Alcohol Related Death

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A Kennedy Comes Out

October 6, 2015

One of the most interesting and worthwhile interviews about addiction I have seen on 60 Minutes in some time. One time congressman and son of Ted Kennedy, Patrick opens up about how his problem and our problem are really the whole nation’s problem. Patrick Kennedy on 60 Minutes. View More: Newsmakers News|60 Minutes News|Live News|More […]

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Fiorina Reveals Family Substance Abuse Tragedy in Debate

September 19, 2015

Believe it or not, I watched most of the Republican Presidential Debate on Wednesday. The standout moment for me, being in recovery was Fiorina and this preface to her comments on drug policy, during which she criticized equating marijuana with alcohol. I had no ideal that she had lost a child to drug addiction and […]

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Nathaniel & The Night Sweats

September 9, 2015

Have you ever experienced night sweats while trying to get clean.  Did your hands shake?  What about feeling that bugs were crawling all over you?  Has your drinking ever led to some jail time? A strong contender for Best Music Video of the Year.   From Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats press kit: The place where […]

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Secondhand Alcohol Harm

August 31, 2015

I often see PSA’s on the damage caused by alcohol to the user; this one is about its effect on others. IAS – Alcohol’s Harm to Others from The Institute of Alcohol Studies on Vimeo. The numbers here in America are much larger. Our friend Lisa, over at Breaking The Cycles has a great post […]

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Drunk or Dying…You Make The Call

August 3, 2015

Drunk or dying…you make the call. That’s the tag line of a well done website and organization devoted to educating the public on the dangers of alcohol poisoning. Aware Awake Al!ve was born out of tragedy after the tragic death of Carson Starkey, who died of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity initiation rite. The Signs […]

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You Think Handcuffs Are Going to Stop This?

November 4, 2009

Stacy Goodwin is the Ohio mother shown in the video attacking Lori Osterland who was in court to face charges that she was complicit in the death of Goodwin’s daughter, 20 year-old Carri Goodwin. Alliance, Ohio, police say the Goodwin sisters and Osterland were out drinking. They believe 20-year-old Carri passed out in a car […]

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New Russian Mob will Tackle Vice

September 4, 2009

Original pick by shannonpatrick17 under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev seems intent on keeping his promise to sober up the motherland. Newsweek is reporting that “the new anti-alcohol campaign aim(s) at cutting the nation’s per capita consumption of alcohol by nearly a quarter by 2012.”

It will not be easy though, past attempts to reduce drinking by limiting supply or supplementing vodka with beer were massive failures. When supplies ran low the people made their own or worse, drinking substitutes such as cologne resulting in a steep increase of alcohol related deaths and beer just served as a warm-up routine for vodka and gateway to hard drinking for teens. The new push will include an aggressive awareness campaign along with new restrictions and penalties.

A Grassroots organization, Our People plans to push the idea further with an anti-vice campaign of “of online videos and flash mobs.”

It intends to send crowds out to gather around unsuspecting smokers on the street, walking alongside them and admonishing them to quit. It’s still working out a strategy for scaring alcoholics. If its targets are already drunks, they will likely be harder to spook if they’re in their cups.

Not the mafia but imposing no less, a Russian “temperance” mob would certainly make me think twice before lighting up in the street. I wonder what they will do to scare alcoholics? As much as I hate to admit it, if forced to put money on the outcome it would be on the alcoholics… who will find a way to drink even when facing down a mob.

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The Alcoholic Playbook: Using Elements of the Truth

August 8, 2009

Diane Schuler: Using Elements of the Truth at The Discovering AlcoholicThere is an awful lot of unnecessary conjecture going on about how seemingly normal Diane Schuler became both stoned and drunk before killing herself and seven other people in a head on collision by driving into oncoming traffic. I have read everything from conspiracy theories that her drink was spiked (I guess her cigarettes too?) to the family’s denial that the crash could have been caused by her diabetes. It has been my experience though that most people who get that drunk, that quick, have had plenty of practice.

So how did she keep this substance abuse from her family? The answer can be found in The Alcoholic Playbook; she used elements of the truth to cover for otherwise suspicious behavior and to misdirect unwanted attention. Alcoholics are rumored to have an almost uncanny ability to hide their drinking, but the truth of the matter is that they can rarely pass direct scrutiny so they make sure other obvious issues remain front and center as distractions. I would say that at least at the time of her death, she was using health issues as a means of misdirection and even enablement.

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TDA on Substance Abuse Denial in 3 Minutes

August 7, 2009

original pic by nDevilTV under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Denial, a topic so big I had to expand the normal TDA in 30 Seconds to a full 3 minutes. It’s the third leg of the substance abuse and addiction unholy trinity along with prevarication and selfishness. Most people though think that denial is only a symptom of the addict and the alcoholic, but the truth of the matter is much more sinister and depressingly indicative of why substance abuse continues to be such a problem. Personal denial is common and no doubt one of the most common road blocks to treatment, but what about the denial of the existing problem by friends, family, and especially society as a whole.

A just released autopsy report shows that cocaine played a role in the death of TV pitchman Billy Mays, yet his family is suggesting otherwise pointing the finger at “chronic, untreated hypertension”.

“We were totally unaware of any non prescription drug usage and are actively considering an independent evaluation of the autopsy results,” the family said.

