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Just a few questions about alcoholism

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Old 02-19-2006, 02:30 AM   #1
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Unhappy Just a few questions about alcoholism

Just a few comments/questions here please.

Since alcoholism is classified as a "disease", does a person usually die from it even if they stop drinking?. For example, one might have cancer and die from that or perhaps diabetes, AIDS, etc. Does alcoholism work the same way or can you still live a long and productive life if you stop drinking?.

Does alcoholism kill you directly or due to secondary illness such as liver failure, Diabetes, etc?.

How long does it normally take for alcoholism (or the problems it causes) to kill the average person?.

Another thing is this...I have known people who have smoked 3 packs a day and drank booze from morning until the time they went to bed thier whole lives and still lived well into thier 60's or 70's. That seems like plenty of time on earth to me (none of us are immortal) so I guess either alcoholism does'nt kill everyone or these people just got lucky.
I drink between 4-6 beers each day and it makes me feel pretty horrible. Smoking isn't doing me any good either. I'd love to kick both habits but alcohol is the biggest liar on earth (ie; "you've worked hard all day...have a drink, you deserve it!", etc).

- Regards, LT

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Old 02-19-2006, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

Alcohol causes (or rather it can cause) damage to the organs (including heart liver and kidneys) which ends up killing people. The disease is the addiction.
I understand where you are coming from re: alcohol. I also understand your concerns and I understand your confusion.
I think it's a good idea to put yourself on "regular alcohol diets" if you don't think you want to quit drinking or you don't think alcohol is a problem for you. The reason why I think this is a good idea is 1) to make sure you *can* quit drinking even short term 2) to give your body a break from having to metabolize all that alcohol 3) to force yourself to find other ways to relax/rewind/reward and amuse yourself. (Play sports, chess, join a gym, take a class in something you're interested in, whatever)
If you think you might have a drinking problem, if alcohol is interfering in your life, making you physically ill, preventing you from acheiving things, then now is probably the time to act. There is no guarantee the amount of alcohol you are consuming is safe and will not harm your health. However, even if it doesn't harm your health, there are other things to consider.

Old 02-19-2006, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

Like everything else its all based on genetics......some people start drinking heavily in their teens and die in their twenties...others die in their nineties.

Like Tigerlily pointed out...alcohol kills you directly by irreversably damaging your organs. Probably the most common way is through liver cirrhosis....which can take anywhere from a decade on....depending upon how heavily you are drinking. I think I read somewhere that most alcoholics develope it in their forties, but there are always exceptions.

Its nice to go out now and then and have a few beers...but if your drinking daily at larger amounts.....well then you run a greater risk at developing health problems, becoming addicted, etc.

Old 02-20-2006, 06:16 AM   #4
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

The effects that alcohol will have on any given person really depend on many factors.genetics will give a possible predisposition on whether or not a person will or will not become addicted to alcohol or any sort of drugs,also environmental factors will come into play here too,your coping skills ...there are alot of outside factors as well as inside like having cancer "in the family" it makes everyone within that genetic line a bit more likely to get it,and like i stated before,environmental factors come in to play there too.its like if you have many family memebers who are alcoholics so you know that the predisposition is indeed there and your particular chances of also becomming one will therefore be a bit higher than someone who does not have familial alcoholics.if you drink at all,there just is a bit higher risk.but if you decide not to drink at all,the risk is non you know what I mean?

Alcohol,like previously stated,effects many many body systems and it also kills brain cells is actually an anesthetic that puts parts of your brain to "sleep" everytime you drink.sometimes those brain cells just don't ever "wake back up" and are permantly gone from that point on.the liver really gets the biggest hit actually but it can effect every organ in your body in some adverse is just not ment to be there and the body has to work a bit harder to clear it from all of the body you are 'taxing' many organs when you drink.Depending on the length of time (in years)that you drink and the amounts that you are actually drinking,along with just your particular body physiology(or body make up)will determine just how alcohol will effect that particular person.

and yes,alcohol will kill you in many different ways,also drinking and driving will kill you or some other person who had the misfortune to be "in your way".the efects of alcohol on the body are progressive and over time,that is when you see the effects on the body like with the development of cirhosis,this is actually just repeated scarring that takes place evrytime you drink more than the liver can actually metabolize.there is a point where you use up what is called gluthethione(sp?)this is kind of the 'metabolizer"in the liver that helps rid the liver of the nasty crap that passes thru it,there is only a specific amount of this on any given day residing there.if you take in more alcohol or tylenol than there is the gluth,well thats when the damage sets in.the thing about the liver is that it can regenerate to a point but only if the 'offending" stuff you are putting thru it stops.otherwise the damage just keeps on going til you reach a point where itis so scarred that it starts to malfunction and the scar tissue will build itself over the portal vein and stop blood flow completely,this is what is called portal hypertension.this is what actually used to kill alcoholics who developed cirhosis.up til they came up with a lifesaving procedure called TIPS.this procedure saved my sons life about six and a half years ago when he was in liver failure from an inherited kidney/liver disease that we just did not even know was in our family.This disease actually played out just like cirhosis was incredibly hellish to actually watch my ,then,12 year old son to have to go thru.liver failure is not pretty.

