The State of Altered States in a Post-Amy Winehouse World

A banner on AOL, a headline at People.com; TMZ pounced on it tout suite and before long the news was pinging, bouncing, trending and threading itself all over the place. Young, talented, troubled Amy Winehouse was dead. And as we regretfully acknowledged this untimely but unsurprising death, there was a queasy sense that on some level we’ve become inured to this whole thing, the repeated Death by Drugs & Alcohol scenario that’s played out time and time again over the years. We’re used to it. We expect it. We read the stories of rehab and DUIs and bad behavior slobbered all over hell and back and start counting the days until that banner pops up announcing the tragic end. We feel a pang of something sorrowful and human, Twitter lights up, we write tributes on Facebook, people gather at a Hollywood star if there is one, but the script has lost its gut-punch. There’s a casualness to our response, one tempered by the weary understanding that regardless of lessons that should have been learned, our cultural, cultlike attachment to the State of Altered States is a pull more powerful than life itself.

Literally.

We’re willing to die for it. We’re willing to get in our cars and drive drunk. We’re willing to party like it’s 1999 and swallow designer drugs despite knowing little about them and what they may do to our particular bodies. We’ll shoot crap in our veins or throw it down our throats with reckless abandon and a little whiskey chaser. We’ll overdo pain meds, downers, uppers, in-betweeners; we’ll even pretend to have cancer so we can get that medical marijuana card and puff our way to blissful stupidity (yep…heard that story). We’ll lie, cheat, steal and get downright low to get high. We’ve got whole wars waging on behalf of its commerce, we’ve got uptown buying from downtown, and the line forming around our blocks gets longer every day. Anything, dear God, anything but to actually feel, actually experience, the state we’re actually in.

Why is that? When did we stop being able to endure Life As It Is without the panacea of drugs or alcohol? Why are we so incapable, intolerant or unwilling to deal…and take some pride in doing it clean? When did it become an epidemic, this need to be ANYWHERE BUT HERE?

Certainly the urge has existed from time immemorial and there were Huns, Visigoths, early Egyptians and probably a few Renaissance Men who fell victim to their own Meadian overdoing. Frankly, after watching The History Channel I have no idea how anyone got through those winters without a flagon or two! But the world has changed; the conditions and demands are different, our lives are buffered by comforts, medicines, enjoyments and even nutrition those earlier citizens did without. We have therapy and encounter groups, church counselors and trained mentors; AA, NA, and every other kind of A you can think of. We’re deeply educated on the insidious damage drugs and alcohol can inflict on our brains and bodies, our ability to function and feel authentic emotion, and we’ve seen enough destruction to logically be dissuaded from the love affair. But…no. Like that battered wife who can’t leave the abusive husband or the cult member who blindly embraces without question, our passion for Altered States supersedes all sense of survival and self-worth. It can beat the hell out of us on a daily basis and yet we’re still in, ready to come back for more.

And I’m not just talking about the falling down, car crashing, rehab recycling, life destroying, tabloid worthy addicts and abusers. I’m talking about that family member who can’t imagine a dinner, a celebration, hell, an evening, without enough wine to get mumble-tongued and incapable of remembering the table conversation. I’m talking about the band mate who insists on channeling Jim Morrison despite the fact that it’s been so done even the notion is an embarrassment. The friend who insists on buying rounds all night but can’t sit and enjoy a conversation because they’re too loaded to make sense. The high school kids who persist on getting precipitously high on Prom Night, or the parents of those same kids who slip fake IDs in their wallets so they can get their booze without bugging Mom and Dad. I’m talking about the college kids who are literally chomping at the bit to fight for their right to party till they puke. Whoopee. We pledge allegiance to the cult…

