Amy Winehouse

Monday, July 25, 2011

I hate to jump on the dead-celebrity bandwagon, but I'm going to anyway.

I really loved Amy Winehouse's music. I loved her voice. I loved putting on Back to Black and singing it around my apartment, by myself, in Toronto. She sang so much of what I felt at that point in my life.

Her death is sad, but not surprising. It's sad that she became famous, more so for being an alcoholic and drug addict.

I've had the misfortune of watch someone I love be changed forever by his experience with addiction. What Amy's family is going through, is every addicts family's worst nightmare - a terrible, but very real nightmare.

The thing that really bothers me about the media attention on people like Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Amy Winehouse, is that it makes drug addiction and alcoholism "ok." These highly successful, wealthy, creative individuals are clearly addicts, but they maintain some seeming level of success. Doing drugs, drinking to excess has lost any sort of taboo, and for way too many people has become just your average Friday night. Drug use, and I mean hard drug use has largely become "ok" because everyone is doing it!

TV Shows like Intervention, which I admit, I am very guilty of watching, also glamorize the addicts life. They are showered with attention & love & camera crews, and whisked away to some by-the-sea rehab facility where they are free to play guitar and sing songs about finding Jesus.

This is not the reality of addiction. Dirt, filth, anger, desperation, pain; that is the reality of addiction. Most addicts, and their families - who have likely at this point incurred legal costs, had their possessions stolen, pawned, and bought back - can't afford the Betty Ford Clinic. They are lucky to have a community Methadone clinic, with very little psychological or emotional care.

I guess my hope out of every "drug death" is that people will wake up and realize that drugs and alcohol are dangerous and our view of them, as a society, is horribly skewed. No addict wakes up and makes the choice to be an addict. It can happen to anyone. Drugs and alcohol do not care who they hurt. It can happen to anyone. It happens to the best people, the best families; it tears them apart and hurts everyone around them. It changes everyone involved. Forever.

I feel for Amy, but I feel more for her Family. I know they are suffering, but I bet they feel a twinge of relief. No more worry, no more anger. No more waiting for "that phone call." I hope they can finally get some peace.

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