The thing about liver damage is if you stop the alcohol or tylenol forever,you have a really great chance in continuing on with a very normal life but only if you managed to not go over that line with liver will regenerate itself,but not if the damage is just beyond any repair.

if you think you may be developing any sort of problem with alcohol,try stopping it completely for a while and see what happens.if you can just go on without it,and don't feel this incredible 'need' for it then you are most likely not predisposed to alcoholism.but,if you feel you have to have it in your life all the time,well,it would then be time to really look at what you want from your life and what alcohol might do to prevent that from happening.while there are social drinkers who really just can stop at any time and not really even think about it,there are those who can't no matter what is at stake,that just feel that they have to have this in their lives,for a whole list of reasons that they can use to justify i said,it is a highly individual thing for anyone,and depends on many many different factors.the effects are also highly individual too.

I hope this helped. just take a good hard look at how and when you use alcohol in your life and try stopping it.if you can't,you really do need to get to someplace that can help you to acheive this.stopping now is much more preferrable than going thru the hell this will end up causing in your life at some point,really.Good luck.marcia

Old 02-20-2006, 07:38 AM   #5
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

Sounds like you think you have a problem. If you're worried about dying from alcoholizm, then you need some help. Stop today, live your life to the fullest. If you've got a problem with alcohol, then you are also affecting the people around you. I grew up with an alcoholic dad....nothing good came from it. Destroyed the family, destroyed him. he died at age 38....way too young to die.....he quit drinking 2 weeks before he died.....doctors day that caused his blood to thicken and his heart couldn't take it. alcohol thins your blood...along with destroying brain cells and other organs..........stop now, while you have a chance.

Old 02-21-2006, 04:55 AM   #6
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

wow flint,so sorry about your dad,really.only 38 years old.we had a freind that grew up in a chronic alcoholic household.this poor kid was dragged out to the bars with his parents and around alcohol constantly.very sadly,he actually ended up dying from portal hypertension at only 26 years old.this was before they came up with that lifesaving TIPS procedure that saved my sons life only ten years later.i also grew up in an alcoholic home.I can sooo relate to that part.again,so sorry that your dad had to die so very young from just the use of alcohol.You doin okay now?Marcia

Old 02-21-2006, 05:33 AM   #7
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

I'm doing great!! Thanks for asking. that was many many years ago, and as you know living with alcoholic distresses you for amny years to come. But I am fine. I just hate to hear about young people drinking so heavily. there's an underlying cause they drink like that and just wish they would get some help in stead of drinking..

Old 02-21-2006, 09:13 PM   #8
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

I think "physical death" is the one of the lesser of the "evils" that alcoholism can do to a person...................Living an alcoholic life is much more devastating than anything I can imagine. I've been sober for 5 years, but the 10 years I spent "living" in an alcoholic world was, for lack of a better description, a LIVING HELL..........Alcoholism is tricky, it's a three fold disease. One is mental, obsessive, the other, spiritual, I was a living zombie, and lastly, physical, tore me apart................I found that alcoholism isn't necessarily judged my how much you drink, or even what you do when you're drunk, ( cuz anyone who gets drunk is going to do dumb stuff) It's judged by why you drink, mostly.......................Stuff emotions, don't like yourself, low self esteem......can't fit in.......all kinds of personal emotional reasons......The physical part is more simple, all you have to is not drink and the physical part of the disease is put to rest.............the beast of the disease lives in your mind and why you think you need alcohol to be a better person.......

Old 02-24-2006, 05:45 AM   #9
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Re: Just a few questions about alcoholism

I'm not an alcoholic. I do know that the affects of alcohol long term is not only devistating to you, but EVERY SINGLE PERSON AROUND YOU. PLease read my story.


THis is a thread I started a couple of weks ago on this board to help me and others deal with issues of alcohol and mental disorders. It contains personal journal enteries from my life.

Best wishes in finding the answers to your questions. Also, please consider your family when you make your final decision as to how you want to live your life.


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