Alcoholism is a very prevalent problem in The Glass Castle and Jeanette Walls’ life. This quote from the book, “No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids. Unloved children grow up to be serial murderers or alcoholics,” (Walls 83) shows how much her life was influenced by this problem. Maybe she knows what happened in her father’s past that turned him to alcohol, and maybe she thinks that when people are treated the way she is by her father, their only option is to use things like this to cope with there problems.
There are thousands of children in America alone that have to deal with this problem in their daily lives. Whether it be grandparents, parents, or siblings, they watch and feel the repercussions of their actions. I have seen first hand the damages that a parents irresponsible habits can make an extremely difficult life for a young person. Alcoholism is a problem that has been and will be continued solely from one generations watching the next. Alcoholism is a huge problem that rips families apart and is harmful to the person and the people around them. In America, 7. % of adults have a usage problem with alcohol. That is more than 27 million people (“15 Facts About Alcoholism Part I. “).
This shows how much of a problem it is in the united states. This leads to huge amounts of neglect of children, car accidents, and youth dying of under age drinking. Alcoholism is called a disease because it is one. It is a drug addiction that was the single most common addiction in 2016 (“15 Facts About Alcoholism Part I. “). Excluding maternity and intensive care units, forty percent of all hospital visits are used for alcohol patients (“Facts About Alcohol. ). This is a massive number and shows how prevalent this problem really is. One of the biggest reasons that this problem is a problem for families is that an addiction to alcohol is extremely expensive. This is one of the problems Jeannette has with her father’s addiction problem. While the family suffers, often not eating or struggling to find places to live, the father spends his time drinking. Not only does he drink, he drinks alot certainly costing his family thousands of dollars worth of struggles in the long run.
As Jeannette grows up she becomes more disgruntled with her father’s alcoholism partially because she begins to understand she doesn’t eat because her father drinks. Someone who drinks one beer at a bar a day, they spends more than 1,300 dollars a year. This doesn’t factor in the idea that someone who is addicted to alcohol almost always drinks more than that. In the case of the walls, there meagre salary could hardly support them without such a burden and with it they have little to eat and in some cases have nothing at all.
Another big issue with alcoholism is the serious danger to your health. 8,000 deaths are contributed to alcohol incidents every year. This number is 3rd most among lifestyle related crimes (“Facts About Alcohol. “). Stats such as these show that there valuable lives lost because of careless decisions. Often times, the people who die are not even the people drinking. They are often hit by drunk drivers or other bad decisions made by a person who was impaired. The people who die often are young as well. Last year roughly 2. 5million years worth of life were taken from people by the disease (“Facts About Alcohol. “).
When adults make decisions, they often are learned by their kids or other people who look to them as role models. This is no different with alcoholism and leads to a lot of underage, and unsafe drinking. A 15 year old’s mind is not yet fully developed and therefore means they are more easily influenced by alcohol. Yet in 2015, thirty-three point one percent of fifteen year olds in America had drank before. Additionally, 1. 3 million people under the legal age reported heavily drinking in the month previous to this study (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics. “). Alcoholism is also something that many people think may be genetic.
If this is the case then parents need to be even more careful about what behaviors they are teaching their children. When a person teaches their children these habits and that they are ok, they stick with them. Kids in college also have a huge amount of underage drinking. Of all full time students in college, 58 percent of them had drank in the month before the research. Along with this, 1825 students died from this in the last year (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics. “). This could be a challenge for the wall’s family as they grow remembering their fathers habits.
Drunk driving is one of the worst results of alcoholism. In the United States last year, there were 9,967 traffic deaths from alcohol related accidents. That is 30% of all car accident deaths last year (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics. “). Not only are these deaths but there are thousands of accidents that involve injury. This results in long term grief for people who harmed others, and harm to the families who have to deal with the deaths or with the injuries of family members. Sexual assault is also an awful result of alcoholism. Thousands of girls in college are raped by men after drinking or by men who are drunk.
Women’s college aged are 3 to 4 times likely to be raped by men (“Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics. “). Coincedently these are the ages men are most likely to drink. According to the national institute of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, one half of all rape cases involve alcohol and drunkenness (“Alcohol and Sexual Assault”). When men and women are drunk they both make bad decisions. Men do things like be aggressive and attempt sexual assault that they would not normally do. Women have a difficult time saying no and cannot control their reactions and emotions as well while impaired.
This is just another set of things that are problems contributed to by alcohol. This behavior is often sometimes the result of parents not being involved because of alcoholism. In The Glass Castle there a huge number of parents who do not help there kids and do not stay involved in their kids lives. In the book Jeannette and her siblings were completely abandoned by their father. A huge part of this was the fact that there father was always drunk. While he was physically there he was not a father who emotionally supported his children. We also see the character Billy in the Memoir.
He makes a horrible decision to try and take advantage of Jeannette. Billy is not a horrible sick person and that is not why he makes the bad decisions he does. The reason he makes bad decisions is because his father was never there to teach him. One time in the book Billy goes into his house and is father is lying there with his penis hanging out. This alludes to two different Ideas. For one thing it shows that he is a drunkard as he lays there unconscious. It also show that he fell asleep with his pants unbuttoned because he is making bad decisions while he is impaired.
This is another example of how drinking sends a bad message to those who are around you and learning from you. Alcohol is certainly has a detrimental effect on the body, but what it does to the mind is the killer. Intelligent Men and women who lead great lives with successful careers and marriages make decision they would never make while not impaired. Men become violent and harm the families they love because bad decisions like getting drunk night after night. People who just meant to have fun go home drunk and smash into a car, harming themselves and the people they hit.
Women make themselves defenseless against bad men who aim to take advantage of them. Alcoholism is a disease that makes a person someone they are not meant to be. Someone who will teach their kids habits they themselves may not want their children to follow. Someone who may harm others they have never even meant. People need to be careful of the positions they put themselves in with a drink. It is a dangerous habit for the person who drinks and to the people around them. In The Glass Castle we see a detailed example of a disease that needs to be cured.