I was at a dinner party recently when the hostess began filling the requisite wine glass at my seating and I gently indicated, “No, thank you.” She looked at me with incredulity, followed quickly with a wink that presumed, “Oh, I see…you’re in the Program,” a tacit misunderstanding to which I replied out loud, “Thank you, I just don’t drink.” “Really? REALLY!?” she repeated. Really. This was so unsettling to her that later she again attempted to ply me as if hoping the passage of time since the hors d’oeuvres and salad had altered my thinking. It hadn’t. Finally, during the sipping sherry portion of the evening, she sat next to me as I enjoyed my Perrier and sincerely wanted to know how I could possibly enjoy a dinner party without the assistance of good wine. “I mean, it’s just so wonderful with dinner and of course a nice liqueur afterwards…I’m not sure why anyone but an alcoholic would make the choice not to,” she pleaded her case. I calmly explained that alcohol gave me migraines and therefore I’d simply decided to discontinue the indulgence. “My God…don’t you miss it?”

No. I don’t. Not to say a perfect Margarita on a hot day doesn’t sound fabulous or the bubbling sweetness of a good glass of Champagne wouldn’t be appealing, but I don’t miss it. Putting aside headaches and the calories I’m needfully avoiding, and despite the clear and persistent imperfection of my life, I don’t feel an urge to alter it by artificial means. Well, sometimes I do but I’ve decided that’s not an option. I’d rather be alert and present, able to remember in the morning what people said the night before; wits at the ready, no spinning rooms or pounding temples to wrestle with. I’d rather fully experience a moment than squint through blurry eyes pretending to catch the drift. And, frankly, I’ve come to take some personal pride in my ability to endure, to laugh, tell a good story, be engaged, or act as crazy as I want all by my little old uninebriated self. My mother used to say, “You don’t have to drink to have fun” and she’s right.

I can already hear some saying, “Oh, for God’s sake, some of us like the buzz. Some of us need it to get loose. And there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine, a cold beer, a toke or two once in a while. Get off your high horse.” To which I’d reply: “You’re right, of course there isn’t and I swear there’s not a horse in sight, high or otherwise.” Honest to God, I get it. It’s fun to drink, I used to do it. Go for it, enjoy it, experience it with gusto. But we all understand that while there are many who enjoy and imbibe with considerate moderation, there are many others, way too many others, who do so to the point of stumbling, glassy-eyed intoxication …and on a regular basis. Some of them are my extended family. Some are friends. Others are people I work or collaborate with. Most are unaware of how obvious their Altered States are, deluded enough to think they’re fine when everything about them is off-kilter and discombobulated. They don’t realize how slurred their speech is or how odd their heightened and uncharacteristic emotional state has become. They don’t grasp how those not imbibing find little to enjoy about them in that state. Mostly they don’t accept how dangerous they are, to themselves or others.

As for drugs, well…how to explain that? Never a personal indulgence of mine but after years in rock and roll and still more with highly-strung folk of every stripe, I’ve witnessed its drama more than I’d like and it ain’t never pretty. For the casual user it comes with an excused partaking akin to the wine-with-dinner crowd. But for the abuser –  the Amy Winehouse, Chris Farley, Michael Jackson, John Belushi, Our Family Doctor Who OD’d On His Lunch Break, My Cousin Who Won’t Stop Destroying Her Life types of the world – there’s either a deep, dark hole of pain and anguish that needs regular and repeated filling OR their self-indulgent compulsion to alter their state regardless of health or welfare trumps all other considerations, including survival. Pain or need. Stupidity or self-indulgence. Immediate gratification or self-destructive tendencies. Somehow any and all of these demand to be fed and, for some, compliance is at the risk of career and family, slavishly repeated through lives truncated by the physical, mental and emotional damage inflicted, ultimately leading to the edge of the cliff and right damn over.

We mourn Amy Winehouse – certainly her family and friends feel a deep loss – and yet I have to wonder, how did she get to that edge in the first place? There was a starting point, some point way back before Top-40 rehab ditties when it was still a dabble, still a changeable thing; when her Altered State was just nights here and there, moments out of many, before it became a permanent residence. Not sure why, but maybe they were too subtle back then for anyone to notice and intervene. Maybe everyone was all comfy living in those Altered States with her…

Those moments are happening right now for someone who’s taken to drinking way too many glasses of “dinner” wine or partying a little too often with things they shouldn’t. There’s another crash up ahead for someone; some family, some heartbroken parent, spouse, friend, sibling, cousin or collaborator. It’s coming, without a doubt, but we’re so used to the State of Altered States we don’t even know when to push the alarm button. It’s a cult we’ve accepted as a lifestyle and the Kool Aid being swallowed is literally killing us.

