Blog - Beach House Rehab Center
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April 5, 2019

How Alcoholism Affects Relationships

If you’re the loved one of someone who is struggling with alcohol addiction, you are acutely aware of how alcoholism affects relationships in their life. For someone who is an alcoholic, their alcoholism can result in changes and consequences within all of their relationships, which can have a lasting effect not only on the user, but also on all of their friends and family. The ways in which alcoholism affects relationships can change depending on what type of relationship it is and the severity of the addiction. However, there is common information about how alcoholism can permeate relationships in the alcoholic’s life that can be useful to know if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse.

If you trying to deal with an addict yourself, this article may be good to show to your addicted friend or family member to show them how their actions are affecting others. Once your loved one realizes that their actions are affecting others, they may realize it’s time to seek professional help and go to an inpatient alcohol rehab.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth look at how alcoholism affects relationships and other aspects of an addict’s life.

The Effects of Alcohol on Relationships

Alcohol is one of the most widely consumed substances in the world with 56% of the adult population in the United States drinking regularly and 86.4% drinking occasionally. Because of its widespread nature, individuals suffering from alcohol addiction are constantly exposed to alcohol in a way that can fuel their addiction and cause them to slide further into their substance abuse.

As the alcohol abuse worsens, many users will begin to withdraw from their loved ones and will begin to experience other issues as a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the harmful use of alcohol results in roughly 3.3 million deaths per year (5.9% of all deaths). For individuals struggling with alcohol addiction, their alcoholism can permeate every aspect of their life and begin to affect their relationships. Below are a handful of the most common ways in which alcoholism can affect relationships.

Relationship Problems

One of the most common effects of alcoholism on relationships is the development of various issues within the relationship. Whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, alcoholism will begin to create issues that can compound into relationship problems over time. An individual struggling with addiction to alcohol will often begin to exhibit signs of their alcohol abuse, such as agitation, drowsiness, and confusion, which will be noticeable to anyone living with the user or who is close to them.

Often, the addicted individual will begin to stop attending social functions, limiting their social interactions, or exhibiting inappropriate conduct when they do attend social functions. Loved ones who are close to the user may be forced to make excuses for their behavior. It’s also common that when they confront the user about their actions may have an ensuing conflict with the addicted individual. These relationship problems can also become further strained by financial and social problems stemming from their addiction.

Financial and Social Problems

In addition to causing relationship problems, alcoholism can result in financial and social problems that further strain relationships with loved ones. Alcoholism can result in various financial issues. These issues can arise from the user needing to feed their alcohol addiction, causing them to be careless when it comes to how they spend their money. The financial strain may result in friends or romantic partners needing to pick up the slack by working extra hours or getting a second job to make up for loss of income. These are just a few examples of the ways in which alcoholism can result in financial problems that affect the loved ones of the user, as well as the user themselves.

Social problems can also be a common byproduct of alcoholism and can cause strain in personal relationships. Someone struggling with alcohol addiction may drink excessively at social functions, which can be awkward and uncomfortable for those around them that are aware of their addiction. Addicts may even retreat completely from social functions they used to enjoy as they become more deeply addicted in order to hide their behavior from friends and family. In addition to financial and social problems, alcoholism can also cause issues within family member relationships.

Family Problems

Families can be a supportive unit that relies on each other in times of need. Alcoholism can take advantage of this support structure and place undue pressure on family members for financial and emotional support. When there are children involved, this can also result in family problems that cause the children of the user to experience neglect and emotional, mental, or physical abuse as a result of the alcoholism. Children can also begin to display social development issues stemming from their unstable home environment and issues they may be witnessing with an alcoholic parent.

Wrapping Up

When an individual is struggling with alcoholism, every relationship in their life will likely be affected in some way, though there can be significant differentiation in the severity and manifestations of these effects.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol problem, our Florida alcohol treatment programs can help. Whether you need a short term or long term residential treatment plan, our experts at Beach House Recovery can help move to a sober life.


  • “How Are Friends & Family Affected by the Actions of an Alcoholic Loved-One?” Retrieved from
  • World Health Organization. “Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014.” Retrieved from