Yesterday and today, I'm having a strong urge to get completely wasted. Just go to the store around the block, buy bottle of Absolute.
Yesterday, while driving on I-695, I saw a guy with a child seat on the back seat and thought to myself: "I want that too".
Tristan O’Tierney dies at 35, survived by his three-old-year daughter.
I have some close friends that have drinking problems and what I learned from their experiences:
1. If you're an alcoholic and think you can handle a single drink, you're lying to yourself.
2. It's honestly not worth it. Life is better than being stuck in a multi day binger. The physically effects are taxing on the body.
3. You'll always have those urges and that feeling of wanting to drink isn't as bad as the act of actually drinking and the damage the follows.
If you have those urges, attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and refresh yourself on why you don't drink. I remember going out to dinner with a friend and the waiter knew my buddy. During the conversation he asked would I like something to drink. When I said no, he asked if I was a "friend of Bob". At first I had no clue what that meant and asked who was Bob. Later I found out he was referring to the founder of AA.
I personally don't drink around those that battle with drinking. I understand the struggle.
Stay sober. Reading about Tristan and it reminds me of all those people I lost as a child. I watched so many friends OD to heroin and other drugs.
It's a logical approach to repositioning alcohol as a poison that somehow 90% of our population embraces as normal.
Once in a while he'll have dreams of drinking or the urge to drink. Whatever works to keep you sober and healthy, go for it!
Worth noting that #1 is AA dogma and is certainly not a medically proven thing. About 5% of people who go through AA eventually get sober, roughly the same as other treatment approaches (many of which skip the disease model of alcoholism entirely).
IMO, the AA notion that you are diseased for life unless you turn your life over to a higher power (which looks suspiciously like the personal god of Western Protestant Christianity) is poison.
a. The people I know attend AA are not religious and they don't enjoy that aspect of AA.
b. They refuse to take medication like Disulfiram (Antabuse) and rather deal with their addiction by attending meetings.
c. I'm not sure if you are an actual alcoholic, it sounds like you're not, but I would advise you to be cautious about what you're saying here. If you deal with Alcoholism, there's no "final" cure. You are aware of that right?
People who deal with Alcoholism don't view their addiction as being "diseased" and AA doesn't suggest that as well. You might want to read the Big Book which is available online. I read it to understand what my friends actually deal with.
I'm not even sure what you mean by "disease model of alcoholism". It sounds like your knowledge is not only superficial, but poorly researched.
This is precisely it. You fight it continuously and always assume you are going to mess things up even when you think you're 'finally' strong enough. Just being constantly paranoid about slipping back into old habits. It's no joke and there's no panacea.
AA has, according to one study, a 67% success rate. The study saw that, of people who regularly went to AA, 67% were sober 16 years later:
Another study shows a 75% success rate, but it's behind a paywall:
In any case, it's not a bad starting point. If it doesn't work, I'm sure you'll find suggestions there for alternatives.
Keep safe folks
At its worst (at 6 days/week), I was keeping changes of clothes at work, closing the bar, fooling around with someone for a few hours and then going back to work.
At 26 my drinking started to trail off severely and I had sort of a breakdown...moved somewhere else for a few years.
I don't really know what motivated me to drink like that or to stop. Luckily, I can drink socially without issue and I maybe have 1 or 2. Any drinking (socially) I do is maybe once or twice a month now and I don't spend any time in bars.
I have seen a lot of other peoples' lives ruined by drinking though. I'm lucky that the worst I have to deal with is some extra weight and an aversion to going out to drink. Like the parent post says, please keep safe.
The worse you feel the next day after alcohol means the more significant damage you did to your body. If you feel fresh, it says that the damage was almost non-existent (besides liver, which, if you drink a lot of alcohol you should take care separately). Then drinking a lot of water before going to bed will help your body to clean from alcohol.