It’s folly to suggest any kind of formal temperance in a world as soaked in the culture of indulgence as ours. Look what happened during Prohibition and we don’t even have those cool suits and fedoras anymore! But as we witness continued destruction and watch as each younger generation marches unquestioningly toward the habit of attaching alcohol and/or drugs to most events in life, I will at least posit a challenge to parents. It is possible to raise a child, even in today’s culture, who can experience life without the need for Altered States. I know because I have one of those. And he has surrounded himself with others of those. Friends with whom he’s made a pact to stay sober and clean almost as a rebellion against cultural pressure and the lemming-like impulse of peers to overindulge without thought or question. These kids I’m talking about made this decision independent of parents (though, admittedly, example had some impact) and these kids are as cool as any: smart, good-looking, athletic, socially successful and highly motivated. They have as much or more fun than the indulgers and they do so with clear heads and authentic emotions…certainly they feel better in the morning! Somehow this particular group came into their adolescence whole enough of spirit and clear enough of purpose to find life palatable, endurable; enjoyable enough to live it sober. That may change over time; they may discover the allure of the buzz or the pleasure of that good glass of wine at some point, but even if and when they do, they will likely be fine. Because they have already determined the value and pride of sobriety, of solving their own problems, assuaging their own hurts, and enduring their inevitable disappointments, clear of mind. They’ve learned to thoroughly and fully enjoy life without the knee-jerk response of celebratory inebriation. It can be done. We can teach that to our children. In fact, we must…

Because as we watch another young, talented, troubled artist die from the effects of her drug and alcohol use, it behooves us to take a less casual look at our own attitudes and indulgences and how we blithely pass those on to our children. It may not be a cool discussion – I’ve had people roll their eyes and launch into how in Europe and South America people drink from the time they’re children and maybe if we didn’t restrict our own so much it wouldn’t be a problem, blah, blah, blah, and all I can say to all that is: this ain’t there and for whatever reason, too many of ours aren’t doing it well, verboten or otherwise. Seems worth some reflection, some adjustment. Because life can be hard, sorrows can be profound, inhibitions can limit, boredom can creep and cultural pressure can overwhelm. But to rely on or accept the use of drugs and alcohol to overcome or accommodate is too easily the road to the edge of that cliff. We may not be able stop those we don’t know from going over, but we can surely pay more attention and do everything we can to keep our own from ever getting close to the edge.

LDW w glasses


Visit www.lorrainedevonwilke.com for details and links to LDW’s books, music, photography, and articles.

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34 thoughts on “The State of Altered States in a Post-Amy Winehouse World

  1. Wow–Thanks for this; can’t begin to imagine anyone saying it better than you have, Lorraine.

    “Anything, dear God, anything but to actually feel, actually experience, the state we’re actually in.”–and–“Somehow any and all of these demand to be fed….” These words particularly reminded me of what Eckhart Tolle says about the Pain Body, how we each have one, and how it demands to be fed–with more and more pain. We unconsciously accommodate it in so many ways.

