Children are in a constant state of learning, whether it’s academic or behavior copied by role models such as parents. For those raised in a family with alcoholism present, children are more likely to develop drinking problems themselves. Since there are many things that can be attributed for men turning to alcohol later in life, the first step is to identify whether there were childhood issues within the home.
How Childhood Abuse or Neglect Affects Adults
Many believe that mannerisms and habits that are developed later in life are attributed to experiences throughout childhood. This may be caused by the way children absorb information and determine that this type of behavior is normal.
Until roughly the age of 20, humans are still developing mentally and physically. What children perceive as normal can become a learned behavior, which can affect their capacity to determine right from wrong. Often times, abuse and neglect leads to substance abuse as it gives the individual a sense of euphoria and enhancement of mood. This is because he or she is unable to receive positive reinforcement from parents.
According to Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, alcoholics that suffered some form of sexual abuse as a child may be more likely to commit suicide. While this is a painful and traumatic experience for anyone to experience, the addition of alcohol may reduce a person’s ability to think rationally which increases the risk for those that may already harbor suicidal thoughts.
In recent studies, 24 percent of alcoholic men suffered some form of physical abuse as a child. Although only 12 percent of alcoholic men suffered sexual abuse, these combination of childhood episodes demonstrate how family interaction can have a profound impact later in life.
Treating Trauma to Treat Alcoholism
Most alcoholic men have experienced a form of trauma in their lives that prompted them to “drink the problem away.” By getting to the root of the trauma, many alcoholics may be freed from problems of alcoholism. Identifying and treating the underlying problems reduce the risk of relapse while solving some of the mental anxieties and frustrations as well.
Solving the Problem Nationally
A recent national survey uncovered how an estimated 8.4 percent of people in the United States have suffered physical abuse while 6 percent suffered from sexual abuse. Considering the rates of alcoholism, this leaves hundreds of thousands of people susceptible to developing a drinking problem. While there are programs established to help parents raise children without abuse and neglect, there is still much that still needs to be done for the future of these individuals.
Seeking Help Before it Becomes Severely Problematic
Parents need to realize how their actions affect the future decision-making capabilities of their children. Even if you’ve been classified as a “happy drunk,” it’s still affecting how the child perceives the world. If you don’t want your child to become another digit in a national statistic about abuse and neglect, you must find it in yourself to provide your child with an improved outlook of life in general, without alcoholism in their lives.
There are many things that can affect the development of children, but abuse and neglect can cause a ripple effect that could haunt them throughout their lives. If you or someone you know is in need of help from alcoholism, whether it’s brought on from childhood experiences or not, call the hotline at: 800-890-3586. Every life is worth saving regardless of the experiences of childhood.