Alcohol Related Violence

Licensed to Drink?

August 23, 2009

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

Regular readers know that I often harp on the lackadaisical attitude our society has about the tragic and deadly repercussions caused by our nation’s love affair with alcohol. The neglect, crime, violence and senseless killing seem to be “acceptable losses” while on the contrary other issues of lesser magnitude become the cause célèbre depending on which news network you watch or what political party is in power. Never have I seen this point made better than by Marc Folco’s article in the South Coast Today entitled Open Season: A new twist on the liquor license.

Mr. Folco is making his case from a different perspective, but the point is nonetheless well made. He argues that too much scorn, emphasis, and legislation is placed on gun ownership while alcohol use is in comparison virtually unregulated and above reproof. As a gun owner licensed to conceal carry, I do agree with him but he also makes a great case about the way our nation views alcohol related “acceptable losses”

It’s obvious that we need liquor control more than gun control, so let’s treat alcohol and alcohol consumers — including myself, a social drinker — the same as we treat guns and gun owners. From now on, you’ll need a license to buy and/or consume alcohol and it will cost you $100, renewable every six years. Before your license is issued, you will undergo an extensive background check, get fingerprinted and photographed and take a safety course that stresses the dangers of drinking, alcoholism and drunk driving. Balk at that? It’s the same fee and procedure as for a gun license.

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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 Plays Lead Role in McNair’s Death

July 6, 2009

Alcohol Plays Lead Role in McNair’s Death at The Discovering Alcoholic

Ex-NFL star Steve McNair and his girlfriend were found dead in his Nashville condo over the weekend. McNair had been shot four times, twice in the head, and his girlfriend Sahel Kazemi suffered one gunshot to the head possibly self-inflicted. There may be a lot more to this story including a jealous boyfriend and a mysterious time lapse between the time the bodies were discovered and the police were notified- but one thing is for sure, like many violent deaths the whole sordid mess was soaked in alcohol.

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CSI may be on the Wagon, but Murder is 80 Proof

May 22, 2009

Hat Tip and thanks to TDA researcher AnnaZ for the heads up on this one!

A few weeks back I wrote a blog entitled No CSI: DUI, but Death Rate Trumps Stabbed, Shot, Suffocated and Poisoned Combined that pointed out that while it is rarely demonized in pop culture, specifically mentioning television, alcohol is one of the biggest killers in our society. Seems that great minds think alike because Timothy Lineberry, M.D., a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic, has gathered data showing a huge disconnect between the murders portrayed in the popular CSI crime series and reality. He gives the numbers in the video, but the difference is basically 80 proof- both murderers and victims are more often than not under the influence of alcohol even though they are rarely portrayed that way on television.

So what’s the big deal, it just TV anyway… right? Not really, Dr. Lineberry explains:

Previous studies have indicated television influences individual health behaviors and public health perceptions… “We make a lot of our decisions as a society based on information that we have, and television has been used to provide public health messages.”

We are what we watch, and if all we watch is beautiful people beer ads, coming of age and macho drunkfests, and the stereotypical sober killer- then you can bet we will keep on ignoring how much misery alcohol inflicts upon our society.

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100,000 Reasons Why Legalization is Surrender

March 27, 2009

Legalization is Surrender at The Discovering Alcoholic

The change in administrations really has the drug legalization cheerleaders out on the offensive. LEAP gets more press than most because of their law enforcement ties, but I get tired of hearing this nonsense.

If we legalize and regulate the marketplace, economic rules will work in our favor, making it possible to instill control. It is time to fund education, research and treatment instead of jails and prisons. We all want a better future for our children and ourselves. ~ Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

It’s just another article covering the litany of “known facts” including how organized crime ended with prohibition and alcohol abuse is treated today as a medical issue… yeah, right. As the man says though, legalization akin to the regulation of alcohol would make it possible to “instill control”- with over 100,000 deaths per year attributed to alcohol- now that’s control I wouldn’t want to brag about!

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LEAPing out of the pan and into the fire

March 15, 2009

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition at the Discovering Alcoholic

Bradley Jardis has joined a small group of current and retired law enforcement/criminal justice officials of a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP. LEAP was formed to advocate the legalization and regulation of drugs as an alternative to what they describe a “failed war on drugs”. Jardis, in a recent MSNBC article states the following:

Jardis believes drugs should be regulated by the government just like alcohol. “We treat alcoholism as a public health problem, but we treat drug addiction as a criminal problem, and that’s wrong,” he said.

While I too believe that our nation’s current methods need revamped especially when it comes to education and emphasis on treatment (LEAP promotes both), but the legalizing drugs would be like jumping out of the pan into the fire if you ask me. Take Officer Jardis’s statement on alcohol and its treatment as a “health problem”. I guess if you want to call alcohol, a prevailing factor in 40% of all violent crime, just a health issue you certainly can, but don’t tell that to the victims or the prison population!

Until our society learns how to cope with this most destructive and costly substance (alcohol) that is already legal, I think it is foolish to submit any plan that suggests we can improve the current situation by legalizing drugs.

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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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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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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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Shrinking Therapy for Mean Drunks

September 8, 2008

I like to think of myself as toughened by habitual exposure to the cruel and senseless behavior of those who abuse alcohol but every one has a soft spot, and mine is cats. No, this doesn’t mean I am any less an advocate for those of my own species affected by substance abuse, but maybe because incidents that involve a drunk and a cat are less common they invoke a more visceral response. Regardless of why, these two stories of very mean drunks from last week really irritated me.

Drunk dad forces children to kill family cat.

Drunk man kicks girlfriend’s cat to death.

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UK to Drunk Rape Victim, “You Were Asking for It.”

August 12, 2008

photo by brandi666The UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) was set up in 1964 to make payments to those unlucky enough to become a victim of violent crime. A recent rape victim has had her compensation slashed because apparently the CICA deemed her intoxication may have played a part in provoking the incident. Doesn’t it sound like the CICA is implying that she was asking for it?

Her case is not unique, in at least 14 cases this year payments have been reduced to rape victims apparently because CICA must have also found part of the problem due to their drinking. Even though the CICA denies that it place blame on the victims, the wording of their own compensation statement seems to contradict this statement.

The issue came to light after one rape victim, referred to only as Helen, received a letter from the CICA saying her compensation was being cut from £11,000 to £8,250. It said: ‘The evidence that we have shows that your excessive consumption of alcohol was a contributing factor in the incident’. ~ DailyMail

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No Solace in Sobriety

July 22, 2008

Lamia by Herbert James DraperThe Lamia was a queen in Greek mythology that was transformed into a child devouring fiend after her own children were murdered. It was believed that she was cursed with the inability to ever close her eyes so that she would forever be haunted by the images of the slain children.

I was reminded of the long suffering Lamia after a reader sent me this story with a note saying that literally there would be hell to pay when those responsible sobered up. There is a small part of me that thinks maybe they should not even try.

WARSAW — A newborn baby girl died
after being thrown from a third-story window
in the Polish capital, apparently by a drunken
relative, police said Tuesday. ~ Fox News

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beer, beer, beer… BEAR!

July 15, 2008

beer, beer, beer… BEAR!beer, beer, beer…


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