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    1. LDW

      Lane…what a beautiful comment, thank you. To be in the same paragraph as Eckhart Tolle – high praise, indeed! I ALWAYS appreciate your attention and support. This subject is a big one, requiring much conversation; we’ve started it here. Thank you, Lane! LDW

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  2. grant h

    You said a mouthful. I have a feeling people will feel pretty strongly on one side or the other of this issue but not sure anyone can really disagree. How can we when we read every day about someone losing it all for the sake of their habit? I don’t have anyone in my family involved, but most people I’m surrounded by are heavy drinkers. It’s a way of life. The biggest activity in town. I wonder how long before I start going to funerals…

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    1. LDW

      I hear ya, Grant. I’ve been to a couple already. It ain’t fun watching the sorrow and grief long after the self-destruction began. I’m not sure why we’re so squeamish about this conversation, but it’s like pushing against a tide that feels entitled to exist. It sounds like you’re not part of the team, so to speak, so I glad you’re in a position to be clearheaded and take care of yourself and the people you love. But be careful driving home after those nights when friends have been out and involved in their main activity. Thanks for weighing in. LDW

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  3. It’s a big topic. A lot of us spend our careers working in fields that are completely based on the addictions of other human beings. It’s a sorry cycle and when you see it day after day, it gets even sorrier. I don’t know if anyone will take the time to read your whole article and actually give any thought to what you have to say, but I hope so. I agree that people think it’s “not a cool conversation”. I wonder how cool it is when whole families are destroyed because one of them started drinking when they were 15 and by the time they hit 25, it didnt matter when else they had in their life, it was too important to keep drinking, until driving home drunk ended it all. Keep writing.

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    1. LDW

      Sad story, James. And I bet you do hear a lot of them if you work in the field. It’s unlikely that the people who actually need to rethink this topic will actually read this article, look through these comments, and get a sense that readjusting their view – or their behavior – might be of some value, but that fact can’t stop the conversation. Hopefully there will be a critical mass of concern – similar to what happened with smoking – and people will at least start to pay more attention. It’s a hard habit to break, even when it isn’t a major addiction. We humans love our altered states….until they turn on us. Which is what you deal with, the turn. Good luck and keep helping. It’s important to have caring people doing what they can to turn the tide, even if just a bit. Appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment…LDW

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  4. Mike

    Hey man – come on. Not everyone who likes to drink is going to end up in a landfill. YOu make it sound so dramatic. One messed up singer does not represent the entire population. Hell, not even ALL the famous people you mentioned do. Some of us know how to drink without killing ourselves or others. But like they say, it’s always the bad guys that get the attention. I say drink with common sense and that should be enough. Asking people to not drink at all is just going to backfire on you.

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    1. LDW

      Mike – If you read my whole article you’ll see that by and large, I agree with you. Not everyone who drinks is going to end up in a landfill, yes, that’s true. I have many friends who drink responsibly and I have no problem spending time with them while they are doing so. I’m talking about two things: about the addictive/abusive drinker and user AND about the general “cultural think” on the whole topic of imbibing. They go hand-in-hand. Until we can disassociate drugs and alcohol from their now very automatic inclusion in so many life events – literally, the way we celebrate, drown our sorrows, calm our stress, detach from who we are, etc. – we will continue to struggle with the downside of its use. There are many who understand moderation and make choices of when and where it’s appropriate. There are too many others who make no distinction. I’m not “asking people to not drink.” I’m asking people to reexamine their entire view on the topic, particularly when it comes to how they deal with it in their families and around their children. Somehow we’ve got to turn the road away from the cliff. I’d love to hear any good ideas….LDW

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  5. cullum t

    Good article. Thorough. Obviously a lot of thought put in. Not sure the human race is as capable of change as you suggest. But maybe person by person there will be a shift in perspective. Has happened in my family after watching one of ours hit the wall. Be good if it could happen before that happens though. Thanks for taking it on.

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    1. LDW

      Cullum – I hope you’re right about that shift in perspective…and before too many other families have to suffer what it sounds like yours has. Best to you. I appreciate your comments. LDW

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  6. jadine

    Found this article on StumbleUpon and it gets a 2 thumbs way up from me. There are a lot of articles right now talking about Amy Winehouse but I haven’t read too many that discuss the whole situation of her drug and drinking abuse and how that killed her. I guess we’ll just keep losing people and we wont’ think too much about it, your right. I hope articles like this get people to think more. I hope so.

