Get Addiction Help (888) 804-0917

Amy Winehouse – A Parent of a Heroin Addicts Reflection

Recently the world was forced once again to take a look at what addiction can lead to: death. I read many comments from different sources about Amy Winehouse’s passing, not all were kind. In fact many were insensitive. There were those who said “she asked for it” and even some who said “she deserved it”. Wow. For those of us who love an addict, these remarks cut right to the heart.

Like all card-carrying optimists, I try to find something good in every situation. In my personal life, with my son’s heroin addiction, there is no silver lining in sight, with Amy’s death, there is something positive happening: Awareness. People are once again talking about addiction and seeing first hand that it is a life-threatening disease that affects people in all walks of life.

Many of us have heard of Russell Brand’s letter to Amy, I wish I could personally thank him for sharing it with the world. I highlighted parts of what he said on my blog, Recovery Happens. Below is an excerpt of an article written by Alicia Sparks at the Psych Central website. I think this summarizes it better than anything else I have read. This is the message I needs to get out:

“I get that not everyone realizes addiction is a disease. I know we don’t live in an ideal world where those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are treated as people suffering from a disease, rather than weak junkies who can’t get their lives together, and that this ignorance plays a role in leading folks to think people like Amy Winehouse somehow deserve to die.
But, we’re getting there. Doctors get it. Family members and friends who take the time to learn about it get it. The numerous resources like substance abuse treatment facilities and addiction support groups get it, too.
The addicts themselves eventually get it (which I imagine is somewhat of a relief, finding out you’re battling an addiction rather than you’re a weak, selfish loser much of the public would have you believe).”

I have to say the only thing I am not sure I can agree with is that all addicts eventually “get it”. Addicts that don’t seek a recovery program are less likely to succeed (this is my personal opinion from observing many of the addicts I know of.) Residential Treatment Programs seem to be the life changing event that gets through to most addicts, for some it takes incarceration, and for some, like Amy, addiction results in death.

Barbara Legere writes about Heroin Addiction on her award winning Recovery Happens blog. Her son Keven has been struggling with his heroin addiction for over 3 years. Join Barbara on her blog or Twitter.