Alcoholism and Addiction in Shameless

Shameless shares a lot of the hardships the family must go through during the series. A major influence to the family’s way of life is the alcohol and drugs they deal with on a daily basis. Their father Frank is an alcoholic who can either be found at the alibi (local bar), a nearby pub, or passed out on the street or floor. Then the kids mother Monica is addicted to drugs. Frank being an alcoholic causes the children to give up on him especially when he calls child services on them. The kids had money saved up called the squirrel fund. One day Monica came back and both her and Frank began to act like normal parents. Giving the children hope that maybe they were finally going to be the parents they have always wanted. In Shameless: An Examination of Addiction and Alcoholism in the Family it states “Frank and Monica used the squirrel fund to buy a car and drugs spending their children’s saved funds in less than two days.” (Carreiro, 7) This shows how alcoholism and addiction controls people and can make them hurt the people that love them the most (their children). Monica and Franks alcoholism and drug addiction basically blinds them from seeing how badly they are hurting

Frank with alcohol after setting a car on fire.

their kids. They are so driven to buy alcohol and drugs that they basically rip the family apart. Leaving Fiona to keep all of the kids together and keep Monica and Frank out so they couldn’t tear the family apart. Shameless shows addiction and alcoholism as a big problem when it comes to families and staying together. Its also thought that when parents are addicts or alcoholics that their children are more likely to become that as well. In Shameless: An Examination of Addiction and Alcoholism in the Family they declare “Children of addicts and alcoholics are more likely to develop an addiction than children with parents who don’t suffer from addiction” (Carreiro, 8).  This can be seen in Shameless when Lip begins to drink during college because he wasn’t doing well with his classes. He drank to hide his pain because he thought that college was going to be a cake walk like high school. He quickly found out that it was hard and that he actually needed to work to pass but, when he realized this it was too late so he began to drink and even ended up in the hospital at one point. During the series, the kids handled Monica and Frank’s addiction and alcoholism very well. When Frank became too much they began to kick him out of the family and no longer respect him. This can be seen in the video below. Debby finally had enough of Frank and no longer could respect him and protect him like she had. Same went for Monica whenever she would show up they would give her the cold shoulder so she could no longer give them false hope. Drugs and alcohol can do a lot to a family including tear them apart but this wasn’t the case for the Gallaghers. Throughout it all the kids stick together and show their parents that they can do it without them.