According to many respectable scientists, alcohol is the 5th most addictive drug going, (after heroin, cocaine, nicotine, and prescription barbiturates). This is by potency, not by the number of addicted users ~ if you in add that factor then alcohol is the second most damaging drug known to man, (after nicotine).
About a 25% of all the people who have ever had an alcoholic drink will develop a dependence on it at some time in their lives. In the USA one in five people admitted to hospital, (for any reason), are alcohol dependent. In the USA about 25 million people regularly abuse alcohol, of which about 88,000 will die of it each year, (not including accidents).
Given all the facts, there is a very good chance that you are in a relationship with an alcoholic, or someone who abuses alcohol.
This gives you some very serious problems.
As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker then you can lower them. ~ Robin Williams
Illness ~ people who drink too much will get sick, and if they don’t strop drinking they will die from the consequences of their alcohol abuse. The kinds of illnesses suffered by people who abuse alcohol include; anemia, cardiovascular problems, cancers, dementia, infertility, liver diseases, memory problems, stomach problems, strokes….
Behavioural and Psychiatric ~ Leaving aside acting like a fool at parties and being thrown out of bars, too much booze leads to a greatly increased risk of serious psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression, which can lead to suicide.
Domestic Violence ~ Almost without exception, people who drink too much are lacking in self-love, in fact deep-down they care nothing for themselves. Given these two facts, deep-down they also neither love their partner nor care for them. This can, and does, lead to every form of domestic abuse known to man, up to and including marital rape and murder.
Many alcoholics are emotionally stunted and are unable to contain their emotions. ~ Angie Lewis
Child Abuse ~ As well as immediate physical and mental trauma, children in a dysfunctional alcoholic relationship suffer changes to their brains which results in lifelong psychological issues such as; depression, drug addiction and schizophrenia.
Money ~ Even before they are fired or quit their job, people who drink too much will have serious money problems. Alcohol is expensive, the things which go with alcohol are even more expensive, which brings me to ~
Lechery…. drink provokes the desire, but takes away the performance. ~ Shakespeare
Sex ~ People who drink too much have two sexual states; wanting it whenever and where ever they can get it, and being incapable of it. The first leads to unreasonable demands, domestic rape, bars, sluts, strip clubs, hookers, affairs and mistresses, the second can lead to violence.
Actually, I could extend this list for another few thousand words. Alcoholic abuse, and every other form of addiction, creates dysfunctional relationships, destroys lives, ruins families, and has effects which will be suffered by any children in the relationship, and those children’s children.
Our parents were our first gods. If parents are loving, nurturing and kind, this becomes the child’s definition of the creator. If parents were controlling, angry, and manipulative, then this becomes their definition. ~ David W. Earle
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation statistics show that the percentage of people who will relapse after a long period of recovery is somewhere between 50% and 90%. At the very best, the statistics show that the chances of long-term recovery, (more than 5 years), from alcoholism is about 1 in 3. I have seen, supposedly reliable, statistics which show that the percentage of men who are still alive and sober after 10 years of entering recovery is 4%, less than 1 chance in 20.
What can the non alcoholic, or non addicted partner do if they are in a dysfunctional relationship with a boozer, a gambler, a drug addict? The very short answer is ~ Leave. Especially get your children out of there.
The longer answer is that there are a number of family support networks starting with Al-Anon. Get medical help, try to get the alcoholic / addict into rehab, get them committed, arrested, get a restraining order, plead, beg,… But Be Very Aware ~ Until the alcoholic / addict / gambler / whatever, really truly wants to recover, you are wasting your time. However low you think you are, there is a rock bottom much lower, and another even lower than that.
This post is written from a male viewpoint.
My name is jack collier, and I am a recovering alcoholic.