniques. The Effects of Alcoholism on the Family I. INTRODUCTION Alcoholism is one of the most pervasive substance addictions which many people suffer from. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2010), about 52% of adults 18 years of age and above were regular drinkers in the year 2010; and only 13% of these adults were infrequent drinkers. Alcoholism is considered a dangerous addiction because it has been known to lead to alcoholic-related deaths and alcoholic-induced deaths, including homicide and accidents. Although the individual actively engaging in the addiction process suffers a variety of effects (physiological, emotional, etc.), the family of the alcoholic is not without effect or consequence. In fact, three out of ten adults reveal that drinking is a cause of trouble in their family, leading to various physical, emotional, financial, and social issues in the family (Alcohol Drug Abuse Resource Center, 2011). The examination of current research outcomes will culminate in the identification of those effects on the role of the alcoholic, the spouse and the children, and the delicate balance between them. II. BODY – The effects of alcoholism on the family and the roles they play within the family unit: the Alcoholic, the Spouse, and the Children A. Effects of addiction on the Alcoholic 1. Physiological Alcoholism has various physiological effects on the alcoholic’s body. According to the National Institute for Health (2005), alcoholism can have negative effects on the liver, the endocrine system, the bones, and the brain. According to the Distance Learning for Addiction Studies (n.d), it can cause dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting, recurrent diarrhea, recurrent abdominal pain, acute and chronic pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and it can significantly impact on the liver. It can cause alcohol fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, or ascites (DLCAS, n.d). Due to scarring linked with nodules, advanced necrosis can manifest and eventually cause cirrhosis of the liver. It is also known to cause cardiovascular issues, including cardiomyopathy, anemia, and dilated blood vessels where peripheral blood vessels dilate and cause the loss of body heat (DLCAS, n.d). It can also have a negative impact on the blood vessels. With each drink of alcohol, about 10,000 neurons are destroyed or are disconnected from the other brain cells. Neurons do not reproduce and therefore lost neurons are permanently lost. Alcohol is also known to increase the conductive material between brain cells, decreasing their electrical impulses and impacting the frontal lobes and affecting a person’s behavior patterns (DLCAS, n.d). In effect, he is sometimes unable to make long-term plans. It can also affect the person’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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