Whitney Houston; understanding addiction.

She died at 48 years old yesterday,  so young to lose her life.   I have read many comments about her on Facebook.  Some people commenting about how sad her death is.  Others writing that she deserved to die because she was a waste of  life with all her drug using.

Quote: ” I don’t think it should be circle the wagons time and protect all the drug addicts. Sorry *****  but whitney Houston is a rotten poster child.”

The Whitney Houston bashing, in  my opinion, is being done by ignorant people.

Good solid people get addicted to drugs. They don’t plan on becoming addicts. As a matter of fact, they truly believe they will not become addicted. Many take drugs because they are in pain: physical pain, emotional pain. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that the drugs are insidious and before they know it the drug has completely taken over. They lose their free will to the drug. There is no cure. They will be an addict forever just like a diabetic will be a diabetic forever. I know this to be true. I have watched my son fight this disease for over 10 years. He is a good person.   I have heard people refer to him as ” a useless piece of shit”.   To me,  a comment like that about a drug addict shows ignorance about drug addiction.  His ex-girlfriend died of a drug overdose and it was posted in the local newspaper.  Online, people made ignorant comments about her too, writing that she deserved to die, one more addict off the street.

My son is in recovery now.  I pray he stays there.  I totally understand my family’s reluctance in accepting him back into the fold.  He has only been in recovery for 6 months.  He needs to prove that he can be trusted again.  That is going to take some time, a long time.  He hurt many people.  He is working on his ninth step now, the step about making amends.  I, too, hurt people when my son was doing drugs.  I enabled him so much that it hurt people around me.  I have had to make amends too.  Addiction hurts everyone who surrounds the addict.

Before you bash a drug addict, dead or otherwise,  you might want to learn about addiction.  This is a link to a good website that will start you on the path to understanding how addiction affects people drug-addcition-support-org.



26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 14:15:38

    Very well written Joan. We all judge from time to time as it’s human nature, but this is a great reminder that we shouldn’t judge until we walk in that person’s shoes. All I could think when I heard the story is how sad it was and about her daughter having to go forward without her mother. She may be famous, she may be wealthy but when you strip all that external crap away we are all just human, and are linked in that way. Nobody is perfect. It’s a shame she is gone. Just a shame.


    • joanharvest
      Feb 13, 2012 @ 19:48:24

      I totally agree with you Anne. I realize that when a person first does a drug they had a choice not to do it but we all make mistakes and we are all just human beings.


  2. sheng
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 02:30:00

    If there’s one thing I like about her though, her singing is just wayyyyy very good! Such a waste that she’s gone too soon.


  3. mvobsession
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 12:07:01

    Amen. Like Anne commented, you don’t know what demons someone is fighting until you walk in their shoes.
    May Whitney rest in peace.


  4. Hannah
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 16:14:24

    You’re completely right, Joan. I was so sad when I heard the news about Whitney … she is one of my favourite singers and I love the movie “The Bodyguard”.


  5. Joy
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 16:50:37

    My heart is still in pain. She was such a part of my memory bank with her songs. Every song of hers holds a good memory from my life. Pain or happiness.

    Addiction is a horrible thing and it’s so true what you said: “They don’t plan on becoming addicts.” People who ridicule her and make rude comments, they just have no clue. No humanity and no compassion.

    Wonderful post Joan.


  6. joanharvest
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 19:52:58

    Thanks, Joy. I think she was one of the best female singers ever. Her voice was incredible. I just find it so sad that she lost her fight with drugs.


  7. Just a Mom
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 01:02:01

    Awesome post, Joan! Addicts walk in all forms and it is truly a disease.
    May she finally be at peace and may her family gave the strength to get through the mourning.


  8. Claire
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 09:37:47

    I was talking about this very thing last night with a couple of friends. Whitney’s death goes to prove that even the smartest, most beautiful, most talented people can become addicts. Status, intelligence, money, or lack of money, family upbringing has nothing to do with it. Addiction is an equal opportunity disease. And it is a disease. Addiction isn’t always about the crack or meth addict on the street. It happens when someone has a car accident and is prescribed pain pills. Or a medically necessary surgery. If the addiction gene is already present, it’s triggered, and without intervention – AND medical awareness – it is like a tornado that rips apart homes and famillies. I hope the deaths of these celebrities by addiction helps to raise awareness and remove the stigmatism, shame, and pain that addiction brings, and helps to start a movement toward awareness and healing and early intervention and recovery. Thanks for the post, Joan, and congratulations to your son! I pray for him when I pray for my daughter. I also pray for you and your daughter and her family. Everyone gets hurt. But everyone can heal too.


