This essay has a total of 1257 words and 5 pages.


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 point were he would either pass out or just fall asleep on the couch.

Alcoholics develop a craving, or a strong urge, to drink despite awareness that drinking
is creating problems in their lives. They suffer from impaired control, an inability to
stop drinking once they have begun. Alcoholics also become physically dependent on alcohol
(National Institutes of Health). That same year I could not come home for Christmas due to
a job and my father told me that if I couldn't come home, then he guessed there would be
no Christmas that year. My mother and my grandparents immediately told me that they would
come. When my mom returned home, she moved out of the house and never returned. She
couldn't take his attitude, drinking and verbal abuse anymore. The drinking had become
more severe than I knew and no matter what anyone told my father, he just wouldn't listen
or care.

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