Whitney Houston’s death is getting a lot of attention as happens with superstars. She was one of those who had what many of us dream about….incredible talent, beauty, wealth….yet it didn’t seem to be enough as she apparently reached for something else, something that could only be found in the escape provided by drugs.
For me, that raises the question why, why do so many in the entertainment business fall into a life style accentuated by drugs and alcohol? Is it the pressure of performing, of having to be on? Is it an escape from the demands of being famous? Is it that drugs are readily accessible because of their wealth and status? And once the drugs grab hold, do they provide such relief or euphoria that one can’t let go? Will we learn anything from the tragedy of unnecessary drug related deaths?
Sadly, drug use, particularly prescription drugs, isn’t limited to just the rich and famous. In recent years, it seems that their use has proliferated in this country and the consequence is often abuse and overdose. I read recently that in a report issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drugs are the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Furthermore, when combined with alcohol, sedatives such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin have an additive effect, meaning that one drink becomes the equivalent of two or more. That is not only a quick high, but who knows how the body will react, particularly if one is tired or hungry or not feeling too well. Often the combination causes drowsiness leading one to get in the shower or bathtub to wake up. The consequence, as possibly with Whitney Houston, can be death.
Drugs scare me. I have seen families torn apart because of them. In a facility where I volunteer, I see women for whom drugs became a necessity in order to deal with abusive situations. In no case do I believe addiction is intentional. I think most of us believe we are strong enough to resist, but you know, I don’t want to find out and hope to limit my need for pills to nothing stronger than Advil.
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