Alcoholism is a family disease. As one expert put it, For every person with an alcohol problem, it is estimated that four family members are directly affected, which means that approximately 72.4 million family members are touched by alcohol (Kinney, 2015, p. 42). An alcoholic can disrupt family life and bring lasting effects on the members of the family. The children of alcoholics may feel responsible for the problems of the alcoholic. These thoughts generate high levels of stress among the children. Consequently, the children may become excessively self-conscious and different from others thus developing a poor self-image. For younger children, the tension in the family may contribute to problems such as nightmares, bed-wetting, and general restlessness.
Some studies have associated violence and crime with alcoholism. As Kinney (2015) put it, Drinking is a major factor in family violence (p. 48). Domestic violence includes battering and incest and the victims are usually traumatized because they feel responsible for what befalls them. In couples whose relationships have included aggressive episodes, physical aggression is four times more likely to involve alcohol than is verbal aggression and is also a precipitating factor in child abuse, beatings, and other family violence. (Kinney, 2015, p. 48)When these problems are not addressed early, they end up affecting the children later in life.
Alcoholism also has legal consequences on individuals. To a considerable legislation can help check the effects of alcohol. According to Kinney, Law Enforcement, The effectiveness of legislative interventions depends on the presence of law enforcement. For example, the legal level of alcohol for driving has an impact, but only to the extent that there is visible enforcement, which is best accomplished by frequent random tests (2015, p. 18). This means that it is possible to tackle the effects on alcoholism through implementation of strict laws on alcohol consumption.
There has been a staggering amount of arrests for DWI. For example, Over the past 10 years, the rate of DWI arrests among women has risen by 29% (Kinney, 2015, p. 45). Several of those arrested for drunk driving offenses have been incarcerated. These sentiments are echoed by Kinney (2015) who asserted that A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that virtually two thirds of community jail inmates met criteria for alcohol or drug abuse/dependence (p. 48). In other cases besides incarceration, withdrawal of driving privileges and separation of families has also been witnessed. In some of these cases, some children have been placed in foster care.
The friend in this case is in the prodromal phase of alcoholism according to the Jellinek Curve. In this phase, an individual has increased their alcohol intake and alcohol intake is not restricted to social gatherings alone (Kinney, 2015). The fact that she drinks during working hours indicates that she has begun drinking more heavily and her ability to stop drinking when others stop gradually reduces. She lost her job because she was drinking at an inappropriate place and time. She has exhibited one pattern associated with the prodromal phase, which is sneaking drinks at work where she thinks no one is looking. It also implies that she has become more dependent or reliant on alcohol as an escape from daily pressures that may stem from her work, family, and other areas. She also indicated that she has developed an increased tolerance to alcohol, a characteristic associated with the prodromal phase.
According to Jellinek, conscious effort is required by the drinker to look normal (Kinney, 2015). The individual has some control over their life. This may explain why she had been able to maintain her job for some time before she lost it because of drinking during working hours. The fact that this is the second job she has lost because of drinking signals that her condition is steadily progressing into the crucial phase. In that phase, a problem drinker loses control over their life and struggles to keep a job.
Kinney, J. (2015). Loosenig the grip: A handbook of alcohol information. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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