The 30 Days Blog Challenge, Day 3: Rehab.

Day 3 Topic: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

“They tried to make me go to rehab and I said, ‘No, no, no…”

Amy Winehouse, aged 27, died a few days back. She was said, by both fans and other known artists, to be an extraordinary singer and songwriter. Sadly, Rehab is the only song by Amy W. that I know of. Google-ing the exact lyrics, I guess there might be some truth to the speculated cause of her death, which is substance abuse. If she did die drowning in drugs and alcohol then I find it heartbreaking to read this article of how her family expected her death to come any time soon.

It’s a pity that something physically small and seemingly harmless can take a way a life. And it’s much more depressing to know that there are people out there who desperately turn to, worse, rely on, drugs and alcohol to get even near to whatever safe feeling they are craving for.

Drugs are where I say no, no, no. I understand the curiosity behind trying drugs. But as they say, curiosity kills the cat and it will when the “trying” turns into “doing”. I’ve met a few people my age who admitted to using drugs and this was when I was 14. Being the quiet nerd that I was, those people confide to me their reasons behind snorting/injecting/swallowing those drugs. Physical abuse and depression, their usual dilemma. 😦

Alcohol, on the other hand, I can accept. If, and only if, it’s taken occasionally. However, there’s always a thin line between enough and more than enough. That’s the usual problem I see. Getting tipsy can feel good, – you get a little loopy and everything seems funny (at least that’s how I am). Getting drunk, on the other hand, can go from feeling that you’re on top of the world to being flung to the floor face down. I guess it’s that carefree feeling, or possibly just those twirly twinkly lights one might see, that can blur out any crap you’ve been thinking about or going through. But that’s it…a blurring out.

Whatever happened to the natural high – hearing a baby giggle, seeing a rainbow after a storm, watching a comedy sitcom? What happened to talking to a friend? What happened to praying? It’s a sad world we live in when we forget to turn to the things and people that matter most.  It’s even sadder when we forget to be the ones to help out our family or friends hooked to the temptation brought by drugs and alcohol.

Let me end this post by quoting some of Russel Brand’s ‘letter’ to Amy:

“All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his “speedboat” there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.                                                                                                     

Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.”

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