What can parents do to keep from passing on alcoholic patterns?
Alcoholism has been a part of culture for hundreds of years. Many people thinking alcohol abuse isn’t a problem are in complete denial because they are victims of its deadly influence on their lives. Alcohol related deaths outnumber deaths from other drugs by a four to one margin. It is one of the gateway drugs that open the door for victims to try heavier drugs.
Many people wonder why others seem to be drawn into drinking alcohol. Peer pressure to drink from friends and binge drinking are serious problems that only continue to worsen unless others step in to help. Another reason does exist for those who develop the taste for alcohol.
Alcoholism in the Family Unit
The problem with alcoholism is that it starts with that first drink. Most people that do drink will explain to you how nasty the first drink tasted. The reason for that taste is based on the type of alcohol they consumed. The ethanol in alcohol varies from 4-6 percent in beer to 40-50 percent in distilled spirits.
Over time, people will build up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol. They will begin to consume more each time they drink. The brain is affected from the effects of drinking as with the rest of the body. The medical community knows through research that genes play a role in why alcoholism is inherited through other family members.
Most people who have severe problems with drinking have other members of the family with the same issues. Heredity does play a role in the development of alcoholism. Parents that consume heavy amounts of alcohol can influence their children by being role models that they follow. Once the parent realizes that their children are drinking, they of course try to find ways to prevent alcoholism.
Parents who drink excessively are allowing their children to see and do as they do; they could be classified as enablers. Some parents have even been accused of furnishing alcohol to their children. This all plays into why alcoholism is believed to be an inherited disease from others in the family.
Breaking the Pattern of Alcoholism
There can be only one solution to stop the vicious cycle of hereditary factors to consuming alcohol: parents who deal with alcoholism must realize that they have a serious problem and seek help to stop using it. Unless they recover, the same pattern might follow one of their children into adulthood. It will be a continuous cycle until one of their own children becomes afflicted with the woes of alcoholism.
The first two steps in curbing alcohol abuse is for parents to admit that they have a serious problem and are committed to seek treatment to cure the urge to drink. Many programs are available to treat those with a dependency on alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous is one helpful program that has taken many people from the road of drunkenness to a life of sobriety.
Another option might be an alcohol rehab center if the funds are available to afford it. Most of these centers offer services through payment from an insurance company and the balance worked out between the parties involved.
It is important to remove all traces of alcohol-related products, glasses and empty bottles from the home once treatment is completed. Children that know and see what a parent has gone through will most likely never touch alcoholic beverages. Parents that have realized they needed help have taken the necessary steps to ensure that their children don’t follow in their footsteps.