To: Officer Rexford
From: Anquan Patterson
Re: Determining Whether Mr. Potts Has an Issue with Alcohol, Which Needs To Be Further
The effects of alcohol abuse are far-reaching and sometimes disastrous (Saitoh,
Steinglass, & Schuckit, 2013). It can affect the normal functioning of a family and lead to
apparent threats to the community. As such, alcohol abuse affects every aspect of human life.
Importantly, it affects users’ lives, their profession, wellbeing, as well as security. It equally
impacts on the society’s social, economic, as well as public safety (Saitoh, Steinglass, &
Schuckit, 2013). While the spouse features into this line, children are the most affected due to
emotional and psychological issues. Most often, these children may develop problems, including
low self-esteem as well as depression (Saitoh, Steinglass, & Schuckit, 2013). However, there are
several programs and rehabilitation centers, which can assist such families to deal with the
problem of alcohol abuse. It is, therefore, vital that people and families are able to seek
specialized assistance before it is late.
How Mr. Potts' Alcohol has affected Children
Looking at Mr. Potts' case, it is very clear that he is fundamentally violating his probation
terms. However, I do not consider jail as the right place or solution for him but rather suggest
that Potts be provided with rehabilitation services, including counseling to both him and his
family. Even though it is a tough process, with the assistance from the family and the
community, Potts will be able to start his healing process. As witnessed from the case, his
drinking habits have significantly affected his family members, both his wife and children. For
instance, his wife appears to be suffering emotionally and looks weak as well as fatigued.
Nevertheless, she remains conservative, especially when asked about her husband's condition. It
seems she wants to protect and cover up for Potts' mistakes, fearing that he might be taken away
from her. To a greater sense, she is trying to fulfill her family responsibilities as a wife, since her
husband is always absent and never involved in their children's affairs.
Despite her efforts to keep her family going, I feel that she is forced into undertaking
these responsibilities with fears of confrontations from her husband. Thus, the part she plays in
this family is that of an enabler. Specifically, an enabler refers to a spouse who guards and takes
care of the family of the alcoholic partner. However, she could be enabling her husband out of
fear, though she does not mention it. In addition, there is a possibility that Potts is battling his
wife or at least attempting it, to say the least.
Family Member Roles and Reasons for their Roles
In Potts’ family, there are four members: Potts, his wife, and the two daughters. Cindy,
who has just turned eleven, is the eldest. She is experiencing problems, especially emotionally,
due to bitterness, confusion, as well as fear from her drunken father. However, she has managed
to do well in school and in other extra curriculum activities. For instance, she is a great dancer
and has been awarded handsomely. It seems this is the only way of letting her resentments and
anger fade away. Fundamentally, dancing appears as the best solution for escaping away from
what is going on at home.
However, my main concern is the afflicted scars she has on her forearm, which indicates
the presence of the violation. Moreover, issues of emotional and psychological trauma are
evident. Cindy's role can be described as a scapegoat since she acts defiantly. Though scapegoats
may appear to lead normal lives, they are usually harboring deep-seated issues, and struggling
with life at home. In this case, Cindy is crying out for assistance; therefore, needs therapy and
counseling in efforts to improve her life.
Sara, who is ten years old, is the second and last born in this family. She has also
performed well in school as well as in her dancing lessons. Unlike Cindy, she appears much
composed and relaxed. In particular, she does not portray any sign of anger or resentment.
However, there is a possibility that she could be undergoing through hard times, including
emotional and psychological torture. She identifies with her father, Potts, and gets him bears
whenever he asks. She always pampers him in efforts to make him calm down and be happy.
However, she argues that she does not like when she shouts or yells; therefore, she would do
anything to avoid it and help her mother. Therefore, she plays the role of a heroine. A hero is an
individual who would go to any extent to accomplish or safe a situation. In this case, Sarah
demonstrates that she is mature though at a tender age. Particularly, she does anything to distract
her father’s attention and manage his stress, while helping her mother out.
People at Risk of developing Alcohol-related Drinking
The children are the most affected with alcohol-related issues. They often suffer from low
self-confidence, fears, depression, feelings of guilt, as well as psychological and emotional
problems. These children would sometimes think that they are, to some part, responsible for the
problems going on in the family (O'Connor et al, 1994). Moreover, most of the children from
dysfunctional backgrounds would also feel isolated from other children, leading to the
development of poor self-images and low self-esteem (O'Connor et al, 1994).
Saitoh, S., Steinglass, P., & Schuckit, M. A. (2013). Alcoholism and the Family. Routledge.
O'Connor, S., Bauer, L., Tasman, A., & Hesselbrock, V. (1994). Reduced P3 amplitudes are
associated with both a family history of alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder.
Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry.
and Substance Abuse during Pregnancy
Effects of alcohol use during pregnancy shown by newborns
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes many effects on the fetus. It
causes a disorder known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). This is a
disorder that is characterized by man abnormalities and learning behaviours that
are evident throughout a person’s life. FASD causes body malformations, which
includes affecting the structure of the face and head of the newborn. It also
causes neurological effects and severe growth deficits.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to giving birth to babies with
low reasoning capabilities (Forray, 2016). This, therefore, shows that it is
advisable to stop alcohol consumption before conceiving and in case of
unplanned pregnancies, ensure that you stop taking alcohol immediately
after discovering that.
Effects of Cocaine Exposure during Pregnancy on Child Development
Cocaine exposure during pregnancy majorly affects the child’s stress
response system. Mothers who take cocaine during pregnancy expose the
fetus to its effects, and it decreases cortisol response in the child.
Decreased cortisol response means that the child after birth will always
have increased sensitivity to stressful conditions throughout their lives. It
also increases the child’s sensitivity to fatigue and pain. Babies born by
mothers who use cocaine also suffer congenital malformations and have
reduced head circumference.
Also, cocaine lowers senses and causes emotional swings since it can
be passed to the growing baby through the placenta. Lastly, cocaine
causes neonatal abstinence syndrome whereby a baby is born
addicted to cocaine and then goes through withdrawal symptoms.
Effects of cocaine use on babies:
Marijuana use during pregnancy
Marijuana use causes retarded growth while the baby is still under development
before birth. Mothers who use marijuana regularly put the baby at risk of
premature birth and slow growth (Volkow, 2017). Also, the baby indicates signs of
unusual crying and response to visual stimuli. Marijuana also affects the earning
ability of a child and are slow in emotional controls. It is therefore very crucial
for pregnant mothers to avoid marijuana and any other drug entirely for the
health safety of the child.
Marijuana and baby vision:
Volkow, N. D., Compton, W. M., & Wargo, E. M. (2017). The risks of
marijuana use during pregnancy. Jama, 317(2), 129-130.
Forray, A. (2016). Substance use during pregnancy. F1000Research, 5.
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