Some families are living under excruciating agony due to heavy drinking which many will like to call alcoholism. This ailment has broken many families and many others are yet to be broken due to the disorder.
The term “alcoholism” refers to a disease known as alcohol dependence syndrome, the most severe stage of a group of drinking problems which begins with binge drinking and alcohol abuse.
I know that many of you are about to turn to the next page of the Sunday magazine because of the first two paragraphs that you have read.
However, I should not be taken to be opposing drinking but rather opposing heavy drinking which is the mother of numerous problems that the society that I hold dearly at heart is facing today.
Going by the standards, many of you will agree with me that from the time of our fore fathers, social drinking was regarded as a unifying factor where people would meet and discuss developmental issues and solve problems affecting their society.
However, many people today have reversed the good meaning of drinking alcohol, into abusing it thereby creating various problems not to themselves alone, but also to their loved ones.
Individuals who have become addicted to alcohol are more than likely to undergo a personality change.
This change of personality will definitely affect anyone who is close to them. Some alcohol addictions lead to indifference to matters and issues that were once of serious interest to the now alcoholic.
Work ethics and the sense of responsibility that an addicted person once had will no longer be upheld.
Personal pride, being neat and well groomed takes a back seat and self-esteem will suffer, leading to actions that are uncharacteristic of the individual.
All of these effects will then be spilled over into other areas of their lives.
Lack of work ethics and the continuous deterioration of the quality of work they produce may lead to them eventually losing their jobs, which in turn affects the finance and well being of their family.
Uncharacteristic behaviour of the alcoholic could cause them to become abusive (whether it be physical, emotional or mental) to their spouse and children.
There is the factor of risk-taking where their life and that of those around them becomes less important and they are likely to place themselves and others in life-threatening situations.
Then there is the abuse that close family members, in particular spouses and children, are likely to be subjected to.
These are likely to have even longer lasting impact on the family. In many cases, after the alcoholism has been dealt with and treated, the scars from such abuse would remain as a thorn when trying to mend broken relationships.
We have examples in our society today where man and woman are ever quarreling at home thereby creating an unfriendly environment which has caused the numbers of run away kids to sore.
Even when there has been professed cases of overcoming alcoholism, the damage done prior to attaining that victory is usually so extensive and severe that many lives (in particular that of the individual and family members) would never be the same.
Many families that were once happy have crumbled under the heavy weight of alcoholism, and since the family is the most important unit of any society, all these effects will have long term consequences on all of us if the people who are having this problem don’t style up.
Nevertheless, overcoming this problem for those who are already into it is very possible and one of the first steps to overcoming it is first admitting that you are facing it.
It is after realizing the problem that you can begin the road to the healing process which will require you to pay some visits to your health care provider for the alcohol rehabilitation process where you may be required to attend some counselling sessions that will teach you about the new ways to cope and control your urge to drink.
Deciding to quit drinking and replacing it with other activities like jogging and joining some voluntary clubs can help you to be kept busy and not think about drinking again.
It is through this that I believe you can triumph over this syndrome and bring back the lost glory of your families hence making our society a better place to live.
Family members are also advised not give up on their own and always advise and stay close to the alcoholic.
This could eventually lead to some positive results.