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This is a question Addicted

Cigarettes, gambling, porn and booze. What's your addiction? How low have you sunk and how have you tried to beat it?

Thanks to big-girl's-blouse for the suggestion

(, Thu 18 Dec 2008, 16:42)
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My experience of alcoholism.
As a young woman, up to my early 20s, I tended to see my friends in pubs and so saw a lot of drunkenness.

Certain young drinkers were jokingly called alcoholics, as in 'That Bill, he's a right laugh! Always pissed up! He's an alcoholic, he is!'

About 20-25 years later, working in healthcare, I was meeting those jolly chaps and chapesses again, this time in hospitals where they were dying of the various effects of, yes, longterm alcoholism.
Most were in their 50s or even 40s.

I'd say hey, remember the pub across from the station? Had some great nights there! With Harry and Helen, and Tony with the wooden leg, and Jess and Paul and the twins, and that girl with the funny hand, but she couldn't half play pool...

They'd stare blankly because not only could they not recognise me, they couldn't remember anything, not even where they were. Everything before that was a blur of drunkenness - years and years of it.

I'd hear of their deaths within the year, or they'd die right there on the ward, and nobody seemed very bothered. Presumably they'd long since driven away their families and non-drinking friends.

As has been pointed out here, drink can be more dangerous than drugs, if only because it's more freely available.

Some stories on here remind me of the 'Bills' of my youth. Makes me sad to think that in 20 or so years, they could end up the same way.

It's up to them - doesn't have to be that way.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 8:25, 12 replies)
Alcohol is a drug.
Withdrawal can be fatal, in and of itself, unlike Heroin, Cocaine, etc. It's nothing to do with availability, it's just a general attitude towards it like it isn't a drug. That and everyone is stupid and doesn't take drugs properly, they use them as social lubricants.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 9:04, closed)
Nope, nobody ever died of stopping drinking alcohol.
Dying's the only thing that stops some people, though.
It's up to them - they can choose to stop, just as any addict can. Plenty do, and get praise for it, notably on here.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 9:29, closed)
Actually, not quite true.
Taking a serious alcoholic, a truly long-term pickled drunk, and cutting him off completely can be fatal. Some people need to be weaned off of it, or have doctors standing by with drugs to counteract the withdrawal symptoms.

Pretty nasty stuff.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 13:39, closed)
Well, I could be a pedant here
and point out that even in that case, whatever harm comes to the long-term pickled drunk has come about because of the alcohol abuse itself, rather than because of stopping drinking.

Besides which, it's hard to imagine such a person even trying to stop. I'm thinking of, say, George Best, who didn't stop drinking even after a liver transplant. Tragic.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 15:06, closed)
I probably shouldn't tell this tale, as it's really not mine to tell... but what the hell, this is not likely to be read by those involved.

I knew a man who had a pretty serious substance abuse problem in his youth- I've never gotten the details, but apparently it was some pretty hardcore stuff as he was exposed to Hepatitis C in the process. By the time I met him he had already done jail time for repeat DWI offenses and had a history of quitting or getting fired.

He married a woman whose father had been an alcoholic, and after a time she hectored him into stopping drinking. All seemed well and good, I suppose- except that what she didn't know was that he took to things other than alcohol after that.

He died in his forties of a brain aneurysm that stopped his breathing and his heart long enough to kill most of his brain. Apparently he was taking some form of opiates, overdosed and that triggered the aneurysm.

As I observed in another thread, some people are just plain bound to go to hell in their own way, and there's nothing you can do to stop them.

I do wonder, though, what would have happened if she hadn't hectored him into quitting drinking. Might he still be alive now?
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 15:19, closed)
To pedant back at you
If someone would continue living (however shortly and poorly) if they continue drinking and die if they stop, it's the stopping that kills them. This regardless of whether this situation is what caused it in the first place.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 15:36, closed)
So the answer is - keep on drinking!
Phew, that's all right then.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 18:41, closed)
So painfully true
I have worried over the loved ones who drink, but it is hard to empathise with a loved one who drinks and drives, then has an accident. Luckily no one else was involved and the only damage was to their own vehicle, which was written off. They lost their license and spent a few months on probation.
I hate what alcohol does to people, it turns sane rational lovely people into mentally deficient risk taking fools who hurt people.
The saddest thing I have seen was a group meeting for drinkers fighting hard to give up and my "friend" who I had taken along to get help saying to me, "but I am not an alcoholic like them!" as if her constant drinking problem was some how better.
The day I stopped caring was the day I died a little inside. I will always despise that part of her for turning me into that.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 9:25, closed)
You have to protect yourself from the harm of others' addictions, though.
We might love them and they might love us, but as the saying goes, they love the sauce more.
Until they accept that and act, then you'll always be on your guard. Sad but true.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 9:41, closed)
my uncle
he was an alcoholic. I last saw him in hospital the day before he died. He looked like Homer Simpson - all yellow with bugling eyes, unable to speak, barely able to move and not capable of doing anything other than wait for the inevitable. He apologised to my mum and and other uncle for inflicting this on himself and died in shame. We weren't ashamed, or angry, just disappointed that we never saw him enough to be able to help. We never knew how far things had gone until it was too late.

I cried when I left him and I cried when he died.
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 11:03, closed)
I've seen
much more damage done through alcohol than any other drug. I used to live next door to long-term heroin users / addicts. They both kept down good jobs and kept a tidy house. On the other hand, I've seen alcohol destroy many people.

It just makes me angry that the only drugs legalised are the worst ones. Years ago, I remember hearing a Radio 4 program about coroners. "What's the best thing society could do to minimise death ?" the interviewer asked. Without pausing, they all answered "ban alcohol". It's responsible for something like 70% of hospital admissions, and features highly in reasons behind any kind of domestic abuse.

And all the bad things I've done have been when drunk...
(, Tue 23 Dec 2008, 11:59, closed)
(, Wed 24 Dec 2008, 10:56, closed)

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