Thursday, July 18, 2013

ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE OR A NEW FORM OF SUICIDE?

In recent years our society has lost a multitude of celebrities to what has been termed as 'accidental overdose' of a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol. It's a commonality among those who have lost their lives in this way. Is it really an accidental overdose as much as the medical professionals and media warrant or possibly something more?




As more details emerge about the death of Cory Monteith, one thing we've learned is his struggles with fame were many. He was not fond of being in the spotlight. He came to Hollywood already the by-product of drug addiction. Mix that with his inability to handle the demands of becoming an overnight success on a hit television show, and you have the makings of a very dangerous combination.





As a society, we are often shocked when we learn of the death of our favorite celebrities. It is unexpected; yet we are very aware of the known drug and alcohol addictions these celebrities have prior to their death; thanks to the almighty media.. And still, we are shocked each time. Perhaps we are kidding ourselves into believing that celebs are not really fighting the demons of addiction. They look the picture of health as Cory Monteith did. Heck, if they aren't getting arrested then we have nothing to fear, right?

I find myself pondering were those celebs aware of the dangers of mixing various drugs with alcohol? I'd like to think when sober they had to have been. In that moment of weakness, did they even care about that or were they only concerned with getting high? Or was this some sort of escape because the pressures of being in the limelight were too great? They had to have known each time they were playing Russian Roulette with their lives. And maybe that was the point. Cheating death time and again. Thinking they were invincible; yet struggling daily to ward off the demons that haunted them in this way. These are all important questions we should ask ourselves. We can never know what those celebs who lost their lives in this manner were thinking as they got high for the last time. But one thing we can be certain of is the loss of their lives is tragic. The stories that emerge post-mortem are ones of great sadness. We learn the back-stories of the little pieces of their lives that are revealed that shed light all too late on what most likely led to their demise.


Let's face it, celebrities seek fame and fortune because they want to be rich and famous and have it all, including their privacy. Many have this false idea of how they will be able to still live their lives normally once they've 'made it'. Few ever get their heads out of the clouds long enough to realize how much of their life will become the subject of intense scrutiny and it will never again be their own once they become a public figure. They believe they can handle it and even initially embrace it; only to find that the illusion is one of great disillusionment. Usually when this realization is met, it is too late to retreat into a private lifestyle. We see this all too often. A celebrity rides the wave of stardom for awhile and then we begin to see their personal lives spiral out of control. I believe in many cases like this, the celebrity begins looking for an escape or way out with drugs and alcohol being their vice. Just as their disillusion of becoming famous deceives them into thinking they can handle it, many approach drugs and alcohol with the same mindset. They can handle it. It is only a little bit of this here or there. But then recreational use becomes the fix that they think fixes everything. And then when the fix is no longer working to take away the pressure, I believe some are under so much pressure they just want out at any cost; even if it means losing their life.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not implying that any celeb who has died from accidental overdose intentionally tried to kill themselves, but it does make one ponder the possibility given the enormous amount of pressure they each faced day in, day out.

To be sure, I'm not making excuses for their CHOICES.  It really is all about their choices; choices to seek fame and fortune, choices to use drugs and alcohol to medicate themselves, and choices to want to escape from it all when things become too much for them to handle. Why can't they make the choice to give it all up; the drugs, the alcohol, the fame, the fortune... It's far easier said than done. And as we've seen all too often it can't or won't be done. Recall I said they seek fame and fortune to become rich and famous and to have it all. They want it all and know they can't have it both ways.

The commonality among each of those who have died to accidental overdoses had a string of negative circumstances surrounding them that was fodder for every media outlet around. Not only did these celebrities have to deal with the demands of being a celebrity, but equally had to deal with being judged, critiqued, and in some cases, hated, for their actions which just added to the immense pressures they were already dealing with. I believe all of us have breaking points and tragically we've seen many celebrities who have reached theirs. We all want to be accepted and loved. It is a human need. But when one rises to great heights only to fall from grace a short time later it can do much to destroy a person's concept of himself.




Not all celebrities have difficulty with handling fame and fortune. Many have gone on to do well for themselves and give back to society in immeasurable ways. Thankfully the number of celebrities who have not succumbed to addiction to handle the pressures of instant fame far outweigh those who have. But the number in recent years who have lost their lives to addiction are staggering and even just one life lost to addiction is one life too many.

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