Children of Alcoholics

898 Words 4 Pages
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seventy six million Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. That means one out of four families is affected by an alcoholic, making alcoholism responsible for more family problems than any other single cause (Parsons). Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the individual, but also everyone around the alcoholic. Alcoholics can make irrational decisions that are harmful not only to themselves but also to the people around them. These irrational decisions can cause financial instability for the household which, in turn, contributes to neglect. Alcoholics may make the financial problems a family is already experiencing worse, and sometimes creates new …show more content…
Without a steady source of income, the bills normally acquired by a family (mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities, and so forth) begin to accumulate, affecting the families financial situation further. In the book The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls gives multiple descriptions of how devastating alcoholism can be on a family financially. Jeannette’s father, who was an alcoholic, would often only hold a job for a few months at a time, and moved quite often to avoid bill collectors. “We were always doing the skedaddle, usually in the middle of the night” (Walls 19). At one point, he even resorted to stealing from his own daughter. “One evening in May, when we’d been saving our money for nine months, I came home with a couple of dollars I’d made babysitting and went into the bedroom to stash them in Oz (her piggy bank). The pig was not in the old sewing machine” (Walls 228). One can see this not only takes a financial toll, but an emotional one as well. Many alcoholics are so preoccupied with their addictions, that issues and activities that were once of interest to them, are no longer a concern. The alcoholic then becomes oblivious to his responsibilities for his or her children. Children of alcoholics often suffer from neglect. According to the Children of Alcoholics Foundation, each year “1.2 million children are confirmed by state agencies as being victims of child neglect. Forty percent of these cases involve alcohol or drugs. This suggests that an estimated
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