Alcoholism is a problem of national concern. Interventions to combat the disease have mobilized families, communities, schools, businesses, and governmental agencies (Bartek, Lindeman, & Hawks, 1999). Alcoholism is a widely recognized disease with complex problems that not only affect an individual but have a major effect on the entire family unit. The following paragraphs will describe the health profile of an alcoholic family, explain the high-risk conditions associated with the alcoholic family, and the associated behavior patterns. .
Discussion of the Family Stress theory is included to describe the assessment of the alcoholic family. Identification of Healthy People 2020 objectives related to health problems common to alcoholic families and a description of nursing intervention strategies applicable to the alcoholic family will be discussed. Examples of the role an advanced practice nurse assumes as a case manager for this family type will be included concluding with a brief discussion of a research article related to high-risk alcoholic families. The summary of the research article will describe the population, discuss the research performed, and describe the research outcomes.
Health Profile of the Alcoholic Family.
According to Healthy People 2020 (n.d.), an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from substance abuse or alcohol dependence. Abuse and the associated disease process affects individuals, families and communities, and significantly contributes to social, physical, mental, and public health problems (Healthy People 2020, n.d.). Problems such as teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, domestic violence, motor vehicle crashes, crime, homicide, and suicide are the predominant problems that result from alcohol and substance abuse (Healthy People 2020, n.d.). In addition to the problems suggested by Healthy People 2020, alcohol abuse contributes to familial dysfunction manifested by disrupted family roles and function, family conflict, and impaired family communication (Bartek, Lindeman, & Hawks, 1999).