Alcoholism is a disease that causes great pain within the family unit. What may have once been a home that worked in harmony can be torn into a million pieces when alcohol enters the picture. It destroys lives one by one until there is nothing recognizable about the person that has it and the people it affects.

Here is a look at how an alcoholics actions can destroy him/her and his/her family members:


People that become alcoholics often have deep seeded anger within them. This anger can become very amplified under the influence of alcohol. Those emotions that are often tucked deep down inside the person for many years can evolve very quickly when they begin to self-medicate themselves to kill the pain.

When this anger shows itself, it can come in the form of physical and mental abuse of those that had nothing to do with the true reason the alcoholic is angry about. Family members become targets for the alcoholic. This can be dangerous and cause many other side effects as time moves on.


Everyone loves a happy drunk. That is what you would think but that isn’t always the case. A happy drunk is fun in moderation. A person who drinks on occasion can be as silly as he/she wants to be. When he/she steps over the line into full-blown alcoholism, it becomes a major embarrassment for his/her family members. Imagine being a child that wants to bring a friend home to play. Imagine the fear that he/she feels when he/she doesn’t know what to expect when he/she walks through the door each day. It can be quite embarrassing to bring a friend home as your mother or father is standing over the sink with dry heaves.


Although it is true that when you drink you feel a lot braver than when you are sober. What is also true is that the self-esteem of the people you say you love is shot to smithereens because of your drinking. When family members are forced to deal with an alcoholic, they are often treated with such contempt by the person that “loves” them that they often feel they are unworthy.

This leads to a great deal of problems in the future of children, husbands and wives of the alcoholic person. It can take years to repair that damage, if it can in fact be repaired. These scars run deep in these innocent bystanders.

Sadness and Depression

Alcoholism causes a great deal of sadness and depression in the person who suffers from it. You may often find that an alcoholic becomes more deeply involved in self-pity than ever before. This leads to the depression they will often feel.

These kind of symptoms again spill over to the family members as they try to grasp the thoughts that are going through the alcoholics mind. Family members will try to make the alcoholic feel better and are often treated as though they make the problem worse.


Family members of an alcoholic often feel helpless to do anything. They will try to pour the alcohol down the drain to stop their loved one from drinking. This only leads to angry outbursts from the alcoholic as he/she heads to the store for more. Another common thing for the family members to do is begging. “If you loved me, you would stop”. These words are the feelings of the family members. They feel as though that should be enough to change the actions of the alcoholic. The truth is, it isn’t enough. The helplessness grows deeper each time a family member makes a failing attempt at “saving” the person they love.


Alcoholics often spend money on alcohol before they will pay for other things. Things such as food or rent are put on the back burner. This can cause a great deal of problems when he/she does it often enough. It leaves families without the necessities to get through life.

Alcoholism can kill a family unit. It destroys more than just the alcoholic. It destroys everything in its path. It is a hereditary disease. Those with other family members who are alcoholics should be more aware of the possibilities of becoming one. Often, awareness of a lifestyle they were forced to live in is enough to stop it from happening to them.

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