Alcohol Related Death

Embarrassing Headline(s)

January 8, 2009

original pic by nayrb7 at The Discovering AlcoholicThe F–k It Effect!

Abstinence-Violation Effect (AVE) is what Alan Marlatt, director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, describes as the technical term for the relapse behavior commonly known in meetings across the world as the “f—k it effect”. It’s that feeling of total resignation to failure an addict or alcoholic gets after relapsing for the 100th time that often powers progressively worse binges. Check out this Time article in which Dr. Marlatt describes several ways to deal with and prevent future relapse including “urge surfing”.

Call me old fashion, but I was just too embarrassed to use the title, this next one is just corny.

Trouble: Doing Shots with a Pistol in Rifle

That’s right, just a few days before Christmas Heath Johnston of Rifle, Colorado killed his brother with a pistol after the two drained a bottle of whiskey.

Heath’s defense? He said his depressed brother requested that he shoot him. It comes as no suprise that he wasn’t too worked up at his initial hearing for first degree murder as “Johnston yawned as he took a seat next to a deputy public defender who spoke on his behalf.” Maybe he is just masking his grief, nah.

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DUI Victim Just Barely Dead

January 4, 2009

Original photo by joguldi now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Sara Longwell of the American Beverage Institute (ABI) is at it again defending the people’s “right” to drive intoxicated as long they are not caught or just sloppy drunk. In this latest interview, she is demonizing the use of ignition interlocks as punishment for those convicted of DUI. Protecting the ABI’s cash cow, imbibing bar patrons and diners, is her real objective- but as usual she acts as if she were defending a constitutional right.

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How the Drench Stole Christmas!

December 21, 2008

 How the Drench Stole Christmas! at The Discovering AlcoholicThe shopping frenzy for Christmas is certainly not limited to toys, liquor stores routinely post some of their highest sales during the holiday season. Alcohol has always been a part of the holidays, so much you could say the season is actually drenched in it. It’s an unfortunate irony that the very substance used in all this celebration is too often the culprit of holiday tragedy.

TDA reader zentient sent me a news story at the beginning of the month that I’ve sat on for while. It’s about an intoxicated knife wielding man was fended off by a neighbor using a candy cane lawn ornament. Seems funny at first; unless you’re the guy arrested for assault with a deadly weapon or his family that will probably be missing a dad for Christmas. Unfortunately things have only gotten worse as we close in on the big day. Take for instance the Rocchi family of Gilroy CA, who were woke up by police with a call that they had found their son passed out under a Christmas tree… dead. Apparently the twenty-one year old froze to death in a Christmas tree lot behind a Safeway.

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Beware of the DUI Bear!

December 6, 2008

Original photo by Uriba now at The Discovering Alcoholic

We’ll have to change our ways and learn. This is a terrible price to pay for just one night of drinking. ~KETV

The collateral damage from “just one night of drinking” in this case turned out to be one dead, one imprisoned, and a whole host of people that will be plagued by grief, remorse, and guilt for the rest of their lives. I ran across this story on my news feed and was almost going to let it go without comment because let’s face it, DUI and alcohol related deaths are unfortunately commonplace. This is not meant to be a flippant statement, but rather a sad commentary of our societal acceptance of these events. Reading further and following up on some of the past stories though, there is more reported here than your normal alcohol related death, family mourns.

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Drinking and Drugging News: It’s Bad, but Gets Worse

November 27, 2008

Original photo by billjacobus1 at The Discovering Alcoholic

Chaiti Das probably saved herself years of misery by cancelling her wedding after finding her fiancé shooting up heroin with friends prior to their wedding.

A 25-year-old woman called off her marriage two hours before the ceremony after she found the groom taking heroin and handed him over to the police in a West Bengal town, officials said Wednesday.Chaiti Das was to wed 27-year-old Biplab Kundu Tuesday night, but the groom had to spend time in jail instead. ~

Since this guy placed a higher priority on drugs than his wedding, I would say Ms. Das is much better off unhappy single than having to share a husband with heroin. If getting snubbed at his own wedding wasn’t bad enough, the groom also got to spend the night in jail.