    • joanharvest
      Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:05:33

      I had a discussion on Facebook yesterday with 2 women who are friends of someone I am friends with. They insisted that addiction is not a disease and that if drug addicts wanted to they could just quit. They felt it would be hard but drug addicts could make the decision to quit if they wanted to. They both had addicts that were close to them. I gave it my best argument and 107 comments later they stuck to their guns. I tried explaining the brain chemistry aspect of addiction but they didn’t want to hear it. Thanks Claire, it’s so good having you for a friend.


  9. Claire
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 20:03:40

    I am also learning from my daughter that the withdrawal symptoms (post acute withdrawal syndrome) can last for up to a couple years. I never knew that. Joan – I am so glad I met you. You are one awesome lady.


    • joanharvest
      Feb 14, 2012 @ 21:53:26

      Claire, Thank you and you know I am also happy we found each other. That’s why addicts without long term care can’t stay clean. Their brain tells them they need drugs no matter how they have to get them. Long term care is really the only solution and most people can’t afford it. It’s a shame. Some people will say “Well, they shouldn’t have taken drugs in the first place”. DUH!! Of course they shouldn’t have but people screw up. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long to become a drug addict and then it’s too late.


      • Joy
        Feb 15, 2012 @ 21:56:04

        I deleted someone for this yesterday on FB. She told me that she didn’t care if Whitney Houston died. That we didn’t know her and that most celebs take drugs and it was their choice. I asked her how many times she’s tried quitting smoking and why doesn’t she “just quit” and guess what she said??? “IT’S NOT THE SAME THING!” Honest to god she said that. I just hit DELETE. And she’s one of my cousins children.


        • joanharvest
          Feb 16, 2012 @ 01:06:11

          That’s the problem with drug abuse. The American public doesn’t understand that drug abuse can happen to anyone. They don’t understand that a drug addict can’t just say to himself “Gee Whiz, I think I will not do drugs anymore.” Your FB friend is another person who doesn’t know anything about drug abuse. I can’t believe she said her not being able to quit smoking is not the same thing. I can’t imagine the pain Whitney Houston must have gone through trying to fight the drug demons. It’s all just too sad.


          • Joy
            Feb 16, 2012 @ 16:49:04

            I’m already so tired of all the drug crap related to this. Would it be so awful to let this woman and her daughter have some peace?

  10. Just a Mom
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 22:34:14

    I can tell you first had addiction is an inherited disease. I inherited it from both my mom & dad. The sad part was I knew I had the stupid gene. I thought I could control it but like all addicts it ends up controlling you. Luckily I have been sober for 4 1/2 years. I will say each day is a struggle, even on my best of days. When they say One Day at a Time it’s not a cliche, it’s the way we recovering alcoholics/addicts have to live our lives if we want to stay on our path of recovery.


    • joanharvest
      Feb 14, 2012 @ 22:48:27

      I think the gene runs in my family too. My brother is an alcoholic, of course my son is and also my grandfather on my mother’s side. I have been offered pain meds for my back but I refused. Watching my son scared the hell out of me. You’re right though, no one drinks and ever thinks they will become an alcoholic. It just sneaks up on you.


  11. iliketoads
    Feb 15, 2012 @ 13:29:43

    Thank you so much for this post. I have also posted my thoughts on facebook, and I touched on it on my blog too. I am so saddened by some of the cruel remarks I have seen lately. Addiction, and death, is no joke. As I have said again and again, no single life is more important than another. I don’t care if you are a celebrity or a soldier or a carpenter or a dog groomer. All life is important. Nobody chooses to be an addict. It is sad that she did not get the help she needed in time. She was a misunderstood person, and her death was a tragedy; however, some good did come of her death too, because people are talking about that now. People are blogging about it, like this. Thank you to everyone who has the intelligence and compassion to understand this and be an advocate for change. People need our help, not our judgments and insults. I am a recovered addict, and I hope to help others to recover too. Recovery IS possible. I am LIVING proof.


  12. starlaschat
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 14:22:32

    Compassion is the gift of a well lived life. I really liked you post Joan. I think that as we live we see that life isn’t black and white, but has many edges and many difficulties as we go through life living and seeing how difficult things can be and seeing our own members of our own family go through things and what we go through personally. I think that we get to develop a level of understanding. Been there done that, and have the shirt to prove it, the compassion to really understand what things feel like. I think when people are causal and seemingly heartless it is because their life hasn’t experinced somthing so they just don’t get it. May Whitney Houston rest in peace. I do feel bad for her daughter I think she has had a difficult life.


  13. Doraz
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 23:31:29

    She will NEVER be forgotten. She was amazing. Her words will keep her memory alive. Thank you for such a nice post Joan. 🙂


  14. Sam
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 15:19:49

    Those that arent addicted or dont know someone who is addicted are usualy clueless. I completely think its a disease youre born with and will not spend my precious time to argue over it. Alcohol, drugs and even food are addictive. She wasnt a pusher, she was diseased


  15. Care
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 18:05:27

    That is one beautiful photo you found of her. Then again, she was simply beautiful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: