July 25, 2011
Posted By - Emma Venezie
Source Credits - RussellBrand.tv
Amy Winehouse lost her life just two days ago at the age of 27. Though the ultimate reason as to how she died has yet to be determined, her addiction to drugs and alcohol is widely known. What's eerie about Amy Winehouse's death is the age - 27. How many talented, artistic, troubled people have lost their lives at the age of 27? Rolling Stone Brian Jones - drowned in a swimming pool in 1969. Jimi Hendrix - choked to death after mixing wine and sleeping pills in 1970. Janis Joplin - a heroin overdose that same year. Jim Morrison - heart failure in 1971. Kurt Cobain - in 1994. It even goes as far back as The Elephant Man, John Merrick, who is said to have died of asphyxia in 1890. And the list continues - with the identical, troubling number - 27.
In no means am I romanticizing or diluting the lives (or deaths) of these people by combining them into one impractical "club." It is just one strange piece of a puzzle, as if, somehow, these people do all fit together. Amy Winehouse was an addict. She suffered from the disease of addiction, which many seem to overlook with the comments of "This isn't surprising" or "She had it coming." It's a difficult idea to understand when observing it from the outer edges, but addiction is a disease and should be viewed as such.
Comedian Russell Brand, who, being a former heroin addict himself, knows the ins and outs of such a downward spiral, has written a tribute to Amy Winehouse - someone he knew for years - on his website, entitled "For Amy."
Thoughtful and introspective, Russell writes, "When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it's too late, she's gone.
Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene…
…Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy's incredible talent. Or Kurt's or Jimi's or Janis's, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill. We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn't even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call."
Read "For Amy" on Russell Brand's website.
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