Free Essay: The Effect of Alcohol or Drug Dependency on Family

Published: 2023-08-23
Free Essay: The Effect of Alcohol or Drug Dependency on Family
Essay type:  Cause and effect essays
Categories:  Family Mental health Substance abuse Drug abuse
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1419 words
12 min read

Alcoholism or drug dependency is a drug that can easily affect anyone despite their age, gender, body type, or ethnicity. Individuals with drug dependency issues often have a substance abuse disorder. Drug dependency issues involve people who cannot stay for any duration without abusing drugs or consuming alcohol. To such individuals, consistent use of alcohol substances aids them in feeling ‘normal’ which is intoxication. Most individuals with drug dependency problems often had unstable environments while growing up. People who underwent a traumatic childhood or had parents who abused drugs often grow up identifying the structure of their youth as an exemplary trend of normalcy. Drug or alcohol dependency has many adverse impacts on an individual when compared to positive effects. Drug dependency affects not only the life of the abuser but also the experience of those in their surroundings. Since it is a disorder, it is vital that any individual suffering from drug dependency seeks medical help. Despite the transition being difficult, healing from drug dependency issues helps an individual regain explicit control of their lives. Thus, one can make an exemplary decision compared to when he/she is intoxicated. In this context, while focusing on drug or alcohol dependency, a discussion is present on the cause and effects of alcohol or drug dependency on a family.

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Causes of Alcohol or Drug Dependency

For an individual to be dependent on drugs, there must be reasons that influenced them towards making a decision that shifts their life towards drug addiction. Psychological, biological, environmental, and social factors are the primary causes of alcohol or drug dependency in an individual. Suffering from different mental issues and finding ways to tackle them to identify whether someone will be more dependent on alcohol or not. Due to suffering from stress, depression, or any other mental issues, most individuals might identify alcohol consumption as the best way to ease their conditions. Therefore, with consistent use of alcohol or drugs to suppress one’s feelings and better their psychological health, one quickly becomes dependent (Singh & Gupta, 2017). As such, when having a mental breakdown or psychological issues, one finds it easy to turn to drugs or alcohol instead of solving the problem using healthy ways. Biological factors cause drug dependency in that if one physiology and genes align with drug use, one is more likely to incline in depending on drugs or alcohol for better functioning. To many individuals, consuming alcohol exhibits great pleasure in the brain, causing their need to experience the feeling continuously. Without knowing and consuming drugs and alcohol for desire, one tends to become addicted to their mind becoming more susceptible to drug dependency and alcohol abuse. Besides, if alcohol dependency was an issue within the family, there is a high likelihood that an individual will develop similar problems due to sharing the same genes.

Environmental causes as a factor apply in that according to many research and studies, people are prone to be alcohol or drug addicts due to the people he/she associates with or the place one spends the most time. People who live near an alcohol establishment are more likely to use alcohol consistently. Since alcohol consumption is the new cooling trend in this generation, when one lives near alcohol centres, he/she is more likely to abuse drugs. Children who grow up in families where everyone uses drugs and alcohol, they are more likely to start using drugs at a young age (Hellman, 2015). As such, the child can continue abusing drugs making him/her dependent by the time he/she becomes an adult. Social factors are applicable, on the other hand, due to peer pressure. Also, persons with friends who drink consistently quickly become dependent on alcohol and drugs. When starting college or university with the need to find new friends, if involved with people who always abuse drugs, he/she is likely to follow the trend so that they can fit in the group. Despite using small quantities in the beginning, by continually hanging out with such individuals, one identifies drinking and drug abuse as a social trend and becomes addicted.

Effects of Alcohol/Drug Dependency on Family

There are many adverse effects of drug dependency on any family. Alcohol or drug dependency leads to divorce, financial difficulties, development of mental health issues, abuse, and child neglect, together with increased violence, are primary effects of drug dependency on a family. Divorce is a primary effect of drug dependency on a family (Soloski, & Pickens, 2018). Due to the co-dependency that increases when one person is reliant on drugs and alcohol abuse, the difficulties that arise in the marriage can lead to a partner asking for a divorce. Drug dependency on marriage associates with trust issues since when one is addicted to alcohol abuse, he/she can easily promise they will stop and are less likely to stop abusing drugs. The unhealthy environment in a family when one of the parents is dependent on drugs may cause the other to ask for a divorce for the sake of their well-being and their children’s. Besides, alcohol or drug dependency cases the abuse and neglect of children in a family.

When parents/guardians have substance abuse issues, they are more likely to abuse their children to neglect them for the sake of being intoxicated. A guardian with substance abuse issues is unfit to cater to the needs of the child. Therefore, instead of nurturing their growth, the parents end up diminishing the cognitive and behavioral abilities of the child. As such, instead of helping the child grow, he/she experiences many forms of abuse (Smith & Wilson, 2016). Financial difficulties in a family are often associated with drug dependency. Instead of providing family needs, when a parent is addicted to drugs, he/she tends to invest all his/her finances in the concept. As such, the parent might go home without any provisions as long as they are intoxicated. Similar trends can cause financial difficulties in that the man/woman can be losing their position at work due to their dependency on drugs to stimulate their functioning.

Mental health issues are other effects prone to develop among family members due to the case of drug dependency of an individual in the family. Due to being dependent on drugs, the acts one portrays are unhealthy and lead to the development of depression, stress, or other mental conditions in the lives of their family members. The act of dealing with a drug-addicted family member is stressful to a partner; hence, the need to protect the children can lead to an individual developing mental condition (Fuller-Thomson et al., 2016). Violence is another effect in the household where an individual is dependent on drugs and alcohol abuse. Due to the effects of intoxication, a partner can be violent once they get home due to petty reasons. As such, the abused spouse is likely to be mistreated physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Also, the children can experience trauma due to being abused or watching their guardians be violently injured.


In summary, drug dependency has many effects and causes that have adverse impacts on the lives of individuals and their families. Psychological, biological, environmental, and social factors sum up the roots of drug dependency. On the other hand, the effects of drug dependency and alcoholism to a family include divorce, financial difficulties, mental health issues, abuse, and child neglect, plus increased levels of violence. The most proficient way to eradicate the case of alcoholism and drug dependency in a family depends on the affected individuals seeking help from health professionals. Finding support to eliminate substance abuse issues can help eradicate cases of abuse hence no adverse impacts.


Fuller-Thomson, E., Roane, J. L., & Brennenstuhl, S. (2016). Three types of adverse childhood experiences, and alcohol and drug dependence among adults: an investigation using population-based data. Substance Use & Misuse, 51(11), 1451-1461.

Hellman, M., Majamäki, M., Rolando, S., Bujalski, M., & Lemmens, P. (2015). What causes addiction problems? Environmental, biological, and constitutional explanations in press portrayals from four European welfare societies. Substance use & misuse, 50(4), 419-438.

Singh, J., & Gupta, P. K. (2017). Drug addiction: Current trends and management. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 5(1), 186-201.

Smith, V. C., & Wilson, C. R. (2016). Families affected by parental substance use. Pediatrics, 138(2), e20161575.

Soloski, K., & Pickens, J. C. (2018). Medical Family Therapy in Alcohol and Drug Treatment. In Clinical Methods in Medical Family Therapy (pp. 321-354). Springer, Cham.

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