The Impact of Alcoholism

Caucasian teen driver sitting in car handing over his ID to Police officer

Alcoholism affects not just the person who drinks. It also affects family and friendships. It affects the workplace. And it affects the community. Read below to learn more about the effects of the disease.

Impact on the Person

People with alcoholism must cope with problems caused by their drinking. These include problems with health, family, and work. Their drinking leads to fear and guilt. It causes anger and insecurity. People with alcoholism are often in denial about all of this. This means they do not admit their problems.

Impact on the Workplace

People with alcoholism have more accidents while at work. Their job performance may go down. And they are often absent or late. All this costs the company in lost time and medical care. It may cost in property damage. Coworkers may need to fill in or cover up for a person with alcoholism. This can lead to anger.

Impact on the Family

Alcoholism has an impact on the whole family. It can make family members feel alone. They may feel neglected or abused. They may be angry or distrustful. They may feel guilt or fear. These feelings cause a lot of stress and upset in a family.

Impact on Society

People with alcoholism are more often in traffic accidents. They are more often in other types of accidents and fires. They more often abuse their children and spouses. And they are more likely to kill someone else or themselves. The human cost of these problems is huge. So is the financial cost. Alcoholism costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year. These costs are in the form of medical expenses and high insurance premiums. They are also in the form of property damage.

What You Can Do

If you are a coworker, family member, or friend, you can help. Start by learning more about alcoholism and its effects. Learn the warning signs. And reach out for support. If a person with alcoholism will not get help, you can still join a support group and gather resources. One of the best things you can do is to not be an enabler. That is, you cannot make excuses for the person who drinks. This can help force them to take responsibility for their own actions.

Online Medical Reviewer: Karam-Hage, Maher, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Pienkowski, Dyanne H, MA, MFT
Last Review Date: 7/28/2011
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