Amy Winehouse was an incredibly talented singer, who serenaded audiences with her smokey, husky, jazz-like voice.  Songs like “Rehab” and “Valerie” topped the charts. A huge success by her early twenties, Winehouse had the world at her finger tips. But her penchant for drugs and alcohol continued to follow the same trajectory as her budding music career. Sadly, Amy Winehouse died in July of 2011 at the young age of 27. It was a tragic end to a promising life derailed by addiction.

People often think drug and alcohol addiction constitute low points in a person’s life, where nothing positive is happening to the addict. This was far from true in the case of Ms. Winehouse. She was a success demonstrated by her awards and chart-topping hits, but that didn’t matter. She was battling inner issues, the same issues that any other addict suffers from. While you may not be a popular musician, you can definitely learn from Winehouse’s struggle with addiction.

What we can learn from Amy Winehouse

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Here’s a quick recap of Amy Winehouse’s spiral out of control:

2005 – She experienced rapid weight loss because of heavy drug use, and often had violent mood swings.

2006 – Winehouse started to recover from addiction only to relapse after grandmother died.

2007 – Amy Winehouse was allegedly hospitalized for heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, and alcohol overdose. She struggled all of 2007 with addiction.

2008 – Was admitted to a rehab for 2 weeks. Had several other sobriety attempts.

2009 – Successfully backed off drugs but this lead to her drinking getting out of control.

2011 – Died of alcohol intoxication.

Time In Rehab Was Too Short

Rehab is not an overnight process. It takes time and dedication. That’s why Prominence Treatment Center’s in-patient treatment is most successful when clients stay for extended periods of time. After detox, an addict will start to feel better, gaining confidence. This is great, but it’s a short-term feeling.

To properly recover from addiction, an addict must address their issues head on. They must learn why they are addicted and learn how to change their behavior. Changing your habits is not easy. It’s not a simple flip of the switch. Because when things get bad, the addict will go back to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Amy’s return to drug use upon news of her grandmother’s death is a prime example of this tendency.

Health and Nutrition Therapy

Did Not Address Mental Health

Mental health is an important component to addressing addiction. Our dual diagnosis therapy is designed for that specific purpose. You can’t treat addiction if the patient suffers from an overarching, unresolved issue like mental illness.

Ms. Winehouse suffered from bi-polar and anxiety disorders. Neither are life threatening and can be treated with proper therapy. But Amy Winehouse never did address her mental disorders with psychotherapy. This prevented her from truly being able to recover.

This lack of care was conducive to Winehouse’s return to substance abuse. If an addict suffers from conditions outside of addition but is not being specifically treated for each disorder, true long-term progress will not be made. This is because the treatment of disorders work together. One affects the other; so the fact that Amy Winehouse never sought treatment for her mental health directly correlated to her persistent addiction.

Substituted One Vice for Another

Amy Winehouse substituted one substance for another. She never truly became substance free. Once it seemed like she had kicked her abusive drug habits, her consumption of alcohol increased dramatically; ultimately to a point of death.

Without properly treating addiction, addicts will substitute one form of addictive behavior with another. Sometimes healthy substitutions can be made, like exercise in exchange for drug use. But addicts should beware of the tendency to substitute one dangerous vice for another.

Amy Winehouse’s tragic struggle with addiction should serve as a cautionary tale. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, how much money you have, or how loved you may be, we each have our own inner battles. If we don’t address these issues we struggle with, they will consume us and cause serious problems. Addiction can overcome by anyone with the proper treatment. Call Prominence Treatment Center to talk with one of our representatives if you feel like you have an addiction in need of attention.