Impact on the Family
When someone has an alcohol problem it can impact on the whole family. Family members can be impacted financially, emotionally, physically and may struggle to cope with life. There can be tension, anxiety and uncertainty. The uncertainty may be that a family member may not know what to expect from a loved one who drinks and this can be very difficult to live with. Family members often say that living with someone who uses alcohol is like living with Jekyll and Hyde, you never know who will appear.
The family unit can be a place of joy but also of extreme pain. Sometimes a family member may think that by not talking about it, the alcohol use will go unnoticed, however it is important for family members to speak-up and seek support for themselves. Traditionally services have focused on the person with the problem and yet family members also require services and that is who we try and support in Steps to Cope, those who are living with hidden harm.
Young people living with hidden harm can also be impacted in other ways.
- May feel they are the reason for your drinking
- May feel guilty for you drinking
- May find it hard to have relax or have fun
- May fear that they will be abandoned
- Health complaints ( I.E Sore Stomach)
- May show ‘knee-jerk’ reactions to situations, without thinking actions through