On Sept. 28, 2004, Casey "dropped dead" on his kitchen floor. He had been on a two-day bender, mixing alcohol and some drugs, returned home and promptly passed out. After regaining consciousness, he somehow managed to call his wife who, in turn, called an ambulance.

Luckily for Casey, who along with others interviewed for this article has asked to be identified by just his first name, his story has a happy ending. After hitting rock bottom and spending almost three months in jail, he embarked on a long, slow journey to recovery. Today he is sober, healthy and remains happily married.

A culture of drinking