Dangers of Drinking because Your Spouse Does

If you are married to a person with a drinking problem you may find yourself drinking simply because your partner does. But by engaging in this behavior you put yourself at risk for all the dangers that can come with regular alcohol consumption. In addition, you may be enabling addiction in your spouse and prolonging the treatment you both need.

Direct Consequences of Spousal Drinking

The direct consequences of drinking include the following problems:

  • Addiction/physical dependence; alcohol is a highly addictive drug that produces a strong physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol addiction can take over your life, cause serious health problems and require expensive inpatient treatment.
  • Health problems; regular drinkers often suffer from poor overall health. Liver disease is especially common for alcoholics and may even be fatal.

If you drink often and suffer either of these problems, get help today.

Indirect Consequences of Spousal Drinking

The indirect consequences of drinking include the following issues:

  • Problems at work, as regular drinkers suffer more sick days than non-drinkers and are more prone to poor job performance, missed promotions and opportunities. Unemployment and financial hardship may also result.
  • Family troubles, as regular use of alcohol causes some people to neglect family responsibilities such as raising and caring for children. Alcohol abuse is commonly seen in families that come under the jurisdiction of social services.
  • Legal troubles, as driving under the influence is a serious crime in every state, and conviction for DUI will result in large fines, court costs and attorney fees, loss of driving privileges, increased insurance premiums, court-ordered participation in alcohol abuse classes and possibly even jail time. Injuring or killing someone while driving under the influence may result in a felony conviction, a mountain of legal and financial troubles, hard time in prison and a lifetime of regret and self-recrimination.
  • Poor judgment, as alcohol impairs reasoning and judgment. Regular drinkers are prone to making bad decisions from the mundane to the monumental; poor judgment can lead to an infinite number of bad choices, from driving while drunk to having promiscuous, unprotected sex. The consequences can range from destructive to downright deadly, and may include a drunk-driving conviction, causing an accident or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

In addition to all the possible problems you may cause by drinking, if you drink because your spouse does you may be enabling destructive, addictive behavior. If your spouse truly has a problem or is even addicted to alcohol, then enabling this behavior only helps your partner ignore both the problem and seeking treatment.

However, there are ways to approach someone about alcohol use. The first step is to consult a professional addiction specialist. Specialists will discuss your particular situation with you, give you insight into the nature of the disease and offer advice for talking with your spouse about treatment. If you would like to consult a counselor, if you have any questions about alcohol, addiction and treatment, or if you would like help finding treatment for alcoholism, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.

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