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    1. LDW

      I hope so, too, Jadine. Frankly, I don’t think we know yet what exactly killed Amy Winehouse (initial autopsy reports were inconclusive), but it’s clear she was headed in a certain direction that included some pretty self-destructive usage of drugs and alcohol. The bigger issue is how and why a young, vibrant, very talented woman who was clearly loved by a lot of people found herself so deeply entrenched in that cycle. It’s not about judging her, or anyone else; it’s about looking at the cultural attitudes on the whole topic. I hope people think more about in general, whether via this article or any others. We can’t sit idly by and just hope people get smarter…we have to pay attention and, perhaps, make different decisions, at least in our own families. Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad Stumbleupon sent you over here! LDW

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  7. Betty Henry

    Lorraine, as always, your column is clear thinking, beautifully executed. Reading your work is always such a pleasure.

    What makes someone like Amy Winehouse, John Belushi, Jim Morrison – you know the list – do what they do is, I think, an easy question. It’s a physical addiction that they are incapable of overcoming. It’s heartbreaking to watch, yet it happens every day. It strikes me that it is as much a question of science as it is a question of emotion. And, I don’t think there’s anything friends or family can do to change the inevitable.

    But for the more “casually” addicted – that I think we can change. I think that’s a question of finding better ways to overcome stress and taking the glamour out of the practice. Smoking used to seem so cool; now it’s the quickest path to pariah status.

    You and I are part of that flower-power generation that thought that an altered state was a goal to achieve as often as possible. It’s good to know that there are kids out there like your son who are proving that assumption wrong.

    All best to both of you!

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    1. LDW

      Betty – Thank you for your insightful comment. I always appreciate your reading and taking the time to join the conversation! I especially always appreciate your very kind comments about my work…! 🙂

      I agree with the concept of chemical addiction but having known people who did come from alcoholic families and didn’t succumb to their predisposition, or people who did and were ultimately able to conquer the beast, I continue, I have to, believe that at least SOME can be supported, encouraged and helped by friends or family. Certainly in the early stages, before they get so deeply entrenched there’s no finding them in the morass. I agree with the Alanon philosophy that we can’t manage the addiction of others but as the parents, siblings, close confidants and partners of those predisposed, there is a starting point…and I’m suggesting we get involved then, when it’s still a “changeable thing.” And sadly, yes, even then it’s sometimes a lost cause. But still we must try.

      Because while it is certainly a question of science in terms of the chemical part, it’s also a question of will. Of personal responsibility, spiritual thought, self-preservation and survival. There are windows of opportunity when tapping into those equally human impulses can spark someone beyond their DNA, their genetic propensity.

      And then there’s the other conversation; the cultural embrace of this lifestyle that is so endemic, so expected, so accepted; so pervasive that it’s not only easy for a predisposed person to join the crowd, it’s almost unheard of not to. I’d like to see that slowly shift. And you’re so right…it is similar to the smoking situation. I remember being with a smoker when they first started demanding that you couldn’t smoke in movie theaters and she was just incensed at the limitation. Can you imagine that now…smoking in movie theaters?? So your point of comparison is spot on.

      As more and more people die or destroy their lives or that of their families, as more reality shows (hate ’em but they sometimes do serve a purpose!) depict the very unglamorous effects of addiction, and we realize the purported sophistication and “fun” of drinking is not actually essential to achieving those states in life, perhaps imbibing will lose its currency similarly to smoking. Hope springs eternal!

      And thank you for you comment on my son. In his young life he has already seen too much of the damage in our extended network of family and friends and thankfully has risen above his genetics to make better decisions. You’re right; we came up at a time when attitudes and knowledge about those altered states was very different; evolution demands that we change as life around us changes.

