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How to NOT Respond When a Celebrity with a Drug History Passes Away

It seems as though almost every day a familiar face flashes across the screen with an announcement that so-and-so has passed away. When that famous person has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, many commentators immediately mention it, as if the person’s death is always attributable to drugs or alcohol. With social media making our public comments accessible to anyone, it is important to know what to say and what not to say when someone famous passes away. Sure, it is unlikely that a famous star’s relatives will ever read your comment. However, that famous star was a human being just like you, a flawed person who may have happened to have a drug and alcohol problem. Here are five things NOT to say when a celebrity with a drug history passes away. Keep this in mind when you are talking to your friends or chatting online about the latest celebrity gossip:

  1. “He had it coming to him.” Nobody deserves to die from drugs or alcohol. No matter how long someone has been addicted to substances, everyone deserves a second chance.
  2. “I’m sure the drugs killed her.” Unless you are privy to the autopsy reports, do not assume death was caused by an overdose. A past history of drug abuse doesn’t mean death was caused by an overdose.
  3. “With all their money, you’d think they would be able to kick the habit.” Money never solved any problems. Just because someone is rich does not make it any easier for them to become sober. Addiction does not care whether you are rich or poor. Drugs and alcohol can sink their teeth into the richest person or the poorest person with equally disastrous results. Money can’t buy sobriety.
  4. “But he was just in rehab last month!” Although rehab is a great step in recovery, anyone can relapse. You have to work your program every day, one day at a time, to keep your sobriety.
  5. “What a selfish thing to do.” Yes, drugs are selfish. They steal your health, money, family, friends, and your entire life. But people taking drugs are not selfish. They have a disease. You do not call a sick person selfish. Compassion, rather than judgment, is called for when someone with a history of drug use dies.

No matter how famous someone is, if they have had problems with drugs or alcohol in the past, relapse is really only just a step away. Just like all the rest of us, famous people have to live in sobriety one day at a time. The Ranch PA is a rehab center located in Pennsylvania. We can help you learn the steps of recovery and live a clean, sober life. Call us at 844-240-4207 for more information. Photo via

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