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). (www.samhsa.gov)
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. http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Real-World-Health-Effects-Of-Drug-Abuse—Overview&id=486086
Finally, alcoholism and withdrawal from it can be deadly. According to WikiPedia
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delirium_tremens) 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) http://www.drugabuse.gov/NIDAHome.html, The Partnership for a Drug Free America (www.drugfree.org/) or your local treatment center.