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Alcoholism has devastating effects not only to society, but also to the family structure. Alcohol dependence develops differently in each individual. But certain symptoms characterize the illness, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). An alcoholic separates them self from almost all social situations and consumes his/her self in having another drink or thinking about their next drink. Seventy six million Americans, about 43% of the U.S. adult population, have been exposed to alcoholism in the family (NIAAA) . I have first-hand experience dealing with an alcoholic because my father was one until his death on July 2,nd 2004. My father’s alcoholism started around 10 years ago. That was the first time I noticed him drinking heavily. Since the summer of 1994, my father continued drinking more and more each month. His attitude started drastically changing and his moods became more irregular almost every week. It was during this time that many family friends began distancing themselves from my dad and our family. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that other behaviors common in people who are alcohol dependent include seeking out opportunities to drink alcoholic beverages—often to the exclusion of other activities—and rapidly returning to established drinking patterns following periods of abstinence. The alcohol started taking over his life and he became less concerned with anything else. After graduating from high school, I moved to Tennessee where I went to college. During my years there, my mother would tell me small stories about my father and his drinking. I would often notice how my dad would slur words and not make much sense of things. After my second year in Tennessee he stopped coming to visit due to many excuses, but I later found out from my mother that he only wanted to stay at home to drink. She did not want to tell me this in fear that it would place additional strain on me being academically successful. After the third year I was in Tennessee, my mother came for my birthday once again and that is when she informed me of all the problems and how serious my dad’s drinking had become. He was becoming verbally abusive, had a lack of caring for things and would drink each night to the poin... ... middle of paper ... ... and love. This later resulting in a domino effect which future generations may deal with (National Association for Children of Alcoholics). Children raised in alcoholic families have different life experiences than children raised in non-alcoholic families. Children raised in other types of dysfunctional families may have similar developmental losses and stressors as do children raised in alcoholic families. Children of alcoholics are more likely to be truant, drop out of school, repeat grades, or be referred to a school counselor, or psychologist. This may have little to do with academic ability; rather, they may have difficulty bonding with teachers, other students and the school. They also may experience anxiety related to performance or they may be afraid of failure. This disease requires much needed attention from society in order for the overwhelming problems associated with alcoholism to be fixed. We as counselors must understand the impact alcoholism not only has on a person and his/her family, but also on society and future generations. It is our job to try and treat such problems and make people aware of the consequences of such addictions.

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