Cory Monteith, a known addict, died July 13. He was famous for his portrayal of Finn, the school quarterback on Fox’s hit show, Glee. According to addiction themed site The Fix, the addiction treatment Monteith received did not “follow government guidelines for effective care.” The site also blames the media for using Monteith’s death to cling to stereotypes about celebrity addiction.
Monteith started on his path of inferior addiction treatment when he was just 13, according to the site, about the same time he began using drugs. Monteith attended several different schools for “troubled” youth between ages 13 and 16, schools that used the “tough love” model to keep their teens in line. These prison-style tactics don’t work on young addicts, who are often insecure and depressed, and require love and understanding, not harshness that can exacerbate the conditions that led them to turn to drugs in the first place.
It was not his treatment, but rather, the realization that he had acting talent that led Monteith to first embrace sobriety.
However, when one of Glee’s co-creators found out that Monteith was using again, he staged an intervention. The rehab Monteith went through did not use medication, but rather a 12-step program. Monteith relapsed.
With Monteith’s tolerance lowered by his period of abstinence, plus the deadly combination of alcohol and heroin, this was the most dangerous time for Monteith in which he was not likely informed of the risk because programs focused on abstinence do not provide advice about harm reduction, nor do they provide “maintenance medication” like methadone.
The Fix winds up the article with the hope that Glee can teach, via the tragedy of Monteith’s death, that overdoses are avoidable if addicts turn to 21st methods to treat addiction.
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