Surely he didn’t use drugs; he was just an excitable lad. That’s denial.

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Big Cat has Last Laugh

August 6, 2009

Big Cat has Last Laugh

original pic by chadh under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Almost two years ago, Carlos Sousa Jr. was eaten by a very big cat at the San Francisco Zoo. His autopsy showed that he had been both drinking and smoking marijuana. His two friends, Kulbir and Amritpal Dhaliwal, were also injured in the attack and were eventually awarded a $900,000 settlement even though they were as much to blame as the zoo. Tatiana, the beautiful Siberian tiger, was destroyed- what a shame. My thoughts on the subject then:

The one thing I would be willing to bet the mortgage on though is that if you take the vodka out of this whole sad equation then both the idiot and the beautiful tiger would still be alive.

I do put human life above that of animals, but would have to think long and hard on the subject if given the chance to choose between the cat and these idiots. Especially now I know that even after the death of their friend, the cat, and a large settlement that the two Dhaliwal morons are still out driving drunk… who will they get killed next? Thankfully now one of them is back in jail.

With two down, and one to go… in feline heaven the big cat is having the last laugh.

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McNair Dead, Drunk: Would He Have Seen it Coming Sober?

July 20, 2009

McNair Dead, Drunk at The Discovering AlcoholicOne need not be a prognosticator to divine alcohol’s lead role in violence, crime, and accidents, but I am going to say I told you so anyway. Toxicology reports from Steve McNair murdered a few weeks back by his mistress showed he was at least twice the legal limit for intoxication at the time of his death. There is no real way of knowing how drunk and more importantly stupid he was before he fell asleep/passed out.

Drunk and stupid usually run hand in hand, but stupid is the key in this case because you have to wonder how many signs McNair missed that his mistress was becoming a bunny boiler. A man that made millions with his superb situational awareness and ability to read defenses- was whacked by a deranged teenager because he went on a week long bender. Now that’s a legacy! No doubt this one belongs in the alcoholic playbook, for all the opportunities missed, and worse, all the warning signs ignored by those to drunk to notice.

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Alcohol Related Death?

May 11, 2009

original pic by nrico now at The Discovering Alcoholic under creative commons attribution license

In Los Angeles, a car smashes through the front of a liquor store and kills one and injures two.

Cruz says detectives are investigating what caused the crash in the city south of Los Angeles but have determined alcohol was not a factor. ~ Fox News

With alcohol ruled out as a contributing factor my first thought about this “alcohol related” death was “what are the odds?” If not taken rhetorical the answer is actually heartening, back in the seventies the odds were 2 out of 3 that a traffic fatality was alcohol related- now it’s closer to 1 out of 3. Still too much, but it is substantial progress.

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DUI Hit and Run Takes Pitcher Out of Game Permanently

April 10, 2009

The youngest pitcher playing in the major league, Nick Adenhart, threw the best game of his career last night while his dad proudly watched from the stands. The dream come true was replaced by a nightmare just a few hours later when his dad was notified that his son had been killed by a drunk driver. Only one out of the four people in Adenhart’s car survived the crash yet the driver suspected of DUI still managed to flee the scene on foot before being apprehended. Not only was he way over the legal limit, but he didn’t even have a license because of a prior offense.

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From the Mailbag (Feb 09)

February 9, 2009

I always enjoy getting mail from TDA visitors and regulars alike. Some are just simple thanks or words of encouragement, others mean-spirited diatribes, and then there are those that I really like with links to relevant content. The two I would like to share tonight are of the latter, directing us to a pair of stories that are less than uplifting but worth sharing.

The first story was sent in by long time reader and contributor AnnaZ (who mentions that not apparently not only alcoholism, but sociopathic narcissism also runs in families), I can think of no better description than galling. Apparently this mother who thinks blowing off steam is a valid excuse for a DUI homicide, I just hope the loved ones of the victim don’t hear of this vexing outburst from an idiot who needs to get her priorities straight.

The second comes from Mark, one of my old friends, who was interested if I had ever heard of the term pathological intoxication. Heard of it… I lived it! But it’s still no excuse for the harm I caused and absolutely shouldn’t be used in defense of a crime.

Remind me again why America has a love affair with alcohol?

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Hawkish on the War on Drugs

January 16, 2009

Churchill never gives in at The Discovering Alcoholic

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~ Winston Churchill

It’s not a very a popular stance to take these days, but when discussing the war on drugs I am an unabashed hawk. Its has become a highly debated topic with both sides predictably skewing data and making “supported” assumptions in their arguments but IMHO most fall short of making a good case.

I’ll keep this short, the reasoning behind my support for the war on drugs is that legalization will eventually create the same acceptance and high tolerance we have for societal ills caused by alcohol. It’s not a family of origin issue, but a culture of origin issue- we glorify the use of alcohol yet downplay the tremendous resulting damage (abuse, neglect, poverty, crime, health issues, death, etc.).

Yes, I think the war could be waged more effectively with better tactics; there is always room for improvement. Yes, I think treatment should be stressed whenever possible, and no I am not advocating prohibition as the only solution. But I will never, never, never give in to increasing the availability and acceptance of a whole new class of intoxicants until our society learns how to better handle the ones that are already legal!

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