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tashirosgt
2012-Jul-01, 04:49 AM
I recall reading an online article about a famous person (in the liberal arts - actor, writer or poet, I think) who died because he quit drinking suddenly. I don't recall the victim's name. Anyone know of such cases?

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-01, 07:01 AM
Amy Winehouse's death is suspected to be linked to unsupervised withdrawal.
There's a well-known effect of alcohol withdrawal that repeated withdrawal results in each time having more severe effects, and she'd definitely been through several.

Death rate for withdrawal is difficult to find, but for fullblown DT it's apparently as much as 1-5%.

profloater
2012-Jul-01, 07:40 AM
well hold on, Amy Winehouse was on drugs too. You don't get those kind of withdrawals symptoms from alcohol although your body can be living on the alcohol with no food, which is not a healthy way to live, no protein, no vitamins, so suddenly cutting the only energy supply could bring on a collapse. In that it would be like anorexia, long term lack of proper food can kill you stone dead.

TJMac
2012-Jul-01, 02:28 PM
I hope this isn't a derailment...

But I just saw a clip of Ms Winehouse's father in an interview. Apparently he has written a book to set the record straight about his
daughter. He says, if I recall correctly, that she was clean and sober, and had been for three years. Hmm. :confused:

TJ

Gillianren
2012-Jul-01, 07:25 PM
You don't get those kind of withdrawals symptoms from alcohol . . . .

Actually, you can but don't necessarily. It depends on the individual and the amount of drinking they used to do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delirium_tremens Opiate withdrawal is less likely to be fatal than alcohol withdrawal. In that alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.

BigDon
2012-Jul-01, 07:40 PM
When New Orleans got horked by Katrina one of my foster sons was a bartender in a popular Bourbon Street bar said that because the city was cut off so completely for so long, a lot of junkies just flat out died from their forced and sudden withdrawal.

Something that was hotly contested here when I mentioned it.

And when I saw him again later and mentioned it was doubted he made the "piffle" sound and said "They weren't there."

DoggerDan
2012-Jul-01, 10:25 PM
well hold on, Amy Winehouse was on drugs too. You don't get those kind of withdrawals symptoms from alcohol although your body can be living on the alcohol with no food, which is not a healthy way to live, no protein, no vitamins, so suddenly cutting the only energy supply could bring on a collapse. In that it would be like anorexia, long term lack of proper food can kill you stone dead.

Not entirely accurate. Acute alcohol withdrawal can indeed be fatal, and it has nothing to do with "energy supply." Rather, it's because alcohol is a depressant, and after you've been on a serious amount of it for a while, your body largely adjusts to carry on normal function. Suddenly stopping the anesthetizing effects of alcohol results in your nervous system going into overload. This includes tremors, shakes, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, and hallucinations.

As HenrikOlsen said, the rates are around 5%, though I've heard as high as 20% for cases both severe and unsupervised.

Some of our workers would go through about three days of being "out of sorts" when they returned from a long furlough. I'd work them topside until they settled down. If they ever brought alcohol on board, though, they were simply fired and sent home.

Gillianren
2012-Jul-01, 10:35 PM
And when I saw him again later and mentioned it was doubted he made the "piffle" sound and said "They weren't there."

Maybe. But he's not a doctor.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-02, 04:36 PM
When New Orleans got horked by Katrina one of my foster sons was a bartender in a popular Bourbon Street bar said that because the city was cut off so completely for so long, a lot of junkies just flat out died from their forced and sudden withdrawal.

Something that was hotly contested here when I mentioned it.

And when I saw him again later and mentioned it was doubted he made the "piffle" sound and said "They weren't there."
Alcohol, the benzodiazepines and the barbiturates are the main drugs that have life threatening withdrawals, as they have neurological effects such as grand mal seizures and heart arrhythmia.
The opiates, including heroin don't have the potential for fatality from medical causes, though in a disaster situation like Katrina, being in an withdrawal would quite likely make good survival judgement non-existent regardless of which drug it was withdrawal from.
And it's highly unlikely the addicts were using chemically pure substances, they'd probably been on a mixture of nasties.

BigDon
2012-Jul-03, 02:15 PM
Maybe. But he's not a doctor.

Don't need to be a doctor. People you know for a fact are junkies end up dead in alarming numbers, seemly just because. (Bartenders get hip quick to who's who in the zoo.) Neither junkiedom nor death require a doctor's expertice to determine.

(Toes stiff, livid guy on sidewalk) "Yep, Junkie Bill's deader 'en Hell."

profloater
2012-Jul-03, 06:26 PM
Not entirely accurate. Acute alcohol withdrawal can indeed be fatal, and it has nothing to do with "energy supply." Rather, it's because alcohol is a depressant, and after you've been on a serious amount of it for a while, your body largely adjusts to carry on normal function. Suddenly stopping the anesthetizing effects of alcohol results in your nervous system going into overload. This includes tremors, shakes, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, and hallucinations.

As HenrikOlsen said, the rates are around 5%, though I've heard as high as 20% for cases both severe and unsupervised.

