No, No, No: Amy Winehouse dies after long fight with substance abuse

July 25, 2011

Done too soon.

Singer Amy Winehouse died this week at the age of 27.

We don’t know the cause of death at this point, but we do know how much Amy struggled with substance abuse. Amy, who won five Grammys in 2008 at the age of 24, had a long history of alcohol abuse and taking drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy.

Her mother, Janis Winehouse, said that her daughter’s death had been “only a matter of time.”

Considered one of the most important artists of this era, Amy Winehouse was beloved by fellow musicians and fans for her incredible talent. British comedian and actor Russell Brand, who is also a former drug addict, posted a tribute to Winehouse: “Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius… that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine.”

Now that greatness is gone.

Substance abuse is an agent of death that knows no socio-economic boundry. It is an equal-opportunity destroyer of dreams and lives.

Yet there is hope. Recovery is possible. Tragic endings don’t have to happen. New, fulfilling, productive, enjoyable substance-free life is available.

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with any kind of substance abuse, call us. Our Helpline is free, anonymous and available 24/7 to listen and help, not judge. We can point you in the right direction even if you’re simply worried or wondering about a person close to you.

800 923-4357

Your call.

-Tom


“Hello, my name’s Betty Ford, and I’m an alcoholic and drug addict.”

July 9, 2011

Former First Lady Betty Ford died this week at the age of 93. Her legacy is one of hope and honesty.

Her candor about her own long-term addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol in 1978 came at a time when such things were not disclosed due to shame and stigma. Betty Ford’s bravery and transparency opened the doors to healing and redemption for tens of thousands.

Secrets and shame are the twin henchmen of addiction. Betty Ford’s unflinching willingness to unmask them in the bright glare of public attention was a gift to all.

A gift that keeps on giving.

-Tom