It's all about alcohol-drinking culture. In some countries drinking alcohol 2-4 times a week is normal (as long as you don't drink to get wasted). But I have seen places (for example Ireland), where drinking to get wasted is an ultimate goal 2-4 times a week. That's the problem imo. Better education and public awareness would help a lot.
Drinking water doesn't "clean" you, it stops your kidneys from failing altogether.
You should always pound down water after heavy drinking. It's the only physiological cure for hangovers.
So I disagree.
A good way to test it - do it yourself. You will see a noticeable difference. Go in the evening after the gym. Hydrate yourself through the day and you will see a huge difference in performance.
There is quite a lot of talk about it in sports/gym circles for many years.
This is demonstrably untrue, and trvial to prove to oneself. A more significant contributor is GABA adaptation and up-regulation by the CNS.
I'm not downplaying dehydration as a factor, but to say it's the ONLY thing is ridiculous.
There has been a lot of talk about it for years in many sport/gym related communities. Those people know how to observe their bodies and reaction.
What do you think the lsd did to dampen the effects on opiate receptor to release endorphins? I have experimented with naltrexone and it works well to block my opiate receptors when drinking. It just scares me that I'm blocking all euphoria and how I'm messing with neuroplasticity and encoding long term memories... Thoughts?
i’m almost 30 now and i literally can’t drink a single beer without feeling hungover the next morning. if i drink 3 or more, i might as well call in sick. as a result, i just stopped completely. there’s other ways to have fun that don’t make me feel terrible.
It’s like the difference between self-medication with a friend’s Xanax vs having a diagnosis and a prescription from a doctor or psychiatrist. Only aside from some promising studies with psilocybin and MDMA, you can’t legslly have a psychedelic experience in that kind of context yet in America.
There are people who do it underground, trained therapists I mean, though I have no idea how one would find them.
(For the record, I do believe this class of substances can help a lot of people. Do your own research, know your own body, and think for yourself before making a decision that can have possible adverse effects)
And it's pretty unlikely that anyone is posting on HN from the international space station, so it's safe to say that LSD is definitely illicit regardless of their location.
Technically true, but it’s decriminalized in a handful of countries and thus “tolerated”.
> And it's pretty unlikely that anyone is posting on HN from the international space station
Wouldn’t matter, it’s illegal there (for US astronauts at least, can’t confirm for Russians, but I’d highly doubt it).
Can I interest you in some flax? https://www.principiadiscordia.com/bip/1.php
EDIT: I guess the poster who suggested LSD is conflating these two.
There’s the idea of “set” and “setting” for psychedelic use. A (mind)set of “party time!” and a setting of “party time!” is unlikely to be effective in the way that a set of “i want to quit smoking” and a setting of “quiet, safe surroundings” would be.
Intention and preparation matter with these drugs—though they’re apparently no guarantee either.
Furthermore, this is more of a matter of opinion but I strongly feel it doesn’t dull your senses / decision making / cognition the way alcohol does.
On the other hand it can result in permanent personality changes / dissociative identity disorder.
LSD does cause permanent personality changes. That's what makes it such a beautiful compound. For me, it permanently altered my openness to experience, made me more intuitively empathetic, and improved my communication skills (the last two are two sides of the same coin). As a result, I am more well-adjusted, better able to communicate, more in tune with people's unspoken emotions and better at dropping into that unique state of vulnerability that we often call love. *
Your mileage may vary.
* Actually, psilocybin mushrooms were my first psychedelic so I credit them with that more than LSD per se. LSD was like the icing on top, really.
I find it difficult to call someone well adjusted when they are dependent on a hallucinogenic drug to cope with reality.
I’ve seen the damage that drug addiction can do, so I understand your caution. But they are nothing like addictive depressants or stimulants. The drugs are actually somewhat unpleasant while the effects take told, and you feel better from the after-effects when they wear off. You also get a lot of tolerance after a single dose. This means that the compulsive redosing behavior that leads to dependence simply doesn’t happen.
