How does alcoholism kill people

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Big_Bend

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I'm curious how people die from alcoholism.

A little background.. I had a best friend Phil, we were best friends all throughout high school, he was one of the best man in my wedding back in 1985. He moved to Austin and I've always lived in Houston but we would always get together once or twice a month to play guitars all night long. When he got a Gibson Les Paul I was able to buy him a Marshall Bluesbreaker amp... I mean we were -best- friends.

Then Phil's life totally fell apart. He always drank too much whiskey but it seriously got out of hand. He lost his job.. His wife divorced him. His young daughter didn't want anything to do with him anymore. I tried to help.. I tried to tell him he needed to quit drinking. You can guess the rest.. Phil told me to F-off and I haven't spoken to him in the last 7 or 8 years. This was very hard on me as you can guess. I've only written one song in my life but it was about losing my best friend and wanting to play guitars with him "just one more day".

I was talking to a mutual friend recently and he caught me up. Apparently Phil is now in a hospital in Dallas and he is dying of alcoholism. His brain has quit working, his body is shutting down. Apparently he sometimes calls his ex wife thinking it is 10 years ago and they are still married. It is all incredibly tragic, but at this point I hope Phil passes soon so he is no longer hurting, and he no longer can hurt anyone else.

So I guess my questions are, how is it that alcohol can kill someone? Is there a stage where the damage is so great there is no going back?

From what I understand, and I may be wrong, marijuana doesn't kill people, and if you quit smoking and given enough time, the damage is reversed. Is alcohol so much worse? Does the body actually quit from all the alcohol, or is it the brain that gives up and dies first? And if someone is actually hospitalized from alcoholism, is there no hope left?

Sorry for the downer topic.. It just hit me pretty hard recently when I heard about Phil dying in a hospital... we used to be best friends.

Take care ya'll....
 

String Tree

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Sorry to hear about your friend.

Alcohol finds the Weakest part of your body and starts there.
Then it finds another and, another.
I have an ex-bandmate going through Neuropic Dementia.

Maybe two years left, I hope it's less because he, and his Family are suffering.
 

johnny k

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It depends on how much you drink i guess. At some point the body cannot handle alcohol any more. Quitting the drink can also kill you. That and the falls, car accident, or whatever happens when you are drunk.

It takes some serious drinking to be able to do it on a daily basis, work properly, and no one will ever notice anything. I am not there, but there have been times when anything i got down was thrown up almost immediatly.

That, and the smell of cooking. If you are doing a steak and the smell turns you down, the liver might be impacted.
 

Peegoo

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Alcohol is a poison. Consume small non-lethal doses of rat poison over many years and it will eventually kill you because the body can no longer keep up and repair the damage as fast as it occurs.

This does not even consider the non-physical (mental/emotional) aspects of alcoholism and how it affects attitudes, relationships, etc.
 

johnny k

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Alcohol is a poison. Consume small non-lethal doses of rat poison over many years and it will eventually kill you because the body can no longer keep up and repair the damage as fast as it occurs.

This does not even consider the non-physical (mental/emotional) aspects of alcoholism and how it affects attitudes, relationships, etc.
Most people drink because they are depressed. The drink is a way to stop thinking. drink don't think sort of thing.
 

Tricone

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It destroys the liver causing toxicity through out the bodily system. Leading to organ failure and death.

It is the steady use of alcohol consumption that causes this. Basically "drinking one's self to death. Most who get renal and organ failure do not make it.

Some studies being done have shown that chronic marijuana use can contribute to dementia and memory loss.

Prayers for your friend and family.
 

Dismalhead

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Had a good friend drink himself to death back in 2011. Went on a binge and was drinking more than a case of beer a day and hardly eating. Became incoherent after a couple of weeks and went to the hospital. They induced a coma, he came out a few weeks later and seemed better, but then he got a spinal infection that spread to his brain and he died.
 

drf64

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Name an organ system and alcohol will affect it. The most common way that most are surprised about is hypertension. This will decrease life expectancy significantly and damages the heart, brain and kidneys before the liver is even affected. If you are actually asking yourself if you are drinking too much, it means you are.
 

