The recent reported drug overdose and tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman led to a conversation with a friend about why these types of deaths are still so surprising to people and why so much attention is paid. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/02/showbiz/philip-seymour-hoffman-obit/
Each time that I hear about a celebrity alcohol and drug-related death, it has an impact on me and millions of others. I don’t actually know this person, but in some way, because I have seen their work, I feel a connection to them. Their deaths bring with them enormous media attention, discussion and publicity. However, there are countless alcohol and drug-related deaths on a daily basis of unknown people who do not receive the same amount of attention or acknowledgement. Which leads me to my question- why are we so surprised and is so much attention paid?
If more media attention was paid to each unknown alcoholic or drug addict who dies on a daily basis there could be an increase in addiction resources and funding available for treatment. Or, the media could publicize ways to locate appropriate addiction treatment options. Given how many emails I personally receive from people who do not know how to find appropriate addiction treatment, it is clear that the general public does not know where to turn for help. If information about addiction treatment options and navigating insurance was spread as thoroughly as the information surrounding a celebrity death from an alcohol/drug overdose—more lives could be saved.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Hoffman family and to others who have lost loved ones from addictions. May these types of tragedies inspire others to reach out for help and to get sober.
For more information and resources about high-functioning alcoholic, visit www.highfunctioningalcoholic.com