|April/May 2006 / Issue No. 20
We missed an issue of the Addiction Report. While I
was hoping to make time before April 15 for a “top story” discussing
income tax fraud, filing after the extended due date (past October 15) and
odds of alcoholism, time got away. Maybe I’ll write it next year. In the
meantime, enjoy this somewhat expanded
Welcome to the Thorburn Addiction Report. Each month, we bring you several sections, including:
1. Top Story-of-the-Month
3. Dear Doug in which a recent letter to "Dear Annie" or other "help" column is rewritten, with responses given from the unique perspective that alcohol or other drug addiction best explains the misbehaviors described
4. Alcoholic Myth-of-the-Month
5. Alcoholic Antic-of-the-Month
There is something for everyone!
|Duke University: Addicts Abound
can we know who is guilty when addicts are
There were many stories over the past two
months that qualify for top billing. Zacarias Moussaoui leads the
list as a child of an alcoholic who grew up to wage war against the
greatest country ever. Rush Limbaugh got off almost scot-free on
drug charges, while continuing to verbally attack other addicts and their
suppliers. Alex and Rhoda Toth, winners of a $13 million lotto
jackpot, were indicted on charges of tax fraud after declaring bankruptcy
during the years they are accused of failing to report all their income. U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (Democrat) went berserk yet
again and former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan (Republican) was
convicted on an extraordinary array of bribery charges. (You’ll find more
on these and other stories in the “runners-up” and “under watch” sections
below.) But addict v. addict makes the top pick: certain Duke University
lacrosse players and the strippers they hired for a party on March
Players Collin H. Finnerty, 19, and Reade William
Seligmann, 20, face charges of first-degree rape and kidnapping.
Finnerty’s arrest follows an incident last November in which he and two
friends hurled anti-gay epithets, leading to an attack in which the victim
of the verbal abuse was physically injured. Finnerty avoided serving jail
time by agreeing to a diversion program, which is now at risk of
revocation. Where there is hatred, especially toward those of other races
and sexual orientations, there is frequently alcoholism. This is
particularly true if hatred is acted upon with violence.
Duke team has a history of problems. Nearly half of its 47 players, 46 of
whom are white, have been cited for mischief ranging from DUIs to public
urination. The co-captain, Daniel Flannery, allegedly violated a city
noise ordinance—a good clue to a lack of concern for the rights of others
while under the influence. Witnesses to the party of March 13 claim it was
lewd, drunken and filled with racial slurs. After the party, one of the
men suggested in an e-mail that they hold more parties in which the
players should skin and kill exotic dancers. As in riots and other
commotions, addiction best explains the behaviors of those who lead others
to cause trouble. With so many problems, while the odds of alcoholism in
half the players are remote, the ratio is likely significantly higher than
the 10% in the overall U.S. population.
On the other hand, the alleged victim, a 27-year-old black student at a predominately
black college across town, had a tell-tale run-in with the law in 2002.
After giving a taxi driver a lap dance at a Durham strip club, she stole
the man’s car and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase. According to
reports, a deputy thought the chase was over when she turned down a
dead-end road. Instead, according to the police report she tried to run
him over when he exited his vehicle. Her blood alcohol level registered
over .16 per cent, which in conjunction with driving (attempted murder not
required) is virtually a 100% indication of alcoholism. She admitted
guilt, paid restitution and served time in jail.
lawyers claim to have photographic evidence showing the accuser was drunk
and already injured before the alleged rape. While the pictures have not
yet been shown to the public, everyone seems to agree that she was visibly
inebriated when she left the party. Fellow stripper Kim Roberts,
31, who apparently tried to drive her home, admitted the accuser was too
incoherent to even tell her where she lived. Just one hour after the
incident, she was reportedly passed out in Roberts’ car.
and false accusations are among the greatest perversions in which
practicing alcoholics engage. It matters not that the accuser is a “decent
and credible human being,” as her lawyer for the 2002 incident, Woody
Vann, claims. The fact that Finnerty looks like a decent young man in
pictures is irrelevant. If the woman has alcoholism, she’s perfectly
capable of making a false accusation. If the young man has this disease,
he’s capable of committing rape. All addicts are capable of anything
regardless of background, upbringing, belief systems and morality to which
they would normally adhere after a few years of sobriety.
facts so far suggest that if a rape occurred, it was not committed by
either Finnerty or Seligmann. Defense lawyers claim to have evidence that
the indicted men were either not at the off-campus house where the alleged
attack occurred, or were not there long enough to have engaged in the act.