A relative of mine is a drug addict. It started with light pill abuse in his late teen years. Then turned into a serious opioid addiction a few years later. There is wide debate on susceptibility to addiction in terms of things like personality or genetics and so on. Whatever the case his personality certainly seems aggressively directed at being easily prone to substance/drug abuse and to seeking it out. Once he became a full-blown opioid addict, the ability to control his general problem with addiction of course went out the window, it pretty well destroyed his life.
His mother refuses to help him get treatment via for example Suboxone, because she says that's just a crutch that keeps you addicted (equivalent to your reference of replacing one substance with another). Meanwhile, instead, the out of control opioid addiction continues threatening his life. The core of this issue is that not all substances are created equal in their consequences. Suboxone may be a form of crutch, and crutches are often very useful when you have a broken leg.
I've known a few people with opioid addictions, the only ones I've ever seen able to control it had to use treatments like Suboxone. In that case, replacing one substance with another, means regaining control over your life (while you hopefully pursue long-term therapy to permanently kick the addiction) and being able to live mostly normally.
One of those people was a fairly close friend. She had a problem with addictions over many years. Alcohol, cocaine, lighter pain killers, and so on. She was always able to walk back the addictions, until opioids. Once she became an opioid addict, there was no walking that back, it took over every aspect of her life. All of her thinking shifted to short-term obsession to fill the craving. Her entire life became a fireball of destruction: thieving, lying, anything necessary to get the next fix. When you're consumed by that addiction, there is no long-term thinking, there's no next month or next year, there's only sating the drug addiction. When the doctors began cutting off her drug access one after another, she eventually even turned to getting various prescriptions for her dogs. Then buying opioids illegally on the black market. The person you used to know, no longer exists while this is going on, they're an addiction zombie that can hardly be reasoned with (they'll say anything at any time to avoid a discussion or intervention). That whirlwind went on for a year plus, until one day she took Suboxone. I'm sure it's not for everyone, I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone; in this case, it was like a miracle. One day she was an out of control drug addict, a week or two later she was back, normal, able to think long-term again, able to hold a job and reason normally. It was almost as though the prior year had never happened. It's wild to witness that transformation occur in such a short amount of time. So long as she took Suboxone on schedule, she was no longer an out of control opioid addict. She could then pursue a long-term strategy of opioid addiction therapy. Sometimes substituting one substance for another, is about managing addiction in the relative short-term through a better process, so you can work toward the long-term goal of ending the addiction.
Unfortunately, recreational drugs are a one-two punch. First, the activity of taking recreational drugs is highly stimulating in and of itself, due to its risk, which means that the simple act of taking something, anything, can become damn near irresistible. Second, the effects of many of these drugs actually do end up acting as a quasi-medication. Cocaine, for instance, is quite chemically similar to Ritalin; meth is an amphetamine like Adderall; opiates seem to act almost as stimulants for many with ADD (including me), and also help to deaden the hyperactivity a bit; alcohol mercifully slows down your thinking; and so on.
The irony then is that many drug addicts would significantly benefit from a prescription of Adderall or Ritalin, but unfortunately these medications are very difficult to have prescribed if you have a history of addiction. I understand why this is the case, but I can't help but feel sad for those who unfortunately may never get the treatment (or even the diagnosis) they need to rein in their lives.
The poster seemed to conflate the two.
Reminds me of antibiotics. Kill some over connected pathways vs Kill some bacteria.
Just talking about it with other people going through the same thing helps a lot. It's almost always worked for me and I tend to get a hold of things before the spiral further out of control.
Best of luck mate. IWNDWYT
The only end is death when depending on bottles a week.
I have seen people who can keep drinking what I thought were literally diluted Alcohol. I guess your body takes damage without them knowing it.
I normally handled stress well, but this was a different level and it was physically taxing on me. I had a glass of wine one night about 3 weeks into this and immediately felt so much better that I ended up having 3-4 / night for 3 months just to cope with the stress.
As soon as the project ended (successfully I might add), I stopped...but I’ll never forget how much I felt like I needed the alcohol during that time. I’ve never experienced that in my life but it gave me a new appreciation for what it must be like to really struggle with the addiction. If I felt like that every day I don’t know what I’d do.
Sincerest condolences to his family.
bonus, reduces alcohol cravings:
4. Rhodiola rosacea
Disclaimer: pure anecdote !
Used for relaxation, alcohol is a quick-fix solution but sometimes that's what you need. A crutch is great for a few days when you've got a sprained ankle and still need to march. Just don't make it a permanent part of your life.
I also used alcohol to self-medicate for anxiety. And while in many countries there is a strong stigma against "just taking a pill" to help with this sort of thing, it's a hell of a lot better than becoming an alcoholic.
I rarely drink at all, but when this was happening my entire chest was tense for the whole time period. When I had the glass of wine just released it for some reason. Alcohol has never really done anything for me so the reaction was a big surprise.
I do appreciate the concern though. I rarely have anything anymore. I usually find that wine gives me headaches now so I never bother. Can’t gave gluten so that cuts out most beer. If anything I’ll have an Old Fashioned if we are out at a nice dinner, but that’s pretty much the extend of what I have these days.
There's better ways to deal with stress. Pump iron, or go for a run. 30-60 minutes of running should give you a reset.
Maybe a small bit of spirit is helpfull for digestion. For everything else, alcohol is a nervous agent. Social easing is a bit like shaking up the weights of a neural network, a little randomization does often make no difference and might even help to get out of a local minimum, but also away from an optimum. You don't want to go at it with a cheese grater and kitchen mixer, or let an epileptic operate with a rusty knife on an open heart.
What worked for me years later was to actually work out and lose weight and people start looking at you differently.
At one startup in SOMA, on my first day the CEO introduced me to the team and pressured me to drink a shot of booze as was the company's tradition. My first group interaction with the entire company (~30 heads) was responding "water" to the CEO's question "so what's you're drink?" asked while standing next to a bar on wheels rolled over for the occasion, which I had to repeat two or three times, when he repeated the question expecting me to cave under pressure.
Utter stupidity, may as well be insisting I smoke a cigarette from my perspective.
If someone gets an infectious disease, we don't judge them for having a weak immune system.
If someone becomes addicted to a substance, we shouldn't judge them for having a weak physical or psychiatric system.
Addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. All of the xA (Alcoholics/Narcotics/Gambling etc) Anonymous are fine communal assistance groups, but addiction is not about will power.
Also, I am thinking that coming from a POV where I don't have any addictive tendencies makes it all the more harder to put myself in the other persons shoes. Not being pious or getting on a high horse here - it is genuinely like someone who doesn't have ADHD or autism trying to understand what it is like for someone who does. Analogies like the above makes it easier to comprehend though.
Mental diseases, however, look to other people completely different compared to regular diseases. Some argue they are not diseases at all, since they may lack known biological / cellular component. This becomes more complicated in case when they do not seek treatment.
Are you mad? Nobody suddenly becomes 'addicted'. Addiction is something you do willfully and deliberately to yourself. Addiction is not a disease, it is a form of self-harm.
"Self-harm" you mentioned is a mental problem. Yes, none of these are like cancer and deadly at first, but they really can turn deadly if no one helps. It is hard for me to understand too, but I don't take anything for granted. We never know what would trigger all these. I am sure he didn't want to die at 35 and leave her 3 years old kid behind with his wife alone.
IT was only when I was having an untrasound that the problem in the kidney was found and I had a couple of decades of managed decline before I went on to the transplant list.
Studies show Naltrexone and the Sinclair method prevents excessive consumption and over time can extinguish addiction. Over the course of a year alcoholics can basically totally lose interest in alcohol.
It's not a fringe treatment. It has been the standard of care in Finland for decades.
Here is a global listing of physicians familiar with the treatment: https://cthreefoundation.org/find-a-physician
These board certified physicians prescribe it in many states in the US via telemedicine consultations: https://www.mdproactive.com/what-we-treat/alcohol-use-disord...
