Alcohol has many negative effects on a family. Although physical effects impact the drinker, the effects on the family might be more damaging. A family that is impacted by alcohol abuse is more likely to have violence, marital conflict, divorce and financial problems. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop alcoholism and are more likely to be a victim of child abuse.
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Alcohol increases aggressive behaviour in many people and plays a large part in family violence. Whether the violence is personal, such as suicide, or interpersonal, such as domestic abuse, rape or homicide, it is a problem for many families. According to athealth.com, studies have shown that up to 42 per cent of people involved in violent crimes and about 57 per cent of men involved in domestic violence were under the influence of alcohol.
Marital Conflict and Divorce
Marriages that contain alcohol abuse have a divorce rate at least four times higher than those that do not. Marital conflicts involving alcohol not only include violence but also financial problems and sexual dysfunction. Although financial problems are the most common reasons for divorce, alcoholism is the second cause.
The economic effect of alcohol on families is severe. Most families suffer financially from the excessive amount of money used to purchase alcohol and an increase in medical and legal expenses, lower wages and lost employment. The amount spent on alcohol and its effects might exceed a family's income, thus reducing the amount of resources available to run and support a family and household.
Children and Alcohol
Alcohol has a severe impact on children. Mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy risk complications that damage the foetus' nervous system. Children who are involved in or witness violence and alcohol abuse have a higher chance to be involved in domestic violence and become alcoholics. Children of alcoholics tend to have anxiety and behavioural problems and lower self-esteem.
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