Thanks to a drunk in Sante Fe, New Mexico this week, we’ve got an even better substance abuse example of how bad can quickly get much, much worse. Click “Read more” to continue…

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Loaded and Dangerous

November 19, 2008

Hat tip to TDA reader Zentient for bringing this story to our attention.

original photo by paul.kasatkin at The Discovering AlcoholicConsidering our nation will absolutely mobilize over tainted spinach or potentially dangerous toys from China, one has to wonder why one of the biggest killers in our country barely rates mention in Yahoo News. The same press that will disseminate an amber alert to millions in minutes or host an hour long special on a missing girl does very little to raise awareness of the deadliest of killers in our midst, unless you count the funny commercials and almost constant glamorization of alcohol in its programs.

A father arrested after his 6-year-old daughter was fatally
shot in their Washington state home allegedly told
authorities he had been drinking double shots of vodka while
cleaning his guns… he had asked his daughter, Stormy, to
bring him the .45-caliber handgun Sunday. He said he must
have pulled the trigger, and the girl fell to the floor. She was
pronounced dead Monday. ~ Yahoo News

So now we have another dead little girl, shot by her drunken father to add to the yearly thousands that die in alcohol attributable incidents. It wasn’t the loaded gun that was the problem, it was the loaded father. A wasted life, a broken family, and a tortured dad- and yet next week we’ll all be laughing at the funny Bud Light commercial.

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No Finer Tribute

November 2, 2008

The Bianca Center for Substance Abuse, named after Bianca Halstead of the band Betty Blowtorch, will open in Los Angeles this month offering a sane alternative to the quasi-spa and reality show treatment centers that have become some popular of late. I can think of no finer tribute to a recovering alcoholic than to have a treatment center dedicated in their name, it’s just a shame that this one has to be done posthumously. In 2001 after over a decade of sobriety working in arguably one of the harshest environments for a recovering alcoholic, Bianca Halstead was killed in an accident where the driver was intoxicated.

“I didn’t get sober until a few years after she died,” states Bianca Center Executive Director and Halstead’s nephew, Jaymee Carpenter. “What [still] blows my mind is how she made the sober lifestyle look so ridiculously cool and worth fighting for. She was an example to countless others by not only projecting that image, but by regularly offering help to those seriously seeking sobriety.” ~ MarketWatch

Fellow addicts and alcoholics in recovery including Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Duff McKagen of Velvet Revolver, and Ozzy Osbourne will attend the opening ceremonies on November 10th.

Here’s my tribute and TDA Salute to a memorable artist and alcoholic who is still inspiring great works in recovery. I picked this particular song for another recovery diva, The Junkys Wife, who I know is going through some hard times… take care my friend.

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Casual Criminal Stupidity

October 25, 2008

photo by XurbleAfter ordering takeout from Del Taco, a Colorado couple were surprised to find among the taco sauce and other condiments a small bag of pot. They notified police who then arrested 26 year-old Dennis Klermund at the restaurant, it goes without saying that he was also fired.

Yes the story is funny, but it also serves as a great example of how casually people break the law and risk arrest, fines, jail, injury and even death that are inherent with drug and alcohol abuse. The above idiot was so nonchalant about his drug use that not only did he goof up an intended drug transaction; he left the rest of his dope and paraphernalia in his work locker where the police dogs promptly found it. Duh!

Before you laugh too hard at this moron, try a little introspection yourself.

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Drunk in the UK: The Case against Opposable Thumbs

October 17, 2008

Fat Boy the Drunk Pony

Man has been brewing and distilling alcoholic beverages for thousands of years, but Mother Nature has been doing it for much longer through the natural fermentation of fruit. Fat Boy, a very ugly pony in Cornwall, happened into just such a natural phenomenon when he ate a stash of fermented apples and then became trapped after he stumbled drunk into a neighborhood pool. No harm no foul for the four legged boozer who was able to exit the pool via some hay bale steps after sobering up.

The same thing can’t be said for Wayne Forrester of London who proved just how much damage a drunk can do when he has opposable thumbs.

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Still Crying?

August 30, 2008

Hat Tip and thanks to TDA reader Norm for the heads up on this one!

