Understandably, much has been written of the harm excessive drinking does to the person consuming the alcohol.
The long-term impacts on the children of alcoholics are less well understood.
So, how big is the problem?
In the U.S., it's estimated that one in ten children lives with an alcoholic parent.
In a study just published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs[i], researchers in Denmark examine alcohol's impact on these children.
The results are chilling.
Instead of relying on self-reports for their data, these researchers relied on reviewed studies of hospital and other centralized records to gain a far better understanding of how excessive drinking by a family member impacts children in that household. And the nature of the data allowed the research team to follow children from birth to adolescence and beyond.
Children of alcoholics tend to have a higher number of mental health disorders and suffer higher levels of abuse and neglect. Children in these households also tend to suffer higher infant and child mortality. They also have an elevated risk of requiring hospitalization for physical harm or illness.
Where might this research lead specialists in the field?
That is unclear. What is clear is the treatment of alcoholics must include family therapy – an approach that Aware Recovery Care embraces fully.
If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.
[i] Brummer, J., Hesse, M., Frederiksen, K. S., Karriker-Jaffe, K. J., & Bloomfield, K. (2021). How do register-based studies contribute to our understanding of alcohol's harms to family members? A scoping review of relevant literature. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 82, 445–456.