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What is 'chronic alcohol use'? Vincent Jackson autopsy reported

The 38-year-old former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star was found dead in a Florida hotel in February, and the cause is now known.

What is 'chronic alcohol use'? Vincent Jackson autopsy reported

Vincent Jackson, the former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star, was found dead in a Florida hotel room on Monday 15 February, with the cause of death unknown. On Wednesday it was confirmed by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office that he died of 'chronic alcohol use', according to his autopsy report.

Jackson death: 'chronic alcohol use'

The manner of the 38-year old's death was categorised by the medical examiner as 'natural' with the accompanying toxicology report stating that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.28% on the day he was found.

Last week Jackson's family - who advised authorities in February that he may have an alcohol problem - revealed that the former star had stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and this also showed up in the autopsy. The alcohol use was said to help him deal with the lasting side effects of head trauma suffered during his NFL career.

What is 'chronic alcohol use'?

As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking and include alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

Long-term risks of chronic alcohol use:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence

Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2011 – 2015, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 29 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.

By not drinking too much, these short- and long-term health risks are reduced.

Jackson leaves wife and children behind

Jackson was survived by his wife Lindsey Vandeweghe and the three children they had together.

Vandeweghe is from Colorado and was proposed to by the player in 2011 on stage after he was inducted to the UNC Athletic Hall of Fame.

“I love you. I will always love you. I want to start a family with you,” Jackson said. “I want to spend the rest of my days with you. You are my soulmate. Will you marry me?”

The answer was as he had hoped and the couple tied the knot on 16 July of that same year. Three children were added to the family in the coming years, namely Carter, Amaya and Dominick, and their home was in the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, a mansion believed to be worth around $3.5 million. The player’s net worth was estimated to be around $50 million.

The couple kept their family life as much out of the public spotlight as possible but there were occasional glimpses shared on social media.

Jackson starring for Chargers and Buccaneers

Jackson spent 12 seasons in the NFL from 2005-16, playing his first seven with the Chargers before enjoying his final five with the Buccaneers. He earned trips to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and finished his career with 9,080 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns.

Jackson ranks fourth in Buccaneers franchise history with 4,326 receiving yards and 10th on the all-time Chargers list with 4,754 yards receiving.

Jackson 'an inspiration to all of us'

As the news broke of his passing the Chargers issued a statement.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by news of Vincent Jackson's sudden passing. Vincent was a fan favourite not only for his Pro Bowl play on the field but for the impact he made on the community off of it.

"The work he has done on behalf of military families through his foundation in the years since his retirement has been an inspiration to all of us."

"We simply cannot believe he's gone, and our hearts go out to his wife, Lindsey, their children, his parents, former team-mates and everyone whose lives were touched by having known Vincent."


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