Sometimes there is a thin line that separates social drinking from alcoholism. Drinking can be a slippery slope. You may only intend to drink as a hobby but soon find yourself sliding into addiction territory.
Alcohol can get the best of any of us. Consider some celebrities who found themselves ruled by alcohol addictions that ultimately cut their lives short.
- Jack Kerouac – A pioneer of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac was a poet and a novelist of French-Canadian descent. He is recognized for his spontaneous prose. His most famous book, “On the Road,” was published in 1957 and carried a broad cultural influence. This prolific writer had a severe drinking problem. One evening after downing too much whiskey, he felt sick to his stomach and started vomiting blood. He was taken to the hospital and died the following day (October 21, 1969). It was discovered that he had a hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis, a late stage of fibrosis of the liver caused by conditions that include chronic alcoholism.
- Richard Burton – Famous as a stage and screen actor, Burton was nominated seven times for Oscars, but he did not win any. Burton was a Welsh actor who became famous for his baritone voice. He was known as a formidable Shakespearean actor who was unforgettable in his performance of Hamlet. He had a long stint with alcoholism and was later diagnosed with cirrhosis of the kidneys and liver. He died on August 4, 1984, in his home in Switzerland.
- Ryan Dunn – Dunn was a television personality, writer, comedian, stunt performer, and musician. He was part of “Jackass,” the MTV reality stunt show. He was known for his struggles with alcoholism. He died on June 20, 2011, killing himself and a passenger while driving under the influence. He had twice the allowable limit of alcohol in his blood at the time of his death.
- Errol Flynn – One of Hollywood’s early stars, Flynn became an alcoholic while sailing his yacht around the world. While in Canada, Flynn complained of back and neck pain. He died of a heart attack. Autopsy reports showed that he had cirrhosis of the liver and heart disease.
It’s important to drink responsibly. Very few people can kick addictions on their own. If you feel yourself sloping toward alcoholism, get professional help.