Anytime I hear about a death that may be linked to addiction, I am reminded that this is a misunderstood and deadly disease. Deaths caused by addiction have risen astronomically in the past decade. Drug overdose is now the No.1 cause of accidental death in the United States; more common than death by car accidents.
“Glee” actor Cory Monteith, who was found dead at a Vancouver hotel on Saturday, had said that he struggled with substance abuse since his teenage years. The cause of his death is not yet known; medical examiners were set to perform an autopsy Monday.
Whenever someone with addiction dies, I grieve the lost potential and wonder about the limitations of our ability to address this cunning, baffling and powerful disease.
I am also humbled by my own experience with addiction and recovery, and grateful for the help I received.
It seems nearly impossible to believe that people with addiction would continue to use drugs and alcohol to the point of death, but that is what people with addiction do: They deny both the consequences and the risks of using. As we continue to learn about addiction, we’re understanding more about why addicted people behave the way they do. But that’s little solace for friends and family.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education