As part of the study, which was published in the journal Addiction, researchers looked at 48 German families with an alcoholic member. It found that after 12 months of treatment, family costs directly related to the family member's alcoholism fell from an average of $832 per month to an average of $178 per month.
Two of the largest alcoholism-related costs to families prior to treatment were alcoholic beverages (an average of $310 per month) and cigarettes (an average of $114 per month). One year into treatment, those costs fell to $87 and $79 per month, respectively.
“We're opening up an area of addiction research that doesn't receive much attention,” lead author Dr. Hans Joachim Salize, of the Central Institute of Mental Health, in Mannheim, said.
“When they look at effects on families, addiction studies mainly focus on problems such as domestic violence and depression, not on the financial burden of caring for an alcoholic.”
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