      Great to hear from you, Betty! LDW

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  8. John Cardella

    Great well thought out article as always. I agree with your comments. You mention Europe and South America being more permissive and that is the way I grew up. Even as a child we had a little bit of diluted wine with our Sunday meal. The funny thing is, in our whole family no one has had a problem with substance abuse. I can’t explain it but in my world drinking was never a big deal so I never went through the experimentation stage. We all had moments in our college years though, but I soon realized the pain and fuzzy feelings of being inebriated weren’t pleasant. Like you, I have nothing against responsible drinking but I’d just as soon have a cold soda than a beer anyday. I suppose that kicks me out of the guy club but who cares at this point. As far as drugs go people are using substances because of an innate need to achieve an ‘altered state of consciousness’, in other words, to get ‘high’. By linking this need to the ultimate high of meditation drug users have been misled into thinking highs can only be found in things external to themselves instead of experiences they can find within themselves that are infinitely more satisfying. Those aren’t my words but I do agree with the gist of it.

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    1. LDW

      John:

      I always love hearing from you! Thank you for stopping by to add something to the conversation.

      I think, depending on how we were raised or what our particular inclination on the topic is, we each come to the table somewhat pre-set. I know others, like you, who were introduced to alcohol early on and it had no deleterious effects on their lives. Others, it opened the door: statistics say that a If drinking is delayed until age 21, a child’s risk of serious alcohol problems is decreased by 70 percent. Other studies show that Europe has more underage drunkenness, injury, rape, and school problems due to alcohol (http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/why21/). So many of the myths we hold on to don’t necessarily make the cases people hold on to.

      Frankly, I think it comes down to individual families and how children are raised and set up to maintain their sense of self-confidence, self-possession, self-survival; all those “selfs” that lead to making more productive and preserving choices. I’m not sure there is anything quite as powerful as those internal influences…at least till they get out the door! Which is why it becomes all the more important to build those foundations of self-love early on. It’s a big, thoughtless, overwhelming and not necessarily life-sustaining culture out there and we’ve got to do what we can to send them out into it fully armed for survival!

      Thanks, John, for your thoughts…I really do appreciate it! LDW

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  9. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool and you’re a good writer. I am impressed by the details that you put into this article. It reveals how well you understand this subject and have thought about all the angles, hopoefully people will pay some attentions and we’ll stop wasting our artists. I bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK!

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    1. LDW

      Thanks, Adrienne. As long as the points I’m making are getting across, I’m always happy to hear that I ROCK! 🙂 But seriously, thank you. And do come back from time to time. LDW

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  10. Eric P

    I found your blog through Google so I thought I’d stop by to leave a comment. You’re a very good writer and you took a subject that is many sided and you made a clear argument for a different way of looking at thing. I appreciate that. you did it with some humor and a lot of human touch. Really good. Kind of can’t help but make a person think. Which is the whole point, I guess. I hope a lot of people do. I got my own sad stories in my family so it’s about everyone. Keep up the good work.

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    1. LDW

      Eric: Thanks for your comment. I think a lot of families have their sad stories, which is what makes this issue so important to discuss. There’s no shame in realizing we might need a reset button on our attitudes, the only shame is if we continue to ignore the elephant to the detriment of those we love and society as a whole. As I said to another commenter, evolution is all about changing as life demands. This seems a point of necessary evolution. Good luck to you and thank you for your kind words. LDW

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  11. Belinda K

    Really well written, thought provoking piece. As a person who has experienced much family trauma due to drugs and alcohol, I appreciate the points you’re trying to make. Some in my family have turned away from drinking in response and others seem to be going down the same road toward that cliff you mention. It’s a sad thing but what can we do when people don’t want to keep themselves alive? Thank you for standing up for another way to look at it.

    Sincerely,
    Belinda K

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    1. LDW

      Belinda: I’m so sorry to hear of your family struggles. It’s a difficult story that plays out in the homes of too many. I think it’s about changing the cultural thinking on it all. As someone mentioned, it’s much like the societal shift that’s happened with smoking: what was once accepted without question is now looked as the toxic habit it is. Hopefully a higher consciousness will also evolve on topic of drug and alcohol abuse. If enough people start paying attention and, perhaps, start making different decisions in their own lives, the cultural trickle down will start. My very best to you and thanks for kind words. LDW

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  12. Pingback: Bindi Harper