(I'm suggesting this online practice because I understand it may be hard to find a physician familiar with this treatment in some areas in the United States.)
I went from being a bit of a drunk even by American standards to having no interest in alcohol after a couple pills.
The first time I took it, I knew it could have saved by grandfather's life.
It's really heartbreaking that so few people know about this treatment.
Anyone who likes alcohol would be amazed how useless it is without the opioid response (that Naltrexone blocks).
You can find papers about this on Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C14&q=sin...
You also did not mention that a number of studies have shown this drug to be only modestly effective at treating alcohol abuse, and that there are better treatments. It can also cause liver damage. It's not a magic pill.
To my knowledge liver damage has only been documented at doses far beyond what the Sinclair method directs.
Edit: source as requested below: https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/36/1/2/137995
You are contending, without evidence, that these physicians are dangerous. That is a serious claim.
If you are concerned that these physicians are endangering the public, you should take it up with their respective state medical boards straightaway.
There is nowhere near a consensus among professional physicians that this drug is as good as you claim it to be. Meanwhile I can find plenty of physicians like Dr. Oz who are snake oil salesmen, so I reject your fallacious appeal to authority.
EDIT: I see that you have now edited your comment to say "(An appeal to authority is the purpose of medical licensing.)". You should not edit your comments in an attempt to make people who responded to you look bad, or look like they missed something that was actually not there.
Now you keep adding even more! If you want to respond, then respond. I quoted the entire text of your original comment at the top of mine.
The majority of physicians do not prescribe this drug, and even the ones who do prescribe it do not recommend that patients try to obtain it online and self-medicate.
You twisted my meaning into an attack on physicians, which it certainly was not. It was a rejection of a fallacious appeal to authority.
The fact that some physicians recommend something is simply not convincing. It's not hard to find a small number of physicians who would recommend homeopathy either, nor is it hard to find a small number of scientists who reject climate science. A consensus among physicians (or scientists) is what makes an appeal to authority reasonable.
As opposed to the liver-sparing lifetime of alcoholism?
Principle of least harm comes into play, here.
If you're worried about liver damage please look into Acetaminophen.
There's a subreddit here too which is becoming more and more active. https://reddit.com/r/alcoholism_medication
For anyone who is struggling with addiction, or thinks they may have a problem - please treat this like any other disease and consult a medical professional.
I'd also suggest, if possible, speaking with another addict in recovery to learn about what they have found successful. There are 12 step support groups (AA and NA being the two most well known) worldwide.
There are many available treatments and it's really difficult to know what will be best for any one person (and what works for an individual at any given point in time may change).
(Also, if you have been actively using alcohol or benzodiazepines, please consider talking to medical professional before abruptly stopping - there are serious risks during withdrawal and it can be deadly).
If anyone need help finding more information, don't hesitate to message me.
I didn’t downvote. But AA has a mixed track record with respect to effectiveness . It’s also been likened to a cult . This might explain some downvoted.
That article shows that people who regularly go to AA meetings are more likely to be sober (e.g. 67% people who went to one or more meeting a week were sober 16 years later).
Because of the universal nature of AA, it is hard to randomize for it (if you just randomly tell an alcoholic to go to AA, they have already been told that by others, so that's not a very good randomization; the control is contaminated); that said, there are studies where people randomly selected to go to AA are more likely to be sober. A 2014 meta study shows that greater AA attendance results in greater sobriety, which can not be attributed to self-selection (in other words, we have finally scientifically demonstrated that the people doing well are being helped by AA):
Now, that Gabrielle Glaser article you link to which claims AA is a cult uses some very dubious figures for AA's success. They come from Lance Dodes; since Dodes could not find any studies that AA has a 5% success rate, he instead multiplied multiple numbers from unrelated studies to synthesize the 5% figure. His numbers have been questioned by a number of treatment experts, including Thomas Beresford, John Kelly, Gene Beresin, and Jeffrey D. Roth (who called Dodes's figures a "pseudostatistical polemic").
(Note that this is a paywall link. Here is a quote to give readers here a gist of that article: "acceptance of the tenets of AA may be associated with positive behavioral change"; the paper describes how working the AA program results in people having a more positive world view)
12-step meetings are not a short-term fix; I have already linked to a paper which shows that two out of three people who regularly go to AA meetings in their first year of alcohol treatment are still sober 16 years later. Here's the original paper with those figures:
I'd also like to add, each group is different and yes, some can be cult-like. I'd suggest trying more than one.
I'm really not trying to promote AA, just mentioning that it's one of many options (in addition to medically assistant therapy, individual and group counseling etc).
Anybody who claims to know what will work for any one person is full of it. But to anyone struggling, please keep trying different methods until you find the treatment that works for you.
I’m coordinating a memorial in San Francisco the end of this month. We intend to have it at an art gallery with his photography on display. If you want to be notified about it, reach out (contact info on my profile).
 I have to say that the HN community repeatedly amazes me with its caring and thoughtful and helpful discussions.
Edited to fix issues with asterisk footnote mistaken for emphasis markup/down
There are also additional pages of pics under the +Portfolio dropdown.
Even Elon Musk commented on this recently. Paraphrasing because I don't remember the quote, on Joe Rogan, he mentioned it's not so nice to be him because his mind was always working and he couldn't turn it off. It really hit home for me, and I couldn't even imagine how much worse it is for some folks, especially those who founded companies and have that stress on top.
Lastly, I feel there is a very important reality that we all are largely unaware of it is that (IMHO) we live our lives in log scale, meaning generally every new experience creates much lighter impression than the one by say a few years ago. if you accept that (barring physical discomfort) world is not such a bad place compare to even a few decades ago.
The happiest people don't worry and find joy in the things around them.
R.I.P. and so sorry to hear that his young daughter will not get to know her father.
Please be mindful of spreading the belief that it is harmless. I certainly do not think it as dangerous as many drugs, but it certainly ruins, and will ruin, millions of lives.
I live in Australia, which has never had prohibition, but like the UK, our drinking culture is probably as bad or worse than the U.S.
I should know; I was an excessive drinker from my late teens to my early 30s, and it could have turned out very badly had I not taken abrupt action when I did.
I took two full years off drinking from age 33, and adopted techniques to develop emotional health that I continue using to this day, and these days I can enjoy alcohol in moderation and have no ill-effects.
There's an Australian organisation called Hello Sunday Morning  that supports people trying to adopt a healthier relationship with alcohol, just as I did.
They have no agenda to prohibit or restrict people's ability to buy/use alcohol; they simply offer methods and support services to help people to cease their dangerous use of alcohol.
All power to them, I say.
Personally, I think alcohol is worth giving up. Why find out how bad things can get? In my case, I quit 10 years ago. In that time, I’ve built a career as a software developer, grown a marriage, and become a father. I have a great social life, deeper friendships than I ever had while drinking, and have replaced the access to creativity I used to feel by drinking alcohol with running and meditation. Sobriety is an extremely viable path.
We need to support each other in times of need. Any addiction has as much a social component as psychological. Startups are hard and it has different effect on different people. Talk to your friends. Seek help, professional or personal.
Note: I'm not saying work caused this, especially since he was set for life with his work at Square (according to the article).
"Square Co-Founder turned traveling photographer. Searching for the meaning of life and got lost along the way. Maybe it is hidden in these moments."
Condolences to all who knew him.
I wonder if that’s just the only thing being reported on, or it’s just the most likely way for these people to die.
Extreme sports and motorcycle accidents apply to such a smaller percentage of the population.
best of luck and rip TOT
Never take the first step. It's your best defense.
The suggestion that a fast might have cured this person's alcoholism and saved their life is highly speculative and may be seen as offensive by some.
A loss for a lot of people, especially his young family.
That said, ping me privately, my contact info is in my profile. I’ll do what I can to help.