One of the hardest things, I think, for people to do, is to ask for help.  We are such a society of ‘self-sufficiency’; it is almost considered a weakness if we can’t figure things out for ourselves.  From washing a load of laundry, to pumping gas or changing a tire on a car; these are just some of the things that somehow we are just supposed to know.  Its embarrassing to many of us not to know how to do some things; its even worse when we have to ask.  Rather than ask, we often muddle through on own, trial and error, to figure things out.

But when it comes to alcohol, trial and error may have enormous consequences.  Fear, shame, anger and humiliation are just the beginning.  Breakups, job loss, career loss, family loss, home loss.  And sometimes people die.  Family and friends try to help, but without knowledge of the disease- and yes-alcoholism is a very real, medical disease – the help is just not enough.

This website is dedicated to providing answers and help for you or for your loved one.  Alcohol use disorders (and all drug use disorders)  destroys lives of those effected with it and those affected by it.  Wherever possible, I have added links to people, places and things that I have personally vetted or have been vetted by others who have walked this walk that you are on.  I don’t promote insurance links (I personally find them distasteful and predatory, although, unfortunately, often necessary).  But recently, I was notified of a group that I spent some time researching, and I have found there site to be responsible and useful.

Their group is called Alcohol Awareness, and their link is: alcoholawareness.org.    Below is a page from their site:

“Alcoholism and Families
Alcoholism isn’t just the drunk uncle who makes people uncomfortable on Thanksgiving, nor is it the sad dad you avoid talking to at family gatherings. Alcoholism can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime.

If you are concerned about someone you love who seems to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, this guide on understanding alcoholism for families today will help you in your quest to find solutions and get your loved one the help they need.

Impact Of Alcoholism on Marriages
Alcoholism impacts the person struggling with addiction and everyone around them. Alcoholics may spend more money on alcohol than on bills, or they may neglect their responsibilities at home. Marriages are often hit hard by alcoholism.

This can lead to arguments and tension in the marriage. Sometimes, one spouse may enable the alcoholic by covering for them or making excuses. Over time, this can take a toll on the relationship and lead to divorce.

Impact Of Alcoholism on the Family
The impact of alcoholism on the family is far-reaching. Not only does it take a toll on the individual struggling with addiction, but it also affects the lives of those closest to them. Here are some ways that alcoholism can impact the family.

Excessive drinking has been linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Drinking alcohol excessively can lead to life-threatening consequences like accidents or death from acute intoxication or an overdose of alcohol poisoning.

A person who drinks heavily will often have memory lapses and blackouts, which may cause problems in their relationships due to a lack of communication between members of the family unit.

Alcohol abuse can create financial problems by causing a loss of income or inability to provide adequate financial support for themselves and others in the household.

When someone is addicted to alcohol, they might start using other drugs to try and self-medicate feelings such as anger, sadness, boredom, guilt, etc.

Alcohol abuse may affect other family members by leading them into substance abuse.

When To Seek Help

If you think you or a loved one may be struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. The sooner you get help, the better the chances are for recovery. There are a few key signs that indicate it’s time to seek professional help, which include:

Drinking more alcohol or for longer periods than intended.

Not being able to cut back on drinking despite wanting to.

Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from hangovers.

Letting work or hobbies suffer because of drinking.

Drinking in dangerous situations, such as while pregnant or driving.

Experiencing blackouts or memory loss due to drinking.

Support And Resources for Families with Alcoholism

It can be difficult to understand and come to terms with a family member’s alcoholism. You are not alone.

Here’s a list of resources to support you through difficult times caused by alcoholism. They include activities, books, and communities.

Activities

Children in families impacted by alcoholism need an outlet. The activities below are designed for both children and other family members. They are free and are available in both English and Spanish.

All Feelings Are Okay

Change vs. Cannot Change

Discussing the Coronavirus as a Family

Doing Self Care

Gratitude

Scavenger Hunt

Taking Care of Your Body

Newsletters

Many families affected by alcoholism need a reminder that there is always a way out. This reminder can be in the form of newsletters. If you or someone you know needs something to point them in the right direction, you might consider the following newsletters.

Beamer Buddies, Summer 2022 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Spring 2022 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Winter 2021 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Fall 2021 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Summer 2021 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Winter 2021 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Winter 2020 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Spring 2020 (English PDF)

Beamer Buddies, Winter 2019 (English PDF)

Community Resources

Like other aspects of your life, you need help to beat alcoholism. This help is available through community resources. Most of these resources are free, and those that cost money are fairly priced. The most popular resources for families curbed with alcoholism include:

Al-anon and Alateen, Teen Corner, Alateen chat, and literature for teens.

Al-Anon Information Services, 1-888-425-2666

Alcoholics Anonymous

NACOA: Only the Just 4 Kids and Just 4 Teens sections have videos, information on Alateen, the 12 Steps for Kids, and the 7 Cs.

Narcotics Anonymous

National Drug Abuse Hotline, 1-800-662-4357

Sesame Street in Communities: You will find help on the topic page of Parental Addiction. Here you can go through the available activities and pick the ones you like. Hazelden Betty Ford Organization created the activities in conjunction with Sesame Workshop for children ages 4-10.

Youth Crisis Line, 1-800-448-4663

Books

Books are a great resource for those suffering from alcohol addiction and facing the brunt of the addiction. Some popular books include:

Coping with an Alcoholic ParentPorterfield, K.; New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group, 1985.

Dear Kids of AlcoholicsGurze Books, Carlsbad, CA, 1988. By Lindsey Hall and Cohn Leigh

For Teenagers Living with a Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/DrugsHornik-Beer, E.; Authors Guild Backinprint.com edition, 2001.

My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a DiseaseMAC Publishing, Bainbridge Island, WA, 1996. By Claudia Black

Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent WorldGlenn, S., Nelson, J.; Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1988.

The Dragon Who Lives at our HouseRising Star Studios, LLC, Minneapolis, MN, 2011. By Elaine Mitchell Palmore

The Family Recovery Guide: A Map for Healthy GrowthBrown, S., Lewis, V., and Liotta, A.; New Harbinger Publications, 2000.

It is Not Too Late to Seek Help                                                                                                                                                            Alcoholism is a serious problem that can have a profound effect on a family. However, families can help their loved ones recover and lead healthy, productive lives with understanding and support.”

To view this website, follow this link: https://alcoholawareness.org/

I hope this additional information and this site will provide you with more insight into alcohol use disorders and the impacts this has on you and those you love.  Again, their group is called Alcohol Awareness, and their link is: alcoholawareness.org.

And my hopes are for your hopes and dreams….. Always, T