Alcoholism Essay Research Paper HTMLFONT SIZE3

Alcoholism Essay, Research Paper

HTML**FONT SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10*Clearly alcohol was in charge and had been for

years. It led the way by making our decisions and settling all of our critical issues. I,

she, or we didn’t — but alcohol did. Specifically, my partner’s addiction to alcohol

was the most important force in our family. She drank every evening for at least two

or three hours. Our child and I became addicted to her use of alcohol, and all of us

served to keep the alcohol flowing. If we did not manage this each evening, then we

argued, fought, and verbally abused each other. *BR*


Hearing others’ stories helped me break the rule about not trusting. I had disconnected

from my feelings so much that I didn’t know if I could trust what I saw or heard. When I

was a child I heard, “Your father is just tired, honey.” I also heard, “I never said that. You

must have imagined it.” Everything was so confusing that I became unsure of myself.

Thank God that so many Al-Anon members validated my feelings. They helped me learn

how to trust myself again, as well as other people. *BR*


The hardest rule for me to break was the one that told me not to feel anything. It was also

the most healing rule that I ever broke. I buried so much hurt, shame, anger, and betrayal

for so many years that I became a robot. I couldn’t cry, laugh, or feel any joy or pain

before I came into this program. I felt numb. *BR*


It was by breaking my family’s rules about talking and trusting that I finally found the

courage to break the rule about feeling. In Al-Anon I heard things such as, “Feelings are

neither right nor wrong–they just are.” I also heard, “You have to feel to heal.” So, I

began to let my feelings rise to the surface and finally come out a bit. No one ran away

from me or said, “Stop that crying.” No one laughed at me, either. Al-Anon members

held out their arms, gave me a big hug, and said, “Keep Coming Back.” *BR*



Alcoholism tends to run in families, and genetic factors partially explain this pattern.

Currently, researchers are on the way to finding the genes that influence vulnerability to

alcoholism. A person’s environment, such as the influence of friends, stress levels,

and the ease of obtaining alcohol, also may influence drinking and the development

of alcoholism. Still other factors, such as social support, may help to protect even

high-risk people from alcohol problems. *BR*


Risk, however, is not destiny. A child of an alcoholic parent will not automatically

develop alcoholism. A person with no family history of alcoholism can become alcohol

dependent. (See also “Publications”, Alcohol Alert No. 18: The Genetics of Alcoholism.)



Yes. Nearly 14 million people in the United States–1 in every 13 adults–abuse

alcohol or are alcoholic. However, more men than women are alcohol dependent or

experience alcohol-related problems. In addition, rates of alcohol problems are highest

among young adults ages 18-29 and lowest among adults 65 years and older. Among

major U.S. ethnic groups, rates of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems vary*BR*


Background *BR*


There are over 28 million children of alcoholics in America; almost 11 million are

under the age of eighteen (Cotton, 1979; Eigen & Rowden, 1994). COAs may be at risk

for a wide variety of emotional, behavioral, and physical problems during childhood,

adolescence, and into adulthood. *BR*



(Johnson, Leonard, and Jacob, 1989: Claydon, 1987). *BR*



Based on clinical observations and preliminary research, a relationship between

parental alcoholism and child abuse is indicated in a large proportion of child abuse

cases (Hamilton and Collins, 1985; Russell, Henderson, and Blume, 1985; and Famularo,

Stone, Barnum, and Wharton, 1986). *BR*



Research also shows that COAs exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety more

than children of nonalcoholics (Johnson and Rolf 1988). COAs often are forced to

grow up too fast, and some take on adult roles and responsibilities at a young age.

They may be hampered by their inability to grow in developmentally healthy ways

(Filstead, McElfresh, and Anderson, 1981); yet the problems of most COAs remain

invisible because their coping behavior tends to be approval seeking and socially

acceptable. COAs are more likely to be truant, drop out of school, repeat grades, or

be referred to a school counselor or psychologist (Johnson and Rolf, 1988). *BR*


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