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Whitney Houston: Legendary Singer Dies After Struggle With Addiction

Sara Bellum
February 22, 2012

On February 12, the 54th annual GRAMMY Awards paid tribute to music legend Whitney Houston, who died the previous night at the young age of 