Introduction



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INTRODUCTION

Mankind has used two powerful weapons to destroy its own powers and enjoyment, wrong indulgence and wrong abstinence”– Sri Aurobindo.

Every society appears to have discovered substances which influence the mind, reducing the fatigue and the burden of care, promoting fellow feeling and at least a temporary sense of wellbeing. All over the world, a variety of these mood elevating substances such as Coffee, Tea, Coca, Opium have been in use for centuries before the tranquillizers were invented and these are still preferred and self–prescribed tranquillizer in certain areas. In the western world, traditional euphoriant has always been alcohol, in one of its many preparations. From the Western world, it reaches all parts of the world.1

Alcoholism is matter of serious concern, not confined to any group, culture or country. Universally it creates professional, social, financial, legal, medical, psychological, and familial problems. The cost of alcoholism to the society is staggering by any calculations. Lost working days, accidents and related disability, family disrupts and resulting juvenile problems and direct medical complications of alcohol abuse add up to a significant proportion of loss to nation’s economy and well being. Alcoholism thus becomes a complex phenomenon deserving attention from deferent angles.2

Alcoholism is a family disease – One that affects every member of the family system in a devastating way. A family system will always try to maintain a sense of equilibrium. As the family works together to run smoothly, any change in one part of the family system will necessitate changes in the other parts of the system. Family disruption related to alcoholism is a serious, complex and pervasive social problem. The behavior of the any one member of the family will affect all of the other family members. When such changes occur, some shift in family structure or functioning must occur in order for the family to regain its equilibrium. In alcoholic families, the alcoholic’s drastic behavior changes create disturbances within the family and threaten to throw the families sense of balance out of kilter. Other family members must then alter how they function in the family in order to accommodate these changes and to keep the family system running in a viable way.2




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