    1. LDW

      Bindi: I agree that the debate is there. It’s a valid one and depending at what point in the trajectory you catch an addict, the chemical/disease component can have all the control. You look at someone like Jeff Conaway who kept trying to clean up and really seemed to want to but..couldn’t. Was that a matter of lack of will? At that point I think will loses to the disease in most cases. My suggestion is to preempt that stage of the game. Reach people before they even have that first drink or try that first drug. Instill in that younger person just forming their ideas about the issue a full sense of its impact, not just the “hey, let’s par-tay!” mentality. Get to people before they’re so entrenched in the cycle that getting them out is exponentially more difficult. I don’t deny the chemical, genetic, DNA predisposition angle. In fact, I agree with it. Which is why it’s so important to get ahead of it very early in a person’s life. Before it becomes a battle between will and disease. I hope both your friends can find their way out. And good of you to not only care, but mitigate the activities at parties in an effort to change the atmosphere! Thanks for your comment. LDW

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  13. vivian

    Congratulations on possessing certainly one of one of the vital and sophisticated blogs Ive come across in a while! Superb articles in general (and I very much like – and agree – with this piece on Amy Winehouse) but I wanted to comment on how visually appealing your site is: nice graphics, images, layout. This is definitely a should-see web site!

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    1. LDW

      Thank you, Vivian. Given how many sites and blogs there are out in the world, it behooves one to put something up that not only has something to say, but looks nice in the meantime. I’m a visual person as well as a literal one, so it was important to me to put this together in an artistic way…I’m thrilled you made note of it. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Hope you’ll check back again. LDW

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  14. Jacques Arvizu

    Does not matter who you are or what you do – Alcoholism and drug addiction kill! Unless you are willing to take a plan of action that requires a total Life change, NOTHING will help you….. Another loss of a very talented individual…… R.I.P Amy……

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  15. tobbe

    This is a well written post. Doubt most will be willing to give up their booze and drugs of choice to make a less altered world but it’s a good theory. Strange to find out after the fact that she had no illegal drugs in her system. Should serve as even MORE of a warning because she obviously wore her body down so bad she didn’t even need to be high to wipe herself out. Sad. Stupid. Wonder if anyone will wake up and smell the bullshit at some point? Keep making your points anyway.

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    1. LDW

      Tobbe: I have no delusions about making an impact on greater culture. I just believe in what I write and figure it’s one more voice out there making a different point…if anyone’s listening or can be influenced, good. If it just gets someone to consider a new way of looking at things, that’s good too. Over time, cultural norms slowly evolve by the steady addition of more and more voices to a changing conversation. I just added mine, as you did yours! Thanks for the comment. LDW

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  16. I’m not much of a drinker myself. I average a beer or a glass of wine about once a month, and that’s enough for me, always has been. But I’ve also been on the receiving end of the eyerolls and almost incredulous, “What? You don’t want more?” with friends and family. I’ve always just told them as politely as possible that they can kiss my rather rotund ass if it bothers them so much. It’s odd that folks that drink a lot judge people who do not. Misery loves company, right?

    Anyhoo, your summation, “We may not be able stop those we don’t know from going over, but we can surely pay more attention and do everything we can to keep our own from ever getting close to the edge.” is perfect!

    I took a totally different writing slant on the death of Amy – http://grumpydudes.com/another-celebrity-to-deify/ 🙂

    D

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    1. LDW

      It’s so true, David, that “drinking buddy” mentality. The same weekend I wrote that piece the airwaves were FILLED with loud, overdone ads about a sale at Bev Mo or some other such place, the voice-over asking over and over how much partying was going to be done and the answer was “Epic!” Wow….awesome…I thought…I hope no one dies driving their car into a lamp post after your epic party!!

      I dunno, I’m definitely odd-man-out on this one, but I’ve learned to easily and gently calm the incredulousness of persistent drink-offerers over the years and get whatever vindication I can when I feel much better in the morning and actually DO remember the night before!

      Now I have to go see what you wrote on this…!

      LDW

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