Overuse of alcohol by a normal guy like Ryan A. resulted in his untimely death. The unintended consequences of alcohol can damage the lives irreparably of even those who do not have an addiction problem. Alcohol can make anyone do things they normally would not do sober. Alcohol can impair anyone’s judgment. Overuse of alcohol during just one occasion by an average person with no addiction issues can alter their life forever, and that’s exactly what it did to Ryan on August 10, 2014.
Ryan was a popular 29 year-young man and a Long Beach resident. He was a freelance music video producer, a part-time production assistant and owner of a business with three friends. He had that joy of living radiating from him and friends described him as a happy, kind and down-to-earth guy. On Saturday, August 9th he went to the neighborhood V Bar to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had too much to drink. At approximately 2:30 Sunday morning he walked home and lost his bearings. His mother received a phone call from her disoriented son, slurring his words, unable to find his house. Fifteen minutes later he was dead, shot when entering the wrong residence, just three blocks from home.
The owners of the home claimed Ryan scaled their wall, broke into their home and was in the process of burglarizing it when they shot him. Ryan was not armed.
“He did so much for so many other people. He doesn’t have a selfish bone in his body, and I consider (theft) a selfish act,” said Ryan’s best friend, Taylor Bro, 33. “There’s not one (scenario) where I can paint and he decides, ‘I’m going to nick a few trinkets from the neighbor.’”
Without getting into an endless debate over 2nd amendment rights, which is not what this article is about, I can’t help but be saddened by the truth that alcohol can destroy lives whether or not the consumer is an alcoholic. How many stories have we heard about the unintended consequences of one night out drinking by the kid who didn’t have a problem? Pregnancy, DUI’s, auto accidents, falls, burns, burning down a house, taking a chance and driving across railroad tracks and being hit by a train, walking through a construction site and falling in a hole and breaking your neck, fighting, shooting someone, shooting oneself, being raped, raping, standing in the street and getting hit by a car, jumping off a pier at night and drowning….all these events happened after a single event of drinking too much and most of the people did not live to tell their story.
Alcohol sucks big time when things like this happen. Alcohol is the great destroyer disguised as conviviality, relaxation, and connection. When Ryan A. was getting ready to go out that night he could’ve never imagined the unintended consequences alcohol had in store for him. He gave up his power to choose when alcohol took hold. What started out as a fun night with friends celebrating a birthday, ended in a death certificate for a well-loved young man and broken hearts in his family and friends.
Alcohol takes people down and it just doesn’t care whom you are.
End of story.