Turning Point – the first name in New Jersey alcohol rehabilitation centers – keeps its attention on Alcohol Awareness Month. The annual campaign managed by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) hopes to help people acknowledge, understand, and overcome alcohol abuse and addiction that is harming themselves and their families. In previous entries – view them by clicking here and here – we talked about the campaign as a whole and how youths are prone to developing dangerous alcohol habits. In this entry, we want to bring awareness of alcohol abuse habits front and center.
How Alcohol Abuse Negatively Affects Your Family
Alcohol Awareness Month discusses everything that alcohol addiction does, not just to its users but also to their families. Spouses can feel undue strain when trying to maintain a marriage with an alcohol addict leading to enabling, codependence, or enmeshment (which will be talked about in our next article). Oftentimes, the household duties and expectations of the spouse with an alcohol abuse problem can fall by the wayside- putting burdening stress on the other family members including the children.
Consider that children are also highly susceptible to negative influences. As the problem lingers and worsens, the impressionable children can begin unhealthy behaviors. Teenagers are prone to mimicking the destructive behavior and start drinking, which sharply increases their own chances of eventually developing an addiction to alcohol.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself About Alcohol Use
To protect yourself and your family from the harms of alcohol addiction, recognizing there is a problem is key. The first person who can recognize you may have an alcohol addiction-forming is you. No one knows your habits, patterns, thoughts, and so on better than the voice inside your head. By acknowledging firsthand a potential problem, you will give yourself the courage and knowledge needed to take action, set things right, and move towards a positive tomorrow for both yourself and your family, who are probably feeling the negative consequences just as much as you.
Consider asking yourself these questions about alcohol use and abuse:
“Why am I drinking?”
There are many reasons why people choose to drink alcohol. Some drink to relax with friends. Others have an urge to quench a “thirst”. Certain people pick up an alcoholic beverage to try to change an undesirable mood or relieve discomfort. More still drink because they believe it is the only way to fit in socially. No matter the reason or reasons why you drink, it is beneficial to identify them first and foremost. Exploring this topic with family members who care about you can help reveal potential issues you might have never seen otherwise.
“Does my drinking offer a solution or an escape?”
After realizing why you drink alcohol regularly, ask yourself where it takes you when you do. Using alcohol to try to find a solution or an escape can be a dangerous line of thinking. It creates the untrue illusion that alcohol is capable of resolving or improving situations. In reality, if any situation does change for the better after having alcohol, it is actually outside factors that bring the conclusion, such as spending time with friends and family.
“Do I feel pressure to drink, either internally perceived or from
The pressure to drink alcohol in our society can be monumental especially if it is perceived to be “out of control”; without knowing where it is coming from, it can be difficult to actually overcome addiction. Some pressures can be entirely in your own head, but many may be external.