One was purportedly photographed by an ATM camera and another had a
restaurant receipt during or close to the time of the alleged attack.
Witnesses, including a taxi driver, offer alibis. Team members identify
Seligmann as one of five players who wasn’t even at the
Then why were they arrested? Apparently, a medical
examination of the woman found injuries consistent with rape. On the other
hand, District Attorney Mike Nifong presented the alleged victim with a
lineup consisting exclusively of photos of the lacrosse players, allowing
zero chance to really test her credibility by giving her the option to
select someone with no connection to the team. The grandstanding D.A.
announced he was having DNA collected from all the players and boldly
predicted the test results would identify the guilty. Although there was
no match to the clothing or body of the accuser, the arrests were made.
(Some of the victim’s defenders suggest that the rapists all wore condoms.
Sure, drunk young men always put on condoms before committing rape.)
Nifong appeared to have learned a thing or two from New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer when he told reporters that he was not dissuaded
from the negative test results and said “I believe a sexual assault took
place.” Forget about the idea that justice requires that the accused be
presumed innocent until proven guilty, even by a top law enforcer who
happened to be campaigning for reelection. (And in whom political
behaviors may be indistinguishable from alcoholic ones.)
Fellow stripper Roberts, who at first said she doubted a rape
occurred, seems to have realized she could make some hay by changing her
story. Upset about leaks of both dancers’ criminal pasts, she said she
wonders about the character of the defense attorneys and said, “I think
they’re guilty…[although] I can’t say which ones….” She had e-mailed a
public relations firm asking how she might “spin this to my advantage.”
Eight days after the party she was arrested on a probation violation
stemming from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a company
where she worked as a payroll specialist. (Recall from the analysis in my
first book, Drunks, Drugs & Debits, the odds of alcoholism in
someone committing a felony are 80-90%.) A judge subsequently eliminated a
requirement that a 15% fee be paid to a bonding agent, a change to which
D.A. Nifong tacitly agreed.
The Duke case is reminiscent of the
Haidl gang-rape trial (see
http://www.preventragedy.com/PAGES/TAR/008.mar05.html) in which it seems
almost everyone involved has alcoholism. Too often, the criminal justice
system pits addict against addict, who are represented and judged by other
addicts. Alcoholics, regardless of their position or how honest they may
be in sobriety, cannot be trusted. Therefore, the criminal justice system
needs to be cleaned up. Every law enforcer from police and correctional
officers to Chiefs of Police should be randomly and regularly tested, with
those failing offered an appropriate choice. This includes even District
Attorneys and Attorneys General.
Runners-up for top
story of the month:
Franklin County, Ohio Common Pleas
Judge John Connor, 66, who has been targeted for removal from the
bench by Gov. Bob Taft, House Speaker John Husted and Attorney General Jim
Petro for failing to imprison an admitted rapist who sexually assaulted
two children of Sri Lankan immigrants. The assailant, Andrew Selva,
46, admitted to abusing the boys, ages 5 and 12, repeatedly over a period
of three years. Although originally charged with 20 counts of rape, the
indictment was found legally defective and, under a plea arrangement with
Connor, Selva was labeled a sexual predator and sentenced to treatment and
probation. Connor admitted that if prosecutors had gone forward with rape
charges, Selva “would have been gone for 100 years.” Connor’s judgment should be questioned, since Conner has had as many as eight arrests
for DUI, including at least two since becoming a judge (the precise number
might never be known, since his records were reported to have been
improperly sealed). Sobriety requires both abstinence and ego deflation,
which is questionable in someone who calls it a “joke” that state leaders
are asking him to step down. What’s truly a joke is that court records of
judges can be sealed and that Connor was named Irishman of the Year by the
Shamrock Club of Columbus, Ohio.
Would-be hijacker and jihadist Zacarias Moussaoui, setting himself up for death for his
role in the September 11 atrocities by boasting at his sentencing trial
that he was set to fly a fifth plane into the White House. His father, Omar Moussaoui, was a violent alcoholic who routinely beat his wife
and two daughters, Zacarias’ sisters. Reportedly, he frequently asked his
mother to forgive him, but for what was never made clear. We might suspect
that it was for his inability to protect his mother from his father’s
abuse. His may be a classic case of the child of an alcoholic learning the
parent’s behaviors all-too-well.
