The Social Implications of Alcoholism

social implications of alcoholismLife can be stressful, so it is only natural for humans to seek solace from stress. Many individuals rely on alcohol as an outlet for anxiety and depression or to cope with overwhelming emotions.  While some individuals do so in moderation, many walk the fine line of alcohol abuse. The alcoholic will eventually suffer an array of physical and emotional symptoms; alcoholism destroys families, relationships and careers.

Alcoholism and Crime

Every year nearly 3 million alcohol-related violent crimes occur. These crimes include rape, assault and robbery. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 70 percent of these violent incidents take place within the home, many occurring late in the evening. While minor assaults and robbery are still tragic, it is the violence that occurs within the home to be the most disconcerting. Oftentimes, the victims of these violent crimes are women and children. The abrupt shift in an alcoholic’s behavior may prompt impulsive and violent actions, resulting in domestic abuse, rape and murder.

Even a single episode of domestic violence may leave the victim feeling frightened and helpless, despite his or her unconditional love for the perpetuator. With similar fear, children of alcoholics learn to distrust the sanctuary of their homes and their relationship with the alcoholic parent. In cases of domestic abuse, children are perhaps the most tragic victims in that they innately love and trust their parents, despite their flaws. Therefore, it is not uncommon for children of alcoholics to either model the behavior or develop a host of mental disorders – from anxiety to depression.

Alcoholism and Careers

Not only does alcoholism tear families apart, but it also hinders professional growth. In a recent report in the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, nearly 15 million full-time workers are classified as heavy drinkers. What discerns moderate from heavy drinking is a fine line. Whereas a productive employee may celebrate a promotion with a drink or two after work, an alcoholic is unable to maintain healthy boundaries between work and drinking. As a result, alcoholics often have a difficult time maintaining job stability. More specifically, it is common for alcoholics to experience the following job-related issues:

  • Decreased productivity
  • High rates of absenteeism
  • Fatal accidents
  • Theft
  • Interpersonal conflicts with co-workers

Alcoholism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Any abuse of alcohol will inevitably cause some degree of harm. Fetal alcohol syndrome may be one of the most tragic implications of alcoholism. By choosing to drink during pregnancy, women put both themselves and their unborn child at risk. Women who binge drink are particularly vulnerable. Recent research reports that even a single binging episode, entailing the consumption of four or more drinks, may increase the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome. The only true way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome is to remain abstinent from alcohol during the entire pregnancy.

Similar to children of alcoholics, unborn children have a distinct disadvantage. An alcoholic mother may be deeply immersed in her destructive habits and be unwilling or incapable of modifying her behavior. Despite the grip of alcoholism, an infant born with fetal alcohol syndrome will suffer an array of consequences. Currently fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading cause of severe mental impedance, and it is completely preventable.

Facing the dark demons of alcoholism is no simple feat.  Recovery requires hard work and the support from loved ones. Choose to cherish yourself and your loved ones enough to take the leap of faith. Contact us here at The Oaks at La Paloma for information on how you can take the first step to a journey toward health and wellness.