Truth About Drugs Documentary: Alcohol

Truth About Drugs Documentary: Alcohol

Alcohol probably took 20 years of my life. And you can’t get that back. Alcohol is a drug, which most people don’t
think it is, but it actually is. It’s classed as a depressant, meaning,
it slows down vital functions in the body. Alcohol is made through
the fermentation of fruits and grains. The process of fermentation
is basically letting fruit sit and rot until it can produce a mind-altering effect
when you drink it. There’s different types of things you can drink
that have different amounts of alcohol in them. Like a beer — if you just drink beer,
that has 2–6% alcohol. Wine is about 8–20% alcohol. And then you got your hard liquors,
which are like vodka or whiskey, which are about 40–50% alcohol. When someone drinks two or more drinks,
it acts as a stimulant. When they drink more than that,
it acts as a depressant. If you binge-drink, what you’re doing is you’re
just drinking repeatedly, over and over, large amounts and
large quantities of alcohol. If you put that much alcohol in your system
at one time, you can get alcohol poisoning, which could lead you to —
go into a coma or even kill you. 12 years old. I was in the 7th grade. When I was in 8th grade.
I think I was 13 years old. It became very regular
at 14 years of age. 15 years old when I first started drinking. 17 years old, starting to go out to parties,
doing things like that. At first, drinking was a sociable thing, you know.
I drank with my friends. Thought I was really cool,
going out with all the older guys. And I’d try to show off in front of them and drink
myself stupid. We’d just go out and party all night. By the time I was probably 15
is where I started drinking at school. Putting it in a water bottle — I would take vodka
or gin, something clear that looks like water — and I would just drink in class
and pop mints in my mouth. We’d go in, break into
his parents’ liquor cabinet, fill up our Super Big Gulps
full of ice and Everclear and then stop by 7-Eleven and fill the rest of it
up with Coke and then make it to first period. I was drinking,
not just at parties and stuff, but after classes and after work
and even at work. I waited tables, so it was
very easy access to alcohol. It was hard to say no. It was so readily
available and it was constantly there. My drug problem wasn’t something
that happened immediately. It happened so slowly, that I missed
the fact that I was addicted to it. It became a routine — a way of life. The only type of people I would hang out with were
people who were using drugs or drinking alcohol. And it got to the point
where that’s all I cared about. It became far more than
just a partying thing. It was — a necessity. Without having alcohol in me,
I could not function. I kind of became a loner, because all I ever
wanted to do was just drink and drink and drink. It felt like it was my only friend, felt like that it
was always there for me somewhere. You know, when things were going bad,
I could always have a few drinks. Well, for me it was never a few drinks —
it was always a lot of drinks. I was consuming about 30 beers a day — a whole
case of beer — and 3/4 gallon of light rum. I would essentially have that
and black out every night. I could do nothing but drink, 24-7.
Drink — pass out, drink — pass out. I literally started drinking so much, that I would
shake if I didn’t have a drink. When I would not drink,
I’d get extremely sick, deathly sick. Just really achy all over,
and you have headaches and… You’re so dehydrated that you just —
you have no energy. Alcohol had been
in and out my body so much, that it had tore away some of the lining of
my esophagus and blood was creeping in. I was a physical disaster. I was that far in my
addiction of physical withdrawal, that when I shut that alcohol intake off,
my body tried to shut down. The actual withdrawal from alcohol
can kill you, for one thing, if it’s too intense. Your body has no vitamins or is dehydrated,
and you can have DTs [delirium tremens], and you can seizure to death. It’s terrible. I got a phone call, you know, that my father was
in the hospital and that he was really, really sick, and that he wasn’t going to make it.
So the next day I got on a plane to go home. And my only way to confront this
was to drink alcohol. So I showed up at the airport pretty drunk, and my family saw me there
and they didn’t know what to say. The worst thing about it is that
my father was kept conscious so that he could see me
before he passed away. But instead of disgracing his memory,
they had to put him on life support. I had gotten kicked out of this bar
for fighting — I was beyond drunk. And I was attacked… and raped. And I went home and I stayed
in my apartment for a week. My mom would come knocking on the door —
I’d pretend I wasn’t home. I felt like it was my fault: I was the one that was
at that bar, I was the one that was getting drunk. I went home — and I had a roommate. And for some reason we got into an argument,
which resulted in a fight, and the cops got called. I blacked out for part of it, so I couldn’t — I couldn’t figure out why
I was waking up in jail. I drank some beer there,
at the bar inside the airport. I just ordered another beer and
put my backpack on and started walking through the terminal,
smoking a cigarette. I didn’t care what I was supposed
to be doing. And I ended up getting in a fight
with the police there at the airport. And I woke up in jail.
I had staples in my head. In the military, I woke up —
and I actually had to crawl on my hands and knees off the flight deck
of the carrier, because I couldn’t walk. And then I got discharged from that, and lost
a girlfriend and a kid and my whole life. I drank to blackout one night. Well, some
time about an hour later I got back up. I went to my bedroom;
my wife wasn’t there. I went to the girls’ bedroom, and… they were all in the bed together, basically hiding from me
through the blackout. And I decided right then
that I couldn’t stay there anymore. I was afraid I was going to
hurt someone in a blackout. I haven’t had a drink in 3 years;
yet I’m reminded daily of my alcohol abuse because of the long-terms effects.
I have horrible short-term memory, and it makes everyday life
very difficult for me — just remembering names,
remembering how to do things. As a result of alcohol,
I had high blood pressure, and I still have it. It destroys your internal organs
and it can destroy your brain functions, your handwriting, small motor skills,
and it’s definitely a poison. I have liver pains, bone and muscle aches
that just used to not be there. And it’s not from age — I’m not that old.
I should be in my prime right now. And I’ve probably aged myself 20 years
through alcohol abuse. Alcohol is slow to kill,
but it’s the most hideous form of death. If I had known how sneaky and dangerous and
insidious alcohol is, if somebody had kind of told me, and if I had known that it’s not
this symbol for a good time, I think that would have made a difference. It’s not like some of the other drugs — instantly after your first time, you’re hooked
and you’re addicted to it. A lot of times, most of my friends didn’t even like
the taste of beer when they first started drinking. It started out as something that was fun.
Something we did on weekends. How it progressed to an everyday,
all-day thing is beyond me. I have no answer to that, I do not understand
how that happened, but it did. It’s nothing but misery.
For the last 12, 13 years of my life I’ve spent probably way
over half a million dollars, and over 4 or 5 years of that
has been institutionalized, whether it be in a alcohol-treatment
rehab facility, or incarcerated. Alcohol is just as bad if not worse than heroin
or barbiturates or anything else. I don’t know, for 60% of the people who
go out to drink and get drunk, chances are that they’re going to lead to something else and
they’re going to end up on a downward spiral. I may not be very old, but I have definitely
seen some hellish things from alcohol. I didn’t — to be honest, I didn’t think someone
could get to the point that I was at, at my age. I thought that took years and years.
But no — downward spiral. It might seem fun at the beginning, but after you get stuck
in that lifestyle for years, you realize how not fun it is.
It’s terrifying.


  1. My dad had a cousin that drank a six-pack for breakfast each morning; one day, he ran out of beer, drove to the mini mart and they found him in the parking lot slumped over the steering wheel. He died from liver failure – my father likes to joke that he "died of thirst."

  2. Such a true video. The danger of alcohol needs to be reflected in it's categorisation. I'm not saying marijuana is totally safe or should be legal, but alcohol is a far more damaging substance and should be regarded as such. I perosnally believe shop keepers or any other vendors of alcohol are as bad as people on the street pushing hard drugs.

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