Tag Archives: alcoholism

Children Die from Alcohol Poisonings

Photo with Santa

[This blog has emotional content related to the loss of life and does contain links to my content on Quora.com where I may receive a small commission if anyone subscribes.]

My mother made me smoke a pack of cigarettes when I was twelve years old because she caught me smoking. She said she made me do it in hope that if it made me sick that I wouldn’t want to smoke (It didn’t work. I smoked for 42-years before I quit). The following article made me think of that and helped me to understand the thinking of this grandmother who forced her four-year old granddaughter to drink a half of a bottle of alcohol that robbed the precious child of her life.

Child Dies After Grandma Forces Her to Drink Whiskey as Mom Watches: Police

Fatma Khaled – Newsweek


Just as I know my mother made me smoke those cigarettes in hope that I’d get sick and decide not to smoke, I suspect that this grandmother and her daughter were drunk, and maybe problem drinkers or alcoholics, who didn’t want the little girl to grow up to be the same.

In the photo posted with Santa, I am one of the three children, the only one still alive. Addiction killed one of my brothers and the other died from health issues.

I reposted Could Be Me, last year because of my personal connection to addiction issues and know from experience about the heavy toll addiction takes on the lives of addicts and those near them, sometimes with devastating effects. Because of that, I sympathize with the grandmother and the child’s mother, neither of whom I feel had any idea that their actions were going to result in the loss of the precious child’s life.

One of my friends has a four-year old child. I cannot imagine how it would feel to loose someone so precious and special, as I am sure the little girl was who lost her life because of the actions of those who were supposed to be her loved ones.

Another Child Dies Close to Home

Earlier this month in Paulding County, Georgia, a four-week old baby died because of alcohol poisoning that resulted in the parents being charged with murder. Parents Charged With Murder After 4-Week-Old Baby Dies of Alcohol Poisoning (newsweek.com)

Addiction Kills

Both of these child deaths are horrific events that illustrate the severe problem that some people have with alcohol and drug addiction. The sad part is that most will never change and will die as a result of their disease/illness/behavior.

I feel blessed and very fortunate for God giving me the strength to change my life before worse things happened as a result of my addiction problems. I did spend most of my life in prison, as I often write about on here and on Quora.com about my Life Inside and Out, but I have lived to fight another day, something that many addicts will not have because their addiction or associated behaviors will result in their deaths, just as it did my brother. 😦


If anyone is searching for answers or suggestions related to alcoholism and addiction, some answers may be found at In and Out of the Rooms on Quora.com

Could Be Me

But for the Grace of God There Go I

Provide Treatment for Addiction Problems to Reduce Recidivism

July 11, 2021: I am reposting this blog because of its importance to me and millions of others. Had I not changed my life in 1995 while inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, I would never have lived long enough to walk out of the prison doors. Today I have a life worth living because I dealt with the interpersonal issues I had that kept me caught up in my addition and in prison for the majority of my life.

I am evidence that miracles happen.

In December 2002, a study author stated that eighty-five percent of prisoners had addiction problems, and of those, half had an underlying mental condition (42.5%). To me, that study shows a critical need for providing resources to help treat addiction problems, if we plan to reduce recidivism.

Thirty Percent of Men and Women with Addiction Problems Have Underlying Mental Health Conditions.

Combine Treatment for Both Issues to Change Lives.

I am one who falls within the study findings and attest to the accuracy of the study finding; however, I don’t live that way anymore. The August 2008 publication from Readers Write in The Sun magazine, helps explain why that remains true: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/392/up-all-night

(For more on the study and its findings, read “No Sympathy” on this site)

Note: I am now free and living my life as a productive member of society and reside in metro Atlanta, Georgia.

The Sun magazine Readers Write topic: Up All Night

I have spent many nights wide awake on methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy. In the late seventies, I used to go on PCP benders and lose days of my life to blackouts. As a result, I cannot honestly say what I have or have not done.

I am currently serving a thirty-five-year federal sentence for armed bank robbery and associated charges. For the first seven years of my sentence, I did cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or some combination of the above as often as I could. When the guards came around to count us after lights out, I’d fake being asleep to avoid getting a urinalysis the next day. In the morning I’d begin the search for another fix.

Then I began seeing a prison psychologist. I wanted to stop shooting drugs, but I had failed at it so many times that I didn’t have much hope. The psychologist arranged sessions with a drug-treatment specialist. After about a month, she decided that the core of my addiction was shame, and she gave me a homework assignment: to write about the most shameful event in my life.

I decided to give her more than she had bargained for. I wrote from 5:30 P.M. until 5:30 A.M., committing to paper all the sick secrets that I had vowed to take with me to my grave. I filled sixteen yellow, legal-size pages.

The following day the drug counselor read what I’d written and predicted that I would never use again. For thirteen years her prediction has held true. But I keep in mind that my reprieve from my addiction is contingent on my spiritual condition from day to day. To stay healthy I have to attend twelve-step meetings and continue to write about what’s going on in my life. Staying up all night writing, instead of doing drugs, has helped me to reach beyond the walls and razor wire and into the lives of others.

Wayne T. Dowdy

BUTTERFLIES and CHANGE by Wayne T. Dowdy

I found the inscription on the medallion shown above in the photo to be inspiring and true: “If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies.”

Several years ago, I was published in an international magazine and was quoted as having said something like, “I was antisocial until AA turned me into a social butterfly.”

Butterflies are free and so am I!

On April 5, 2021, a doctor called me on the phone and thanked me for a personal magazine/book that I gave her: Essays & More Straight from the Pen. She said it changed her life by allowing her to understand more about how one’s experiences in life shape the person they become (or something along those lines. I’m paraphrasing from memory).

For such a compliment to come from someone as prestigious and intelligent (and pretty) as her, I was moved deeply and more thankful for her call than she probably realized. Knowing how busy she is in her profession and that she was so thoughtful that she took the time from her busy schedule to call me, meant a lot.

She began the conversation by saying she hoped that it was a good time for her to call, and by acknowledging that she knew the day was a special one for me (the last day I used mind-altering substances in 1995). Then she thanked me for my very well written book and for writing openly and honestly about the sensitive content from my past.

When I promised to give her a copy, I asked that she please remember me as the person she met versus the person she reads about inside the book.

I felt honored that she had remembered me as the man she met and was so grateful that she called to thank me for the truthful content inside the pages, a lot of which I am not proud of having done decades before.

People can change the same as butterflies do when metamorphosing from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. Read about the man who did in Essays & More Straight from the Pen.

Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy

He Never Lost Hope. Hope Was All He Had

Essays and More Straight from the Pen shows the power of change, gives hope to readers wanting a different life.

The well-written essays take readers deep inside the life of the author who overcame circumstances and obstacles that kept him chained to a life of drugs and crime.

The stories inspire and motivate people to not give up or lose hope, and to fight for a new life.