Connie Retana, 38,
arrested for rape-in-concert and false imprisonment. She’s been accused of
cheering on her 18-year-old son, Martin Delgado, along with his
gangland friends, as they allegedly repeatedly raped a 23-year-old woman.
She is among 10 charged for the rape, which was in retaliation for the
young woman’s boyfriend’s actions. Retana previously served two prison
terms for drug possession.
Amy Fisher, nicknamed the
“Long Island Lolita,” finally admitting to having been strung out on
Ecstasy when she shot then boyfriend Joey Buttafuoco’s wife, Mary
Jo, in the face in 1992. She told “Entertainment Tonight” that the drug
made her feel “stronger and confident.” Yes, drugs will do that for
addicts. She admits it was “totally irrational.” Yes, that
Actor Don Johnson, former star of “Miami Vice” and
“Nash Bridges,” who saved his Aspen, Colorado home by forking over $14.5
million to a lender two days before a foreclosure auction. Johnson has a
long history of “partying,” which seems to interfere with “paying one’s
Actress Melanie Griffith, twice married to actor Don Johnson and now married to actor Antonio Banderas, back
in AA after yet another relapse. Melanie, age 48, admits to first
“dabbling” in drugs at age 14 and has since entered treatment at least
twice, in 1988 and 2000. The trouble is, she has too much money. As an
actress she is perhaps a more convincing liar than most addicts when doing
what she must to protect her perceived right to use, while still keeping
her kids and husband around to enable. Message to Antonio: give her an
uncompromising choice before we are reminded of comedian Phil Hartman, his
wife Bryn and their two orphaned children.
Dogg, 34, arrested on suspicion of “violent disorder” and creating a
disturbance over access to a first-class lounge at London’s Heathrow
Airport. Seven officers were reported to have received minor injuries in
the fracas. Creating a commotion at an airport in a day and age of
terrorism is by itself enough for a diagnosis of alcoholism. Creed
singer Scott Stapp was mentioned in the March www.addictionreport.com
as having had a similar experience. It turns out that Stapp had gotten out
of rehab just weeks before.
Conservative talk-radio host
Rush Limbaugh, reaching a settlement with Palm Beach County
prosecutors in which he will be charged with a single count in connection
with illegally obtained prescriptions for a drug from more than one
doctor. As part of the plea, the charge will be dropped in 18 months if he
continues treatment for drug addiction. Limbaugh has not, to my knowledge,
retracted his repeated statements that drug users should be jailed. By the
way, his apparent drugs of choice—Oxycontin and Vicodin—are legal opioids,
or synthetic heroin. I will repeat my assertion to which a radio
commentator responded by hanging up on me: Limbaugh is a wealthy heroin
addict, no different from the rest, except for his ability to perpetuate
an extraordinary level of hypocrisy.
Alex and Rhoda
Toth, indicted on charges of filing false income tax returns in 2000,
2001 and 2002. The Toth’s were down to their last $24 when they won a $13
million jackpot in the Florida Lotto in 1990, opting to take annual
payments of $666,666 until 2010. They appeared on Oprah in 1996 and later
claimed the money had torn apart their family. According to reports,
“their wealth led to family squabbles and bankruptcy court,” with both of
the Toth’s filing under Chapter 13 in 2001. Take a look at the picture of
Mr. Toth at http://www.tampabays10.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=28728 and
decide whether their wealth created problems for them or, perhaps,
something else did. (It’s a great picture, isn’t it?) The Toth’s deny
wrongdoing and blame “someone they trusted” for their legal woes. Theirs
appears to be a classic case of financial abuse of others as well as
Vili Fualaau, now 22, who married his
sixth-grade teacher, Mary Kay Letorneau, now 44, when she got out of
prison after serving seven years for child rape, found guilty of DUI after
blowing a .136. Fualaau and Letorneau are both unemployed and living off
the spoils of the sale of their story to TV. She is reportedly “concerned”
about Vili’s “partying.”
Singer Whitney Houston, whose
life has completely fallen apart due to addiction with an apparent
specialty in crack cocaine. Returning to rehab yet again, she may have
been inspired to try sobriety by a very public airing of the problem by
her family, including sister-in-law and former drug buddy, Tina
Brown. Perhaps the lurid pictures of a disheveled and very high
Whitney will serve as a reminder before yet another relapse and risk of
death. Hers is a truly tragic case of late-stage multi-drug addiction and
Former Dodger pitcher Steve Howe, National
League Rookie of the Year in 1980, killed early Friday morning, April 28,
in a one-vehicle rollover. Howe, who also pitched for the Twins, Rangers
and Yankees, was suspended seven times for behaviors related to his
well-known alcohol and cocaine addiction. In 1997, a year after his final
season in the Major Leagues, he was seriously injured in a motorcycle
accident and charged with DUI. More recently, he became co-owner of an
energy drink company in Arizona. Toxicology tests have not yet been
Singer June Pointer, 52, the youngest of the
Pointer Sisters, dead from multiple cancers. She was kicked out of the
group in 2000 after a long history of alcohol and other-drug addiction,
which she admitted began at age 13. A close friend suggests if she’d
gotten regular checkups the cancers might have been found before becoming
life-threatening; unfortunately, she may have been too busy securing her
drugs of choice, including the all-around alcohol, the stimulant crack
cocaine and the tranquilizers Valium and Xanax, to be concerned with early
diagnosis of cancer. Her parents were reportedly non-drinking
Actress Maureen Stapleton, who died from
chronic pulmonary disease. Apparently long sober, Stapleton was nominated
for and winner of several Academy, Emmy and Tony Awards. While she won the
best-actress Tony for her portrayal of a down-and-out alcoholic singer in
Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady,” she is perhaps best known for her
role as the anarchist Emma Goldman in “Reds.” She once told an
interviewer, “The curtain came down and I went into the vodka.” She
inherited her alcoholism from, among likely others, her father, who was a
“prodigious drinker” and who, according to a New York Times
obituary, “had endless battles with her mother, Irene, until they
separated when Maureen was a child.” Stapleton was
Governor George H. Ryan, 72, convicted of bribery in a sweeping
federal corruption case, despite the fact that no one testified to
actually seeing the Governor receive money for favors. There are no
videotapes, wiretaps or confessions. The fact that his crimes saw the
light of day only because an unqualified trucker was involved in an
accident that killed six children is testimony to the difficulty in
bringing crooked politicians to justice. (Proving that alcoholism is at
the root of such misbehaviors can be an even greater challenge.) The
accident, which initially focused on bribes paid for drivers’ licenses,
has led so far to 79 indictments and 75 convictions.
the latest in a long line of corrupt public officials. Five of Illinois’
last nine governors have been convicted of, tried on or stained by charges
of criminal wrongdoing. Recall that alcoholism causes power-seeking
misbehaviors and, therefore, if there are misbehaviors, we should be
looking for alcoholism. There is no more efficient way by which to wield
power than holding office. Therefore, corruption in high places is a
seminal clue to alcoholism.
Genetics and familial interactions
also suggest that alcoholism may be at the root of Gov. Ryan’s criminal
behaviors. Studies cited in How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics indicate
the odds of addiction in a parent of an addict are over 40%. Ryans’
daughter Lynda Fairman was arrested in 2004 for DUI with a BAL of .19 per
cent. Anyone functional enough to get behind the wheel of a car with a BAL
greater than .15 per cent has an almost 100% certainty of alcoholism.
Fairman’s husband Michael was convicted of DUI in 1995 and again in 1999.
Children of alcoholics often put up with serious misbehaviors in close
relationships for extended periods because they are accustomed to such
Although Ryan was pro-active in toughening DUI laws
while in office, Michael Fairman’s first DUI was never placed on his
driving record in the Secretary of State’s office, which Ryan ran at the
time. Fairman testified in the Ryan case he received $55,000 for political
consulting work he didn’t do. He may have needed the money to satisfy
gambling and other debts. Still, during the time he was receiving the
$55,000 in a series of checks, he declared bankruptcy. Ryan, who will be
sentenced in August, faces up to 95 years in prison and $4.5 million in
U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who refused to
respond to an officer’s request to identify herself when entering a
Capitol Hill check point and struck the officer when he attempted to
restrain her. She is known for volatile behaviors and bizarre claims, such
as, “Bush knew about the 9-11 attacks in advance and encouraged them so
his pals could profit.” She, like Governor Ryan, has a sense of
entitlement indicative of alcoholism. Is there anyone who cares to “out”
either of them?
Actress Katherine Heigl, reported as
having at least one series of tantrums on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy” and
repeatedly calling her agent between screaming sessions, complaining about
perceived incompetence among crew members. If these reports are true, we
should give her the benefit of the doubt and assume alcoholism, since it’s
hard to imagine that anything else could incite such behaviors. Message to
her co-workers and family: early identification of and intervention in
alcoholism can help prevent tragedy.
family, friends and fans of the above: the benefit of the doubt is
given by assuming alcoholism (they are either idiots and fundamentally
rotten, or they are alcoholic/other drug addicts—which would explain the
misbehaviors). If alcoholic, there is zero chance that behaviors, in the
long run, will improve without sobriety. An essential prerequisite to
sobriety is the cessation of enabling, allowing pain and crises to build.
Thus far, many have done everything they can to protect the addict from
the requisite pain, making these news events possible. The cure for
alcoholism, consequential bad behaviors and, ultimately, tragedy, is
simple: stop protecting the addict from the logical consequences of
misbehaviors and proactively intervene.
Review: The True Stella Awards, by Randy Cassingham
Based on his popular website, www.StellaAwards.com, humorist Randy Cassingham brings us this terrific book chronicling one outrageous lawsuit after another. Most would find it unfathomable that the cases discussed and thoroughly lampooned are brought before U.S. courts, but the wonder is diminished when the likelihood of alcoholism in many of the litigants is taken into account. Cassingham performs an admirable service in mocking them and bringing us smiles, even though underneath we know that for every case discussed there may be thousands of others like it that fail to attract the ridicule they deserve.
A classic case comes from the world of sports. Anthony Ercolano, 44, was a big fan of the Seattle Mariners. He
spent $32,000 for a pair of season tickets in the exclusive “Diamond Club”
section five rows behind home plate. He figured that gave him the right to
be loud—and that other fans and players, who could hear among many noises,
baby-crying sounds when batters argued with the umpire, had no right to
ask him to tone down his racket. So, Ercolano did what anyone else would
do in similar circumstances: he sued the team for violating his freedom of
speech. We give him the benefit of the doubt by assuming that his sense of
entitlement stems from alcoholism.
Another involves financial
abuse. Antoinette Millard, 40, posed as a Saudi Arabian princess
and was issued a coveted “Black” no-credit-limit American Express card,
which she used to run up a $951,000 debt. She was arrested and charged
with grand larceny. She was also charged with insurance fraud for filing a
$262,000 claim for jewelry she said had been stolen, but which prosecutors
say she sold. We might be called cynical if we assume she paid for the
jewelry with the “Black” card, but we’d probably be right.
American Express sued her for the debt, Millard insisted she should not be
held liable, since American Express “induced” her to sign up for the card
by promising she could make “flexible payments.” She countersued American
Express for $2 million, arguing that they “knew or should have known that
[Millard] was acting impulsively and irrationally at the time she entered
into contract.” Sensible people might think that such an argument takes
alcoholic blame as far as it can go, but they would be
Ron Brown, 23, refused to pull over after
Clemson, South Carolina police responded to a 4 am report that he had
tried to run down a pedestrian. Brown, with police in pursuit, drove off
the end of a bridge under construction and was killed. His father, Bob
Brown, filed a wrongful death suit against everyone involved. Police were
sued for having “forced” his son to drive into a “dangerous construction
zone.” Thrift Brothers Construction Company was sued for not having
sufficient signs and barriers to stop his crazed son. Brown Sr. also
brought action against the South Carolina Department of Transportation,
the apartment complex where the chase began and the complex employee who
made the initial report.
Should we laugh—or should we cry? We
laugh because Cassingham has a wonderful way with words. We cry when
considering our tax dollars at work in the courts and the time people are
forced to waste in defending themselves against the miscreants supplying
the fodder for these all-too-true stories. But Cassingham is doing a great
service in pointing out the flaws in our system and the compounding of
errors when insurers settle, which serves only to encourage more of the
same misbehaviors by others who decide to board the gravy train.
Cassingham's mix of humorous style and serious message strikes
just the right balance to address a costly and ugly problem. Perhaps,
insurers and courts will some day get the message. Drug Addiction
Recognition Experts™ understand the underlying cause of most such
problems, which is half the solution.
There were several letters to advice columnists over the last couple months involving the financial abuse of others. The idea that the perpetrator is compelled to wield such power due to biochemistry that processes drugs in a way that causes an inflated sense of self-importance leads to identical cures: stop the enabling and, wherever possible, intervene.
Live off the
My husband’s mother, sister
and brother-in-law recently moved nearby. I am appalled by their
continuous search for better ways to live off the government and find that
I am increasingly sickened in their presence. What can I do when there are
family events that I have to attend?
. . . .
Other columnists would likely suggest that you
continue to tolerate them because they are family and you should agree to
disagree and be civil, if only for your husband’s sake. This is utter
nonsense. Inform your husband that you refuse to enable by being their
sounding board and audience while they inflate their egos by bragging
about their exploitation of others (i.e., the taxpaying public). If you
are in a position to do so without getting credit, blow the whistle on
this unethical and perhaps criminal crew. In the meantime, educate your
husband about alcoholism and intervention.
My daughter’s husband has worked
a total of eight days in the six months of their young marriage. He talks
about getting a job and even once told my daughter he was going to work
when there was no workplace to go to. My daughter has racked up $18,000 in
debt since marrying this loser. How can I help her realize this grown up
is too emotionally immature to remain in a
. . . .
Other columnists would probably
assert that all you can do is let your daughter know you love her and hope
the husband will grow up. Sorry, but addicts—and regardless of whether you
see him drink, he likely drinks addictively—cannot grow up until they
become sober. And there’s no reason for him to get sober so long as your
daughter enables him by being there and taking on more of his debt. Tell
her if she really loves him she will give him a choice: her or the bottle.
While your suggestion might fall on deaf ears, as her financial and
personal conditions worsen she could become increasingly receptive. In the
meantime, watch for signs of physical abuse. If any are found, immediately
report him to authorities.
My mom, the
My mother lives with me in my home.
I pay all the bills, including those for her frequent spending sprees.
Yet, mom tells friends that I live in her home on which she pays the
mortgage. She even has the gall to tell people that she pays all my bills. She does everything possible to make me look like an
idiot and makes it appear that she is behind all my successes at work and
home. Is her behavior rooted in some sort of jealousy or does she just
have a need to be mean?
. . . .
columnists might say that some people lie because they are ashamed of the
truth, while others do so to make themselves seem important or win at some
sort of competition. Such columnists might lean towards the idea that
she’s simply a compulsive liar and that only a therapist can figure out
the reason, not a columnist who doesn’t know her. Yet, while she might
have a need to inflate her ego because she “just does,” the odds are this
sick need is rooted in alcohol or other-drug addiction. Such a tentative
diagnosis, for which we can ascribe 80% odds, can be made without knowing
anything else about her. And by the way, stop financing her spending
Finally, here’s a letter to which the columnists
respond by suggesting the alcoholic is capable of
I’m afraid that my gorgeous daughter is becoming an
alcoholic despite a wonderful family and terrific career. She thinks it’s
ok to drink excessively because she has, according to her, high tolerance
and never looks drunk. Would you please list the signs of
. . . .
Other columnists might list the signs
given by AA, which have the person under scrutiny ask questions about his
or her own thinking or behaviors. Such questions include, “Have you ever
decided to stop drinking for a week, but could only do so for a couple of
days?” and “Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past
year?” Such questions are meaningless for the practicing alcoholic, who
not only may be able to stop drinking for months at a time or drinks most
of the time without causing trouble, but may be incapable of connecting
the dots due to euphoric recall (under which she perceives everything she
does through self-favoring eyes). You have obviously seen trouble in your
daughter’s life or you wouldn’t ask the question. And high tolerance is
symptomatic of addiction—consider another gorgeous addict, actress
Elizabeth Taylor, who didn’t enter rehab until after her sixth marriage
and who could drink one of her better-known drinking companions, actor
Richard Burton, under the table. Of course your daughter has
alcoholism—and it’s time to conspire with your son-in-law, her friends and
whoever else will agree to aid in a formal intervention, before tragedy
(Source for story ideas: Annie’s Mailbox, March 27 and
April 11, 2006; Dear Abby, April 5, 2006; Annie’s Mailbox, April 26,
Prevent Tragedy Foundation
“The alleged victim may have been drowning her sorrows
after her terrible ordeal.”
So said Paul T. Wall, one of
the co-hosts of the Bill Handel radio program on 640am KFI in Los Angeles,
explaining why the alleged rape victim in the Duke University case was
found passed out in her car after the incident. One of the grand myths
that pervade alcoholism is that the alcoholic drinks to drown out sorrows,
unhappiness or some tragic loss. The problem is they also drink to
celebrate, whether for a resounding success, a dramatic win, or just
because it’s Friday night. The truth of the matter is they drink
addictively because they can.
|Amazing Antics: Stories of Alcoholism-Driven Behaviors
Story from “This is True” by Randy
Cassingham, with his “tagline:”
“THERE'S NOTHIN' LIKE HOME
COOKIN': ‘Now THERE'S a couple that knows how to fight!’ summarized an
enthusiastic Reuters reporter, telling the story of a couple in Mexico who
got into a spat in their Oxkutzcab, Yucatan, home. Like a scene from the
movie ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’, the report says, the couple's fight escalated
from knives to guns to home-made bombs; their house was destroyed. Juan
Espinosa was arrested and Irma Contreras was hospitalized with
third-degree burns. Unlike the ‘Smiths’ the couple didn't get a
happily-ever-after ending: Espinosa said he was glad his wife suffered
burns, and Contreras reported she was sorry she had not ‘hacked off his
manhood.’ (Reuters) ...Coming next fall, with Brad Pitt as ‘Juan’ and
Angelina Jolie as ‘Irma’ in the amazing sequel....”
might have included Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor or Don Johnson and
Melanie Griffith for a bit more realism, but that’s why Randy writes the
taglines. While the story fails to mention heavy drinking, we know better.
Alcoholics sometimes get together and make each other miserable. Their
lives mimic bipolar disorder, with highs of spending sprees and sex
alternating with lows of verbal and, occasionally, physical abuse. Like so
many, this couple will likely kiss and make up, only to do it all over
again. While next time they might make themselves eligible for a joint
Darwin Award, their family, friends and neighbors no doubt hope they won’t
get the opportunity.
(Story and tagline from “This is
True,” copyright 2006 by Randy Cassingham, used with permission. See
http://www.thisistrue.com for free
To view reader's comments on last month's Thorburn Addiction Report and Doug's responses please visit the Thorburn Weblog at PrevenTragedy.com.
Doug frequently posts alcoholism-related articles, as well as his responses, so be sure to check back often.
Doug's new book, Alcoholism Myths and Realities, is now available at
"Every policymaker in America needs to read your book exposing the myths of chemical addiction...Excellent book."
GaltPublishing.com, Amazon.com and bookstores near you.
Jim Ramstad, Member of U.S. Congress (MN)
"My father died of alcoholism. His father died of alcoholism. Three generations of alcoholism is enough. Now is the time to abandon superstition and pseudoscience, to debunk the myths surrounding alcoholism, and to apply science to solving this problem. Doug Thorburn's book is a model example of how this should be done. Read it and be prepared to change your thinking on this important topic. When enough of us understand what is really going on with alcoholism, society can make the shift from treatment to prevention and intervention."
Michael Shermer, publisher, Skeptic Magazine and columnist, Scientific American
Buy your copy of Alcoholism Myths and Realities for only $14.95 or get the whole collection PLUS a two-hour audio cassette from Galt Publishing for just $49.95 plus tax and shipping. That's a $72.75 value for only $49.95.
To order online, click the following link (be sure to put "TAR SPECIAL" in the comments section of the order form.) Orders can also be placed by phone: 800-482-9424 OR fax: 818-363-3111.
If you wish to pay by check, send the appropriate payment with your shipping information and the words "TAR SPECIAL" in the "memo" section of your check to: PO Box 7777, Northridge, CA 91327.
To purchase any of the above Thorburn books, go to www.galtpublishing.com
Have you visited the Prevent Tragedy Foundation" The Prevent Tragedy Foundation is a tax-exempt 501c-3 organization, the goal of which is to educate the general public on the need for early detection of alcohol and other drug addiction. The Foundation is intended to answer a question that has been all-but-ignored by similar organizations: what does alcoholism look like before it becomes obvious"
Click here to visit the Prevent Tragedy Foundation
The Thorburn Addiction Report is a free newsletter published by Galt Publishing and PrevenTragedy.com. Subscibe by visiting our web site at www.PrevenTragedy.com.
Click here to visit PrevenTragedy.com
The Thorburn Addiction Report is available to newspapers as a regular feature column.
Inquiries are invited.
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