When someone has an addiction problem, it doesn’t just affect them, but also their families, co-workers, and friends. There are major issues that arise with alcohol abuse and families.

It may be a parent watching their teen party every night. Or a child worrying their dad is drinking themselves into the ground. It could be a spouse. If a loved one is abusing alcohol, it impacts your life. 

Alcohol Abuse and Families

There are six deaths a day from alcohol poisoning alone. That doesn’t take into account the deaths from other alcohol-related health conditions. Most alcohol poisoning deaths are actually among middle-aged men, not college kids partying too hard, as many might think.

Alcohol abuse by a loved one of any age affects everyone around them – physically, mentally, financially and socially.

Keep reading as we discuss the relationship between alcohol abuse and families struggling.

Alcohol Abuse and Families

Close to 17 million Americans over the age of 18 have an alcohol abuse disorder. More than 7 million children live in a home where at least one parent drinks too much. If someone in your family is abusing alcohol, you are far from alone.

It can seem like a very lonely and isolating family issue. Many feel helpless around a loved one’s alcohol abuse and its harmful effects.

A third of all motor vehicle fatalities are alcohol-related. This contributes to the more than 88,000 alcohol-related deaths each year throughout the US.

Alcohol abuse interferes with life. Whether it be one’s job, school, home, relationships or trouble with the law, there are consequences of abusing alcohol beyond the serious health effects involved.

Professional and Financial Impact

Individuals who abuse alcohol may miss more time at work. This leads them to be passed up for promotions and lose focus in their career. Earlier in life, it can affect school performance and ability to get the job dreamed of.

On top of not making as much money as a person potentially could without abusing alcohol, they also spend a large portion of the income they do get on alcohol and alcohol-related activities.

Associated medical expenses can quickly add up and contribute to financial problems with increased medical debt and lost time at work, not just for the person abusing alcohol, but medical expenses for their partner and family members as well.

Impact on Home and Relationships

The majority of couples and families that seek out counseling cite alcohol abuse as an issue within the relationship. Family violence and breakdown is often the result of alcohol abuse. 

Emotional, physical and sexual issues are more common in a home with alcohol abuse. Not only do they seem to be factors in contributing to a violent household, but also can lead to an increased chance of children within the home growing up to abuse alcohol, drugs, and loved ones in the future.

Get Your Family Back

Addiction affects the entire family dynamic. Getting help for your loved one is the first step to putting your family back together. Call us today.

(855) 713-7262

Family Social Impact

Alcohol abuse within the family can have a long-lasting social impact on both the drinker and other family members. Relationships tend to revolve around alcohol. Social activities are either fueled by or avoided because of alcohol.

Family members tend to take on the role of caregiver or codependency to pacify the alcohol abuser. Dysfunctional coping mechanisms, low self-esteem, emotional instability, and other difficulties can be carried through generations and families for years to come.

Violence and Legal Impact

More than 245,000 violent deaths are attributed to alcohol consumptions worldwide each year. There are over 1 million DUI charges laid each year in the US with more than 13,000 deaths by alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents annually.

Between family violence, driving infractions and other charges related to alcohol it puts a strain on all other aspects of the offender’s life. Employment, family relationships, mental and physical health are all impacted by alcohol-related legal issues.


An intervention is often an effective way to help a family member realize how their behavior is impacting those around them. There are different forms of intervention you can use.


This form of intervention is often depicted on television shows like “Intervention”. Loved ones and a professional interventionist gather to confront the addict together. 

These types of interventions have softened over the decades as medical and psychological professionals come to understand addiction as an illness rather than simply a choice the individual is making.


There are situations where time to prepare and have “pre-intervention” meetings isn’t an option. If someone’s drinking has reached an emergency crisis situation, there may not be time to gather loved ones, prepare with an interventionist, and pick the perfect moment.

This is often a one-on-one confrontation due to an immediate situation that has arisen. 

ARISE and The Systemic Family Intervention Model

These two forms of intervention do not solely focus on the addict or alcohol abuser’s responsibility for dysfunction. They focus on the family as a whole and the responsibility of each person to own their behavior and duty to work towards healing. 

Rather than the person who abuses alcohol being sent to therapy or rehab to change their behavior and the family waiting for them to ‘get better’, this intervention technique gives everyone actions to take and healing to do.

Rehabilitation and Treatment

Rehabilitation is often the route to recovery and sobriety for someone who abuses alcohol. There are inpatient, residential, day treatment, and outpatient programs.

Many have found sobriety through 12 step groups and support networks while others require more intense treatment options.

The entire family can benefit from seeking therapy. It can help with issues that arise in their lives due to the alcohol consumption of a loved one. This can help the family heal and recover together. It enables family members to support their loved one while caring for their own needs in the future.

Alcohol Abuse and Families Seeking Support

There is support available for those coping with alcohol abuse and families who are living with it. To learn more about alcohol abuse and treatment options available, connect with us today.