Addiction to alcohol drains a family both financially and emotionally. A family is ruined when even a single member becomes an alcoholic. Those who are addicted to alcohol view their lives as stressful, and they are often found to be unhappy and depressed. Mostly, they use drugs and alcohol to live a fake life, where they escape to an unrealistic world of pleasure. The situation becomes more difficult when the effect spreads across their personal and professional lives.

The devastating consequences of alcoholism
An alcoholic never wants to face up to the fact that he is actually ruining himself and his family. The person might end up with no money for food, but still sacrifices the basic necessities to get the daily supply of alcohol. Alcoholism lowers one’s energy and takes a toll on one’s health. The immunity system is damaged, and so is the appetite. Loss of job and alcoholism are very closely linked. Studies and research indicate, as one’s potential diminishes with the intake of alcohol, one’s physical vigor and strength to perform simple tasks is also lost. When caught at the workplace, the worker has every potential threat of losing his job for being drunk at work. Even if they do not lose the job, they become unproductive.

With alcoholism comes poverty
Poverty and alcoholism are interlinked. With loss of a job, there is a financial crunch in the family. The responsibility for children and groceries is neglected, and to supplement their addiction needs, individuals also lose morality. Alcoholics, under this circumstance, can even undertake criminal activities to satisfy their addiction needs.

The price of alcoholism to an individual’s life and society
The worst situation takes place when pregnant mothers are alcoholic. The baby is born with birth and brain defects. The growing children are also victims of the effect of alcoholism. They feel guilty and depressed. This again leads to criminal tendencies and juvenile delinquencies.

The spouse of an alcoholic pays the price of alcoholism by enduring domestic violence and a very poor social life. The family has to compromise on basic necessities of life. Treatment of addiction is not easy either financially or emotionally. The addict often refuses to get professional help; they throw away or hide the medicine.

Medication and rehabilitation are expensive. There are many independent humanitarian organizations that try to help to eliminate alcoholism, but other options require monthly expenses of up to $2000 for the basic level of treatment. The other family members have to meet the basic financial needs of the family as well as the cost of the treatment. Family life becomes stressful and unhealthy. There is a lot of emotional cost involved in a family that has an alcoholic member in the family. The treatment demands immense patience from other family members and at the same time arrangements for proper food and medicine.

It has been calculated that consuming a cheap $9 beer twice a day would cost $126 in a week and yearly it would be $6552. However, an alcoholic cannot limit himself to just two glasses of beer, so the financial damage to the family expenses would be more devastating. However the only saving grace of alcoholism is that it is curable, but it takes more than just willingness and effort; it also requires equal contributions from other family members to cure alcoholism in the family.


Since 2001, Dr. Alexander G. Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues.