The Price of Addiction
- Originally published: July 25, 2011
With the recent passing of British pop star, Amy Winehouse, it has once again, brought many to ponder just why so many entertainers feel the need to go down the torturous path of addiction and substance abuse. Perhaps all that glitters isn't gold and substance abuse is used as a release from the pressure of stardom. Winehouse broke out in the U.S. in 2007. In the following four years, the world would watch as the singer slowly deteriorated before our eyes. Like a bad car wreck, we couldn't convince ourselves enough to look away. Her antics and widely known drug use were made perfect for tabloid front covers. Though her death came suddenly and stunned many, it was not a shock to most. Comedian Russell Brand's tribute to his late friend hit hard and right at home for anyone who's known someone to suffer with the disease. "When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction, you await the phone call." The phone call, he goes on to say, will either be the phone call that the loved one is finally succumbing to getting the help they so desperately need, or in Brand's case, the call that he's lost a friend because they never gathered the courage to do so.
Amy Winehouse will now be remembered as one of the many young and talented musicians to leave us so soon, due to substance abuse. Jim Morrison was an incredible singer, and a poet in most fan's eyes. The Doors front man was also known even more for his notorious drinking and drunken performances on stage. A performance in Miami in 1969 which involved a so called act of indecent exposure, lead Morrison to be arrested and put on trial. To escape the media pressure, he moved to Paris with girlfriend, Pamela Courson, who in July 1971, found him dead in a bathtub. He, like Winehouse, was only 27 years old. Morrison's death followed the deaths of two other rock icons, Jimi Hendrix who passed in September 1970 of an alleged heroin overdose and Janis Joplin, just weeks later, of the same culprit.
Like Winehouse and Morrison, country legend, Hank Williams also suffered from alcoholism. He passed away from a heart attack at age 29, on New Year's day, 1953. The nineties saw what those living in the seventies saw with Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison's deaths. Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain was also 27 years old when he commit suicide by gunshot to the head in April 1994. Cobain battled with heroin addiction alongside his wife, Courtney Love. Nirvana broke ground for the grunge scene, born in Seattle. Shortly after Cobain's death, ska reigned as the people's choice and a little three man band from Long Beach, called Sublime conquered the west coast and beyond. Singer, Bradley Nowell once intervened in drummer Bud Gaugh's drug use which stopped, but unfortunately unraveled a whole new thread for Nowell himself. He passed away in May 1996 of a heroin overdose. He was 28 years old.
These artists were all more than extraordinary and brilliant in their own ways. Their music changed many lives and helped others find a path to ultimate righteousness. But when you have so much money and so much to live for, perhaps they only felt like they had a limited time and maybe even knew how long their time on Earth was really supposed going to be. It may be so that even Winehouse predicted her own demise. It was she, who after all, sang, "I cheated myself...like I knew I would."