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Amy Winehouse’s Death from Alcohol: Does the Cause Matter?

Posted on the 27 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Amy Winehouse’s death from alcohol: Does the cause matter?

Amy Winehouse in Belgrade. Photocredit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G43DnaU9qPM

Amy Winehouse’s death has been put down to “death by misadventure”. Police found three empty vodka bottles in the flat where she was found. She was meant to be off drugs – but should it matter how she died?

The deceptive place of alcohol in society. No, said Deborah Orr in The Guardian. Quite simply, Winehouse was the victim of a misunderstood mental illness – addiction. How silly that we make a distinction between “drug addiction” and “alcohol addiction” – both are abusive. Winehouse’s family had said they were proud of her beating drug use – but they didn’t seem to notice that her alcohol usage was just as dangerous. How could they, when society in general sees drugs as “killers”, whilst “alcohol is a necessity” at “social gatherings?” Addiction is addiction, and should be treated as such. We often call people an “alcoholic” in a capricious sense, to suggest that they drink a lot; but alcoholics are a “subset of drug addict.” It makes it a lot harder for addicts to give up – especially when society is geared towards the party aspects of alcohol.

The manner of her death must not occlude her memory. Dr Robert Lefever in The Daily Mail agreed. It doesn’t matter at all. People only learn from their own experience. Knowing about the death of Leah Betts from ecstasy didn’t stop other children taking the drug. We won’t get anywhere in the fight against drugs if we focus on the “supply side”. It’s the “demand side” we should be looking at – why some people go in search of drugs – and that includes alcohol sugar and prescription drugs. We should put aside the cause of Winehouse’s death, and remember the singer for “the lovely – and extraordinary – things she gave us.”

Rethink how we look at addicted celebrities. And we need to look at the wider picture, said Edward Gilbreath on Urban Faith. There are many other celebrities who go through such addiction – and we laugh at them. Look at the jokes around Winehouse (“Q: What was Amy Winehouse’s biggest hit? A: Her last one!”) We must stop making them a source of ridicule, and focus on the problems at hand.



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