“Alcoholism is a deadly and dangerous disease,” said my father,_________, who saw his uncle fall to the disease more than a decade ago, watched my grandmother wither away from the disease until her death in January, and is dealing with his brother, David’s, fight with the disease. Alcoholism destroys families, leaving a path of pain that sometimes never heals. It can have long term effects on children, especially those born during the disease, forced to endure 9 months of poison.
Alcohol can destroy families in more ways than one. Alcohol can cause violent mood swings which can lead to physical attacks on family members even children. It leads to feelings of guilt and self-doubt in the people who must deal with it every day, this is especially true with children who tend to blame themselves for causing the person to act in such ways. Unless the alcoholic seeks help, divorce usually follows. The members of the family come away frayed, untrusting, and disillusioned about what family is all about. The children then grow up and fall into similar relationships, not realizing that the actions of an alcoholic are not normal, not to mention children of alcoholics are eleven times more likely to become alcoholics themselves.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is a disease that affects a person for their entire life. According to Dr. Morgan French M.D., a neonatal specialist, FAS can lead to organ dysfunction and possible failure, physical deformations, epilepsy, poor coordination/motor skills, poor social skills, developmental delays, and overall failure to thrive. These symptoms can intensify as the child moves into adulthood rendering that person unable to live independently. One in seven hundred and fifty babies is born with FAS; it is the leading birth defects in the United States and it is entirely preventable. Just one night of partying can forever alter the life of an unborn child and when that child is born, he/she will become someone’s burden. With any luck the child will be as “normal” as possible and will grow into a functioning human being.
Alcohol is a choice, a choice that can lead to a disease if not handled responsibly. To the families with an alcoholic it is a curse, destroying every aspect of their lives leaving distrust, fear, and hatred in its wake. It brands you for the rest of your life and ripples through generations, long after the last drop was consumed.