Trenchant63

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One of my in-laws died of alcoholism at 50. He had a history of drugs from 18, rehabs, etc. He finally settled on alcohol for his final drug of choice. Years went by. We got a call and I took him to ER because his liver was on fire in pain being unable to process his alcohol. I stood there in the ER when the doctor told him “If you stop drinking now, there is a small chance you can live. You have a single choice for your life right now - you don’t have any other option left.” My in-law swore up and down he would make a new start. Of course he went home with best intentions after being treated. One month later he was in hospice with family saying goodbye. Ultimately his liver just died. I won’t describe how he looked but imagine all toxins flowing freely through the body and you can draw conclusions on that.
 

24 track

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I'm curious how people die from alcoholism.

A little background.. I had a best friend Phil, we were best friends all throughout high school, he was one of the best man in my wedding back in 1985. He moved to Austin and I've always lived in Houston but we would always get together once or twice a month to play guitars all night long. When he got a Gibson Les Paul I was able to buy him a Marshall Bluesbreaker amp... I mean we were -best- friends.

Then Phil's life totally fell apart. He always drank too much whiskey but it seriously got out of hand. He lost his job.. His wife divorced him. His young daughter didn't want anything to do with him anymore. I tried to help.. I tried to tell him he needed to quit drinking. You can guess the rest.. Phil told me to F-off and I haven't spoken to him in the last 7 or 8 years. This was very hard on me as you can guess. I've only written one song in my life but it was about losing my best friend and wanting to play guitars with him "just one more day".

I was talking to a mutual friend recently and he caught me up. Apparently Phil is now in a hospital in Dallas and he is dying of alcoholism. His brain has quit working, his body is shutting down. Apparently he sometimes calls his ex wife thinking it is 10 years ago and they are still married. It is all incredibly tragic, but at this point I hope Phil passes soon so he is no longer hurting, and he no longer can hurt anyone else.

So I guess my questions are, how is it that alcohol can kill someone? Is there a stage where the damage is so great there is no going back?

From what I understand, and I may be wrong, marijuana doesn't kill people, and if you quit smoking and given enough time, the damage is reversed. Is alcohol so much worse? Does the body actually quit from all the alcohol, or is it the brain that gives up and dies first? And if someone is actually hospitalized from alcoholism, is there no hope left?

Sorry for the downer topic.. It just hit me pretty hard recently when I heard about Phil dying in a hospital... we used to be best friends.

Take care ya'll....
sorry to hear about your friend , there is no explanation for a person's self destructive tendencies or willingness to push that button
 

Spox

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I was at the funeral last month of someone I knew who drank themselves to death at forty five.

Re marijuana, not good for the heart, look at all of the reggae stars who have died of heart attacks. Can also cause psychosis particularly if the user had any kind of underlying problem to start with, depression etc.
 

elihu

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Your liver filters and breaks down food and medicine into forms your body can use. Alcohol injures the liver and when it tries to repair itself non-functional scar tissue (Cirrhosis) is formed. As Cirrhosis progresses the liver becomes more non functional and the levels of circulating byproducts that were supposed to be excreted (like Bilirubin) rise and result in Jaundice and confusion. Also the liver has it's own little circulation system. Cirrhosis clogs the system like a dam in a stream, resulting in hypertension and swelling of the veins in the GI tract leading to GI bleed (vomiting blood, black stools etc). Excess fluid is also pushed out into the surrounding tissue resulting in leg edema and also large collections of fluid in the abdomen known as ascites in the later stage. I've seen men that looked like they were pregnant with this condition. You fix it temporarily with a large needle stick and drain the fluid (I've seen 2-3 liters taken at one time). That much swelling makes it hard to take a deep breath, making you susceptible to pneumonia.

Any physicians on board feel free to correct me.

This may be more than you needed Big Bend. But maybe it will help with understanding what your friend is going through.

I'm really sorry to hear about you and your friends situation.
 

StoneFaceGrin

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It’s clear you’re working through the loss of your friend. For that, you and his loved ones are in my prayers. Phil is not a bad person. He just didn’t overcome the booze. Your friendship and the times you shared are still real, still important - Of course you miss them; and him.
 

57joonya

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Alcohol seems to dry the body out from the inside . I was someone who couldn’t stop ,quite often after getting going . So I put it down about two years ago. .I can see how much healthier my skin , hair everything. . My body’s functioning much more normal now.not to mention how much better my relationship has gotten with my family . I have my kids respect back . But sorry to hear about your friend that’s tough . I always think there’s hope for someone to turn it around , until their at that very end stage . Organs destroyed. Usually at that point they don’t want to go on anymore , and they keep going until it’s over . It’s very sad
 
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