Should a known alcoholic be able to receive a donated liver?
I'm not picking on alcoholics, but anyone that is alling due to their own behavior or lack of. This could be overweight issues, too much sugar or other things. These lists of people in need are already too long. Are there priorities? Baseball great Mickey Mantle comes to mind. He had a liver transplant and died shortly thereafter. He was a known alcoholic, but got his liver very fast. He also had a lot of money. See my question?
An alcoholic has a disease -- the disease of addiction. As a Certified Addiction Counselor, I would recommend that the alcoholic be willing to enter detox and then alcohol treatment prior to the transplant -- and have a certain amount of time alcohol free. Otherwise it would be a waste of time, resources and a deceased person's donated liver.
Alcoholics can be withdrawn from alcohol with the use of "step-down" drugs (Benzodiazepines) because these are in the same drug family as alcohol. These are given in decreasing amounts until the person has completely withdrawn from alcohol. There is also an immediate-result treatment for getting off of alcohol.
I am amazed at your answer. If " the cure" for alcoholism were that simple, why would we need counselors? As a recovering alcoholic, I'm well qualified to say that your answer is clinically correct for the initial withdrawal from alcohol. But that is the easy part. Usually takes 3 to 5 days in most cases. But you failed to address the mental obsession of alcoholism that can be life long. Sure, it can subside or lessen with programs, counseling, religion, or what ever works on an individual basis. However, no matter what, relapse is always possible. Actually, statistically it is likely.The success rates of detox centers, rehab facilities and aftercare programs is astonishing low. So, the risk factor is always there.
To be totally honest, if my son told me he wanted to be a donor, I'd be all for it. But, if he wanted to donate it to me, I would say "no" for the reasons I just expressed . I really appreciate what you do and wish there were more like you, but you confirmed , to me, again, that no one understands an alcoholic like another alcoholic.
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