Heroin Overdose: Reaction to 'Glee' Star Cory Monteith's Death
Published July 17th, 2013
The death of young television star Cory Monteith has highlighted the return of heroin to public eye.
The coroners office in British Columbia released the cause of death Tuesday, but this time a familiar tragedy may be sending a new message.
The fact that Monteith died of a drug overdose came as a surprise to many considering he had several stints in rehab and was publicly hailed as being on the road of recovery.
But UF Health Addiction Psychiatrist Dr. Jamie Smolen says the fact that someone who'd been through rehab died from an overdose is not a surprise.
"The condition of addiction just compels the individual to have fun," Smolen says, "and they don't realize they're creating the potential for a tragedy."
And for rising star Cory Monteith, that tragedy came late Saturday night.
Autopsy results now released show Monteith died of a drug overdose in his Vancouver hotel room.
"The cause of death was a mixed drug toxicity and it involved heroin and alcohol," Barb Mclintock with the British Columbia Coroners Service said in a statement Tuesday.
A deadly mixture causing breathing to slow dangerously or stop completely.
Fans of his show Glee are in shock, reacting on social media all week.
Dr. Smolen says the drug was likely brought back into the picture because of alcohol.
"When you're in an intoxicated state, you don't think like that," he says, "you don't have the insight, you don't have any caution light going on in the brain that says you're about to make a fatal mistake, stop, think it over, don't do it."
Dr. Smolen has helped many patients work to overcome addictions, and says it's not easy.
"The reason relapse occurs the most is that the condition that affects the brain doesn't go away," he says.
Making any relapse potentially deadlier than the last.
He says to prevent a loss, addiction must be viewed - and treated - as a chronic disease.
"Nobody ever recovers, people are in recovery."
For more information about the Florida Recovery Center and way to help someone struggling with an addiction, visit http://floridarecoverycenter.ufhealth.org/
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