Celebrities and Addiction: Amy Winehouse Joins The “27 Club”

Stars Use Addiction To Cope With Fame

They tried to make her go to rehab and she said no, no, no!

News sites everywhere blew up early Saturday morning with news that many people have been expecting for years.  Singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment at the age of 27 years old. She joins Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin in the “27 Club” which is the name of the group of influential musicians who all died at 27, while trying to cope with their fame.

“I didn’t go out looking to be famous.  I’m just a musician.”

She certainly got more than she bargained for…after becoming one of the most talked about celebrities in 2007.
Winehouse’s battles with substance abuse were the subject of much media attention. Her major Back to Black album blatantly touched on her drug addiction in her single entitled,“Rehab”.   The song seemed to be an all too real confession of her very apparent addictions and how she was receiving encouragement to seek help from a rehabilitation facility.  Winehouse, however, repeatedly declined such encouragement by saying “no, no no!”

In 2005, she reportedly went through a period of drinking, heavy drug use, violent mood swings erratic stage appearances and weight loss. Her family believes that the mid-2006 death of her grandmother, who was a stabilizing influence, set her off into addiction.  In August 2007, Winehouse cancelled her tour, due to what she claimed was exhaustion. She was hospitalized during this period for what was reported as an overdose of heroin, ecstasy , cocaine, ketamine and alcohol.

There are even reports of the singer admitting to her drug-abuse problems by saying she was a “terrible drunk.”  In late January 2008, Winehouse reportedly entered a rehabilitation facility again, this time for a two-week treatment program.

In an October 2010 interview Winehouse said she had been drug-free for three years, saying “I literally woke up one day and was like, ‘I don’t want to do this any more.’” Winehouse entered the Priory Clinic on 25 May 2011, where she stayed for one week.

Unfortunately, while we’d like to believe that she won the battle, many were saddened to hear of Winehouse’s tragic end.  While we’re still grieving her loss, it is important to acknowledge the lesson she left behind.

Hitting the American scene in 2007, Winehouse thought she truly didn’t have a drug an alcohol problem.  The lyrics to her “Rehab” song point out that if “my daddy thinks I’m fine” then she doesn’t need to go to rehabilitation.  This happens so frequently.  It is SO ESSENTIAL for all family and friends to be on one accord when seeking rehabilitation for a loved one.  If you have differences in opinions of the severity of the situation, the victim will become confused and of course gravitates more to the idea that there is nothing wrong with him or her.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

Another problem for Winehouse, was that all attempts at rehabilitation were made at temporary expenses.  She often did week-long programs, rarely anything that lasted more than a month.  I am not an expert on this process, but I do know that when you’ve been addicted to something for so long there is an intense process by which you must wean yourself off of the drug, learn how to address your addiction, and ultimately over come it.  This often takes months!

As we’ve seen with many celebrities like Whitney Houston, Charlie Sheen, and a host of others, the media often plays these tragedies out in front of the world.  Not in a helpful way by any means.  While we may be curious fans, we owe these individuals some privacy to find help.  For celebrities, it’s no secret that access to these abusive drugs are much easier to come by.  Many have entered the entertainment world having never had a drink, like Lindsay Lohan and Shiah Lebouf.  Years later, they are in handcuffs for DUI’s and are seeking serious help for these addictions.

Amy Winehouse will be sorely missed from this earth but she has forever left us with a powerful story and an important lesson to be learned – addiction is a SERIOUS DISEASE, no matter who you are.

Have you ever dealt with someone with an addiction problem in your family? How did you cope?

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