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The face of alcoholism

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As Portland's Addiction Examiner I need to write something about the passing of lovely, wonderful, magical Robin Williams.

Of course we all want to celebrate his life, his big juicy life, but he died of alcoholism and its effects. We need to get this! Of all people who should have not died until he was a very old man it would have been Robin. He had it all---family---career---money---property and prestige. He had sobriety too.

As I watch the news all day today I see they are talking about his bouts with drinking, drugging and going into rehab, getting out, having some success and as he stated in one of the interviews early in his career, "One drink and!!!!---He understood the nature of this disease. He tried to stay away from it. He went to AA meetings. I saw him there. He tried.

Depression is a big part of alcoholism. I know this personally as I also bottomed out in 1978 from alcoholism, drug addiction and put a gun to my head when the wicked darkness of depression descended on my soul---I was too drunk to load the gun correctly---I struggled to life instead of die---I am one of the lucky ones---even though depression is part of my daily life---I stay close to program and ask my Higher Power to keep me sober/clean.

I am free today 35+ years later---Robin lost his battle. Many are losing their battle as we read this. We don't talk about it much. We don't see much on the news about suicide from depression as an effect of alcoholism until a celebrity dies---we need to talk about this more often.

I am not going to give statistics here---get involved and look it up yourself---I think you will be surprised (and I hope dismayed) at the figures. We push alcohol on the human race, it is a big business, and people who are not prone to addiction can handle it (perhaps) but many, more than you know, more than you would like to think are actually drinking alcoholically.

Look around you, be mindful and if you think you have a problem or if you think your family or neighbors have a problem---reach out and get help---this is a DEADLY disease to be taken seriously---go to a campus and know what is happening there with youth---it is a big problem---more than you know---reach out and get help.

As I write this my eyes are full of tears for the loss of this lovely man, for his family, for this world that loved him---for us all that we have to lose one more dear, precious alcoholic.

Meanwhile get some treatment center numbers, get the local number of your Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and NA centers and stand by because I know you will need them sooner than you think---There are many more to come suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction.

Robin be happy, joyous and free now and as it has been said, "The Genie is out of the bottle."