Some of our workers would go through about three days of being "out of sorts" when they returned from a long furlough. I'd work them topside until they settled down. If they ever brought alcohol on board, though, they were simply fired and sent home. I stand corrected, learn something new about the DTs every day, (although not personally experienced)

Gillianren
2012-Jul-03, 07:34 PM
Don't need to be a doctor. People you know for a fact are junkies end up dead in alarming numbers, seemly just because. (Bartenders get hip quick to who's who in the zoo.) Neither junkiedom nor death require a doctor's expertice to determine.

(Toes stiff, livid guy on sidewalk) "Yep, Junkie Bill's deader 'en Hell."

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. You do need to be a doctor to know the cause of death. I can think of a dozen reasons junkies might die in higher numbers which don't rely on overturning anything in medical science. You think your bartender friend would have seen a whole slew of medically impossible deaths and a doctor never would have?

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2012-Jul-03, 09:33 PM
Don, I don't think anyone here is doubting that addicts were dying in droves after Katrina, we just don't believe that they died directly from withdrawal. Like Henrik wrote, it's quite plausible that in a disaster a junkie with the DTs would be too distracted to properly care for themselves, and end up dying from something like dehydration or exposure.

DoggerDan
2012-Jul-04, 09:35 PM
Don, I don't think anyone here is doubting that addicts were dying in droves after Katrina, we just don't believe that they died directly from withdrawal.

I believe some were, and some weren't. As for the exact ratio, only detailed autopsies might be able to find a probably percentage.


Like Henrik wrote, it's quite plausible that in a disaster a junkie with the DTs would be too distracted to properly care for themselves, and end up dying from something like dehydration or exposure.

Yea, verily.

Gillianren
2012-Jul-04, 09:47 PM
I believe some were, and some weren't. As for the exact ratio, only detailed autopsies might be able to find a probably percentage.

First, you have to show that it's actually possible to die from opiate withdrawal. Since people with medical training don't think that it is, that's a bit of an uphill climb for you.

BigDon
2012-Jul-05, 08:44 PM
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Are you sassing me in Eskimo?

(Sorry, Big Bang Theory quote. Sheldon's mom said that in reply to the latin quote.)

I was going to carry this on a couple more posts but I'm defending this postion only because you're assaulting it. ei, I'm being a *demunitive of Richard* and teasing you again.

John did say that the junkies in question were the coke heads, crackheads and pill freaks. They drink more alcohol than heroin junkies do, thus being more familiar to him.

I personally know some "out there" pill heads who went from 140K a year job to homeless after running afoul of Oxys. They gave me those when my kidney went to hell in a hand basket and one, maybe two in a whole day made everything all warm and fuzzy.

This guy would grind up and *snort* them, two at a time, three times a day. I would hate to be him if he was cut off cold. (I would hate to be him anyway.)

He's not welcome in my neighborhood anymore.

DoggerDan
2012-Jul-08, 06:04 AM
First, you have to show that it's actually possible to die from opiate withdrawal.

All my references to to alcohol withdrawal. At no time in my posts did I ever mention "opiate withdrawal."

Gillianren
2012-Jul-08, 07:52 AM
Then your statements had no bearing on the discussion about Katrina, which was about junkies. "Junkies" are opiate addicts.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jul-10, 08:08 PM
Don, I don't think anyone here is doubting that addicts were dying in droves after Katrina, we just don't believe that they died directly from withdrawal. Like Henrik wrote, it's quite plausible that in a disaster a junkie with the DTs would be too distracted to properly care for themselves, and end up dying from something like dehydration or exposure.
I was referring to opiate withdrawal, not DT, as the cause of bad survival choices, hence indirectly causing deaths, because opiate withdrawal isn't deadly in itself.

DT (Delirium Tremens) is specifically caused by alcohol withdrawal, it has nothing to do with opiate withdrawal.

Delvo
2012-Jul-10, 10:23 PM
I didn't know "junkies" meant addicts to a particular type of drug. I just though it was addicts to non-medicinal drugs that aren't alcohol, tobacco, or maybe marijuana. I'm generally not "up" on drug terminology. For example, I had heard of both "acid" and "LSD" for years and years before finding out that they were the same thing... and I still don't know which drug "blow" is, or what drug you're doing if you're "freebasing", and so on.

My brother is a more severe alcoholic than the people who are usually called "severe". Among a list of other symptoms and behaviors, the latter of which have gotten him essentially kicked out of the family, he has had some unknown number of seizures. There's been at least one each time he's tried to quit drinking alcohol abruptly that we know of, but we don't know how many times he's tried that without one of us around to see it, or whether he's damaged his brain enough to also have some seizures at other times now. His case is pretty special, but seizures during abrupt withdrawal are nothing unusual themselves. Seizures, even if they don't kill you directly, can cause deadly injuries if there's anything else around sharp enough and/or hard enough to be dangerous to bump into or fall down in the path of.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2012-Jul-11, 07:44 PM
DT (Delirium Tremens) is specifically caused by alcohol withdrawal, it has nothing to do with opiate withdrawal.

D'oh! Sorry, I got the terminology confused.