Alcohol and Drugs — Cunning, Mysterious, Deadly

They kill your organs slowly and painfully.  They make your organs useless to you and for transplant.  Up to 60 people could benefit from one organ & tissue donor.  But when alcohol and/or drugs (including cigarette poisons) destroy your organs, they also destory the hopes and often the lives of many people who desperately need them.  


Readers of this blog have shown an extreme interest in the effect of alcohol and drugs on human organs.  For that reason I offer my third and most comprehensive post on the subject.  While a recovering alcholic I am not anti drinking, just opposed to the destructive use of alcohol.  I have received many emails from readers who want to know if they are alcoholics.  I cannot answer those questions, only an expert in the field can determine if you have a problem.  Throughout this blog you will find several on-line resources for your convenience.


Substance abuse is the nation’s top health problem, causing more deaths, illness and disabilities than any other preventable health problem today, according to a major report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (  

The SAMHSA report indicates that, “Of the more than 2 million deaths each year in the United States, about one in four is due to abuse of alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs,” the report says. “The economic cost of the abuse is estimated at more than $414 billion a year.”  That means a half million people are probably taken out of the organ donor pool every year.  If even 5 percent of the half million could provide healthy organs, 25,000 new organ donors could be added to the list. 


The 2006 survey reveals that an estimated 22.6 million persons (9.2 percent of the population ages 12 and older) may have had either substance abuse or dependency problems in the past year.  Of these, 3.2 million were dependent on or abused both alcohol and illicit drugs; 3.8 million were dependent on or abused illicit drugs but not alcohol; and 15.6 million were dependent on or abused alcohol but not illicit drugs.


One of the most disturbing effects of alcohol abuse in particular is that it can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, permanently scarring children and can range from increased aggressiveness to a lifetime of brain damage.—Overview&id=486086


Finally, alcoholism and withdrawal from it can be deadly.  According to WikiPedia 

( five percent of acute alcohol withdrawal cases progress to delirium tremens.  Unlike the withdrawal syndrome associated with opiate addiction (generally), delirium tremens (and alcohol withdrawal in general) can be fatal. Mortality can be up to 35% if untreated; if treated early, death rates range from 5-15%.


If you want more comprehensive information visit the following sites.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), The Partnership for a Drug Free America ( or your local treatment center.


If you are a parent and concerned about your children, some great resources are; Parents, the Anti Drug, or the Office of National Drug Control Policy,   




About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on April 28, 2008, in Alcohol/tobacco/drugs. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Really enjoyed it, I wanted to click out and
    you kept pulling me back in! Many thanks
    and keep up the great work!


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