Alcoholism is a serious disease, which affects not only the alcoholic, but his family as well. The American Medical Association; the World Health Organization; the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare; the American Psychiatric Association; and others consider alcoholism
A report of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
to the United States Congress in 1981 revealed the following:
1. Alcohol related automobile accidents cost
California residents $825 million annually.
2. Health and medical bills for alcohol related
problems cost Californians over $2 billion annually.
3. Of California's 24 million plus population more than 1.5 million have a significant drinking problem, each one affecting seriously the lives and welfare of at least four other people.
4. Approximately one half of all traffic fatalities
in this country are alcohol related.
5. Broken families are a common result of alcoholism.
Concerning the children of alcoholics, they are affected in this manner (Ackerman, 1987, p. 27):
1. May be the victims of birth defects.
2. May be torn between parents; in being loyal to one, they
arouse and feel the anger of the other.
3. May be deprived of emotional and physical rapport.
Avoid peer activities, especially in the home out of
5. Learn destructive and negative ways of dealing with problems and getting attention.
May lose sight of any values, standards, and goals
because of the absence of consistent, strong
8. Suffer a diminishing sense of self-worth as a
Parental responsibility certainly suffers in the alcoholic home. Consequently, if good mental hygiene for the child is to be obtained at all, it must be sought outside the home rather than in the home (Glasser, 1970, p. 193). A child brought up by an alcoholic parent is very likely to have a fragmented ego, which cannot cope with the world, its procedures, or with his own needs....