Could A Sober Companion Have Prevented The Tragic Death of Amy Winehouse?
They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know
I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go
— Amy Winehouse, lyrics to her hit song, Rehab
The senseless and tragic death of singer Amy Winehouse at the age of 27 marks another example of how hard and terrible is the disease of addiction. At 3:54 pm BST on July 23, 2011, two ambulances were called to Winehouse’s home in Camden, London. Shortly afterwards, the Metropolitan Police confirmed her death. As of July 24, the investigation to determine the cause of death, which is described by police as unexplained, remains open. Given her extensive history of drug and alcohol abuse, multiple arrests on a variety of charges and her frightfully young age, there is a rising consensus among the media and addiction experts that the cause of death was a fatal drug overdose. If this is the case, could a sober companion have been the key to keeping Amy Winehouse alive long enough to receive the help she clearly needed?
With horrible impulse control and a rebellious attitude milked by the tabloid media, Amy Winehouse had a long history of drug problems and extreme signs of addiction. Her ex-husband Blake Fielder, who is currently in jail on drug charges, once told a paper that he had introduced Winehouse to crack cocaine and heroin. Quickly, they descended together into the depths of addiction, reportedly trying everything to quit, including the horrors of cutting to replace the pain of withdrawal. What Amy Winehouse refused to do, as expressed in her hit song, was go to a medically monitored drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility where she could have received the help that she truly needed.
Amy Winehouse Left Rehab
On May 25, 2011, Amy Winehouse entered the Priory Clinic in London to receive help with her addiction problems, but she was not willing to remain willing. In less than a week, she left and returned to her home alone where she died two months later. Karen Heller of The Philadelphia Inquirer described the popular culture’s perspective of the singer, writing that Winehouse was… “…crashing headfirst into success and despair, with a codependent husband in jail, exhibitionist parents with questionable judgment, and the paparazzi documenting her emotional and physical distress. Meanwhile, a haute designer Karl Lagerfeld appropriates her disheveled style and eating issues to market to the elite while proclaiming her the new Bardot.”
In other words, popular culture found the travails and insanity of Winehouse to be a form of entertainment, and she simply was allowed to self-destruct for the enjoyment and amusement of her adoring public. There was a human and artistic side to the young woman that few people ever saw or experienced. British singer Lily Allen described this side in a Scottish newspaper when she said, “I know Amy Winehouse very well. And she is very different to what people portray her as being. Yes, she does get out of her mind on drugs sometimes, but she is also a very clever, intelligent, witty, funny person who can hold it together. You just don’t see that side.”
What is so frightening is how common it is for addicts and alcoholics to be kind, creative human beings who are simply caught in the vise-like grips of a fatal disease. A question that has to be asked beyond the horrible reality: What possible could have been done to help Amy Winehouse? How might she have been saved?
Clients Like Amy Winehouse And Sober Companions
ONE80CENTER has an individualized program that is designed to meet the needs and specific background of each of our clients. Since we have many successful clients, we understand that they often are resistant to entering treatment because they still have the material wealth. In addition, they are unwilling at first to enter our treatment facility without first going through a private detox. As a result, we offer a remote detox with medical visits and the consistent presence of a sober companion.
By being able to detox in the comfort of their own homes or at a hotel, certain clients often become more willing to embrace the program. Without question, Amy Winehouse was a difficult case, highly resistant to treatment. The presence of a sober companion in her home, however, could have helped to prevent her death and facilitated a path to recovery.
People die from this disease, whether they are intimate loved ones or famous celebrities, there is nothing left behind in the vacuum beyond the tragedy and so many unanswered questions. The focus of the individualized program of ONE80CENTER is to meet you or your loved one where they need to be met in order to foster the beginnings of recovery. After all, as long as health is maintained and the gift of life is kept sacred, there is hope for recovery.
At ONE80CENTER, we only wish that Amy Winehouse had been able to walk this road to freedom before she was taken from this world. Could our individualized program, including remote detox and sober companions, have saved her? Sadly, probably not since you cannot help anyone who is not willing to try to help herself. We would have valued the opportunity to offer our very best in expertise, services and experience to such a talented young lady who will be sorely missed.