Alcoholism Essay, Research Paper
Helping Families of Alcoholics According to Alcohol And You, We live in a society that drinks heavily,and teens are influenced by this. (Claypool 15.) Living with an alcoholicbasically means living with stress a great deal of the time. Alcoholism is a familydisease that effects not just one person in the family but everyone. In ThePower Of Inclination,” the wife’s love for an alcoholic made her terrified andupset. Also, in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone alcohol affects the entire family,even though the alcoholic is only a teen. In The Glass of Absinthe two adultsare drinking at a bar. They go home drunk and affect their families. Thefictional literature on alcoholism was accurate in its portrayal of alcoholism as aserious problem that affects many people. This report will be based onunderstanding the problem, how people are affected, and helping people cope. Initially, to help in understanding the problem, one must gain knowledgeinto why parents and teens drink in the first place. An alcoholic is not simplysomeone who gets drunk once in a while, nor is an alcoholic necessarily adrunkard. Alcoholism is defined as a disease caused by an addiction toalcohol. (Curtis 11.) The drinking problem can cause serious problems thataffect life, work, and health. This is shown in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone,when Marcus starts having a growing dependence on alcohol. His grades startsuffering; he wrecks his new car; the school newspaper turns down his material,and his girlfriend objects to his growing dependence on alcohol. All of theseserious problems are affecting Marcus’s everyday life, due to alcohol. Thealcoholic is obsessive with alcohol and is not able to control the amount he/shedrinks. This is shown in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, when Marcus states inthe middle of the day, Putting the bottle in his book bag had saved his life morethan once that day, (140). Alcoholics feel they need alcohol to save them. Instead of relying on people for help, they turn to alcohol. Marcus from You’llMiss Me When I’m Gone, had family problems which caused him to startdrinking. To get better, Marcus had to admit to his problem with alcohol andeventually reach for help instead of reaching for a drink. Most experts agreealcoholism can be controlled only by total sobriety. While alcoholism may involve physiological factors that make certainpeople more likely to become addicted, emotional factors are also involved. Forexample, self hatred is a common emotional factor in alcoholics. See, even myown son/daughter/brother/sister think I’m a jerk, and I probably am. Everyonehates me. Id better have another drink/another hit to take my mind off it . (Claypool 23.) In the painting The Glass of Absinthe the man and woman aredrinking. By their facial expressions and body language it was inferred to me thatthe man and women were drinking due to loneliness, unhappiness, despair ordepression. The man or women could be a teenager’s alcoholic parent whocame to a restaurant or bar to drink away their problems. Many alcoholics growup in alcoholic families. Drinking may be thought of as a way to lessen the painof their childhood emotional scars. In reality, drinking just adds to an alcoholic’sproblems. According to the book Alcohol and You, by Jane Claypool, Alcoholwill make it difficult for a person to make judgments, concentrate, and tounderstand things,” (69).The alcoholic, therefore, has much more that a drinkingproblem. He/she is in need of a great amount of help from a trained professionalto quit drinking. From You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Marcus was in great needof help. He was sneaking drinks from his parents bar, and a vodka bottle wasthe only thing that could get him through one horrible day to another. This
shows the fictional literature was accurate. When a parent is an alcoholic, each family member is affected. Many teens’ lives are filled with uncertainty when their parents are alcoholics. But adult family members are affected, too. In the poem The Power OfInclination the wife was uncertain. Love is driving me crazy, (line 1). Thisquote shows the wife was uncertain about her love for her husband due to thefact that he was an alcoholic. Alcoholic parents often hesitate betweenextremes. (Curtis 16.) They can be loving and responsible when sober, butwildly violent and abusive when drunk. Teens love their alcoholic parent onemoment but may resent them the next. Some days I just wished he were dead, says a speaker in Questions And Answers About Alcoholism (Curtis, 39). In thepoem The Power of Inclination, the wife says If the vets don’t keep him thistime, doctor, I’m going to find a way to kill him quickly, not piece by piece like hekilled me, (23-27). Her reaction is comparable to the factual quote because itaccurately reflects how desperate a family member of an alcoholic can be to getaway. It accurately shows that alcoholism can ruin lives. Often the effects ofgrowing up in an alcoholic household do not become apparent for years.Children of alcoholics either become alcoholics themselves or marry analcoholic. … one-half of the alcoholics in the United States had one or twoparents who were alcoholics. (Claypool 99.) The environment from which a person matures is less crucial thanthe choices that individual makes in response to that environment. Even ifthings at home seem out of control, teens can take charge of their lives. In You’llMiss Me When I’m Gone, Marcus was having family problems. But instead ofgoing to get help right away, he turned to alcohol, and his problems becameworse. Although Marcus’s parents weren’t alcoholics, he still had problems whichled him to his drinking. In some cases, it is the parent who is the alcoholic, notthe kid. For example It really scared me, and I started hiding in my closet sothey wouldn’t yell at me, said Melissa (Mclaughlin & Hayouri, 18). Melissa wasvery upset , I stayed away as much as possible. It was the only way I knew tosurvive, she admitted (Mclaughlin & Hayouri 19). This fact was also shown inthe poem The Power Of Inclination.” In this case a wife will do anything to getout of a bad situation with alcohol, even if she must resort to killing her husband. Teachers can help teens by teaching them not to feelresponsible for their parents drinking and by helping teens to understand that itis the parents, and the parents alone, who are responsible for their ownalcoholism. Teachers can help teens to understand that teens cannot cure theirparents without help from a trained professional. Teens need to know thatranting, crying and arguing with a parent accomplishes little. If the wife in ThePower Of Inclination would have followed these steps, she probably wouldn’thave had to come to a deadly conclusion. She even thinks about killing herhusband because alcohol ruined their relationship. Teens and adults with alcohol-related problems need to acknowledgetheir feelings. Some youths feel guilty because they sometimes resent theiralcoholic parent. But it is normal to feel this way, especially if a parent’s drinkingprevents him or her from providing the care and support the children need.Teens need to focus their hatred on the alcoholism instead of the parent.(Grossahandler 68.) This is the same for all people in an alcohol-relatedcircumstance. In conclusion, alcoholism is an addiction that hurts many familiesacross the nation. The solutions are often difficult, and healing takes time. Thefictional and factual literature on alcoholism was accurate in its portrayal ofalcoholism as a serious problem that affects many people. But hopefully, withtime and dedication there will be hope for those families who suffer with thedisease.