Living with an Alcoholic

Living with an alcoholic and family addiction

What exactly is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is more commonly known as alcoholism, is a condition that arises from someone’s inability to control their drinking habits. 

When someone spends too much time thinking about alcohol consumption, or they continue to drink alcohol even when it does cause problems, we can safely assume that an alcohol use disorder is present. 

In England alone, there are an estimated 589,101 dependant drinkers, according to alcoholchange.org.

Of these 589,101 people, 81.7 percent of people are failing to access the right treatment, whether it’s because of denial, cost, or other factors like mental illness. 

In 2017, the UK saw 7,697 alcohol-related deaths, which is the highest level experienced since 2008. The misuse of alcohol is said to be the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15- to 49-year-olds, and it is said to be the causal factor of more than 60 medical conditions.

In short, an alcohol use disorder is a destructive condition, and without the right treatment, it can lead to devastating consequences.

How to tell if someone you live with is an alcoholic

Living with someone suffering from alcoholism is a difficult thing to do. Alcoholics, unfortunately, are not the only ones who suffer.

Drinking affects the whole family, and while someone with an alcoholic use disorder needs support, it can be a difficult thing to give if their behaviour is unwelcoming, uncooperating and generally challenging. 

There are many factors that are caused by living with an alcoholic. It can take a strain on a relationship and cause relationships to end; it can lead to mental health conditions in those surrounded by alcoholism; it can even lead to physical injury and domestic violence.

In truth, living with an alcoholic takes its emotional and mental toll, and in many cases, treatment isn’t considered until the effects of alcoholism are at their worst, by which point, treatment involves more than just sobering up.

Because alcohol is so common in our everyday society, we can often struggle to find the signs of a problem arising. 

If you are concerned that someone you live with is experiencing alcoholism, here are some signs and symptoms to watch for:

  • Are they drinking by themselves, or lying to hide their drinking habits?
  • Do they experience blackouts and struggle to remember their own actions?
  • Do they become agitated if they can’t access alcohol?
  • Do they drink with the sole intention of getting drunk?
  • Does drinking impact their ability to hold a relationship, be employed or remain financially viable?
  • Are they apathetic towards things they once enjoyed?

If the answer to more than one of these questions is negative, there might be a pattern of alcoholism arising, and it might be time to seek professional help.

The Consequence of Alcoholism on Children

Alcohol was found to be the most harmful drug in a study that ranked 20 drugs according to the harm they cause to the user and to others.

Overall, it was given a harm score of 72 out of 100. 

Parental alcoholism problems negatively affect children, too. In fact, many studies have found that children living with alcoholic parents suffer from poorer psychical and mental health, poor educational achievement, and vulnerability to later life addictions. 

Alcoholism in the household also affects children as they enter into adolescence, and it can lead to things like teenage pregnancies, drug and substance abuse, parental violence and extreme teenage rebellion, and in severe cases, even death and suicide. 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems that parental alcoholism has on children is that it makes children more prone to becoming alcoholics themselves.

A study in 2000 discovered that children who were raised with at least one alcoholic parent experienced a 2 to 10-fold increased risk of becoming alcoholics themselves. 

While this is unfortunate, early intervention to treat alcohol misuse disorder can be extremely positive and rewarding. Read below to find out how treatment can help the whole family.

Living with an Alcoholic: How Camino Recovery can help

If you’re currently living with an alcoholic and you’re trying to find professional help not only for their condition but for resolving any secondary conditions that have arisen as a consequence, you’re in the right place.  

At Camino Recovery, we specialise in family care, interventions and group therapy treatments that work to help you and your whole family overcome the problems that are prevalent when living with an alcoholic. 

Our treatment is tailored to your current situation, and might include treatment like:

Family interventions

You don’t have to hit ‘rock bottom’ before it becomes acceptable for the family to intervene. In fact, the early you can intervene in something like alcohol abuse, the easier it will be to make a positive change for the whole family. 

Family interventions are sensitive things. We conduct them in calm and peaceful ways with experienced staff there to help mediate and guide conversation. 

Find out more about Family Interventions

Alcohol Detox

As someone who lives with an alcoholic, this treatment might not be essential for you.

But, understanding what someone must go through to detox from a drug like alcohol can help you empathise and care for your loved one as they begin sobering up. 

Find out more about Alcohol Detoxification.

Family Workshops

We run a four- or five-day workshop to help families suffering from compulsive or dysfunctional behaviours.

Conducted in a safe space and with expert staff, families can overcome their pain and disillusionment of past experiences. 

Find out more about our Family Workshops.

If you want to find out more about how Camino Recovery can help you overcome living with an alcoholic, be sure to contact us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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