“How Drugs and Alcohol Affect Your Family, Not Just You”


Children feeling upset at their father when he’s drinking

The phone rings. My mom and I wake up. My mother answers the phone; it’s my brother. He’s screaming at my mom telling her that his girlfriend is hitting him, throwing stuff at him, and yelling for no reason at all. My mom is asking him why, he answers that his girflfriend has been drinking and she knocked out and now she’s yelling at my brother asking him why he didn’t wake her up. I hear her in the background, she’s agreeing with my brother in a sarcastic way. I was just thinking what the heck is wrong with them: calling my mother, disturbing my mother’s sleep to tell her their problems, thats not right. It was at that moment when I realized that my sister in law and brother’s alcohol addiction was not just a problem for them but also for my mother, and because it’s her problem too it’s the entire family’s problem.


Since this has happen to me, I’ve realized that is not only a me problem but a world problem. Many families are dealing with alcohol addction all over the world. According to Lander et.al. one out of ten children under the age of 5 live with a parent that has had a substance use disorder. However, the roles can switch and it could be the children who have the subtance use disorder and not the parent. Either way, being the parent with the problem or being the children with the problem it affects the entire family system according to Lander et. al.


According to the article “How Drugs Hurt You Family” when using drugs it starts to take control of your life, meaning you lose interest in school, sports and job but also you start to worry less about the people who surround you. In article “When Alcohol Affects Family Life”  it also says a parent doesn’t understand how their alcohol addiction could affect their children’s behaviour and how parents are harming children by misusing alcohol.


In what ways does this affect your parents or children when you are the one with an  addiction problem? Well in my situation my brother and sister in law are the ones with the problem, this has affected us in waking up in the middle of the night, my mother being worried most of the time, me getting in arguments with my mother because of how I feel about my brother’s addiction. In addition, the article “How Drugs Affect Your Family” says that when the child is the one with the addiction it puts stress on our parents, they fear that maybe someday their child is going to get hurt or might hurt someone else. 


When the parents are the ones with the problem, their children have to become the  bigger person.  The article “When alcohol affects family life”  says that the children have to take care of younger siblings, take care of the house (cleaning, cooking). Parents become so irresponsible that children have to grow up quicker but that also could cause emotional damage to the children.


Regardless of who is addicted, one thing is clear, we harm the people surrounding us. So, please when drinking alcohol or consuming drugs do them to a limit, don’t let them control you and if you aren’t capable of controlling them just don’t consume them at all.