One of the best known PSA’s of my time is the “Crying Indian” in which the stoic Native American lets loose a solitary tear in response to the littered environment. We may have got a handle on the littering, but if he’s read the latest government study showing that more than one in ten Native American deaths is alcohol related you can bet he is still crying.

WASHINGTON – Almost 12 percent of the deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives are alcohol-related — more than three times the percentage in the general population, a new federal report says. ~

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I Know Who Killed Carol Gotbaum

August 22, 2008

Gotbaum MurderedThe four police officers responsible for arresting and incarcerated Carol Gotbaum, who died in custody, at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were cleared of all charges and wrongdoing this week by a civil court. Thank goodness these public servants were cleared, now maybe they can get down to doing the serious work to bring her real killer to justice.

Mrs. Gotbaum was arrested for disorderly conduct after missing a flight that had been scheduled to transport her to a treatment center for alcoholism. She died while struggling to escape from her shackles and chains by asphyxiation. Her family had sued Phoenix for $8 million accusing the police of using “excessive and unreasonable force.” While maybe not as high profile, there is a large segment of the population that places the blame on the victim’s family who sent the emotionally and physically unstable Gotbaum off on a stressful trip alone. Neither of these groups can be blamed for her death… but it seems very few are really interested in bringing her actual killer to justice.

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Oh, by the way, did I mention she was DRUNK

August 17, 2008

photo by Benimoto

Sixteen year-old Kayla Preuss of Highland, California died from head injuries after losing control of her vehicle and crashing on I-10. Phone records suggest that moments before the fatal accident she was sending a text message that may have been a contributing factor in her death. Fox News ran the following headline:

Girl in Fatal Wreck Sent Text Message Moments Before Crash

Her mother also went on the record warning others of the dangers of DWT, driving while texting.

Preuss’ mother Kelly said she hopes the accident will make other people think before texting and driving. ~ Fox

Oh, by the way, did I mention she was also DRUNK!

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Famous Alcoholics: Gerry Rafferty

August 3, 2008

Calling someone a 70’s great might sound like a backhanded compliment, but since Gerry Rafferty sold over 10 million records and his songs are still played with reverence today I think he’ll forgive me… that is if he’s not dead yet. Chronic alcoholic Rafferty snuck out of the hospital this week where he was being treated for liver failure after a particularly harsh drunken binge at a London Hotel. Police have yet to find him since the hospital reported him missing.

Usually when I make a post on famous alcoholics it’ll contain a bio, interesting facts, and sometimes even a TDA salute, but not today. Nope today I’ll just offer a quick prayer, listen to a little of his classic music, and hope that alcoholism hasn’t claimed another life.

Come home Gerry Rafferty, come home and dry.

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Drinking Yourself to Death for Dummies

August 1, 2008

Long time TDA reader and unofficial site researcher Anna Z sent this story in an e-mail with “I don’t even know what this procedure is, but…” as the subject line. Obviously “repeated severe bleeding from ruptured veins in the esophagus or upper stomach” is a severe condition, but what does it have to do with alcoholism? Well I am glad you asked and it just so turns out that a good family friend was able to give me the skinny on esophageal bleeding and portal hypertension. His knowledge on the subject comes from personal experience, but he was lucky enough to survive and find recovery.

So welcome to the first edition of Drinking Yourself to Death for Dummies, the layman’s guide to gruesome departures via alcoholism.

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You Killed Grandma

June 21, 2008

photo by Mike HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — A woman with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for driving allegedly backed over her mother and left the scene even though loved ones yelled, “You killed grandma,” police said. ~ Fox News

When I first saw this headline I thought maybe it is just a joke or a lighthearted parody like the holiday’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. Of course as you can see below, when the story is real the song loses its charm.

Grandma got run over by her own dear
Backing out of the driveway trying to leave
You can say there’s no such thing as Satan,
But as for me an’ Grandpa, we believe.

She’d been drinking too much beer
And we begged her not to go.
But she was intent on transportation,
How she staggered out the door we’ll never know.

When we found grandma in the driveway,
At the scene lying flat on her back
She had motor oil on her forehead,
And across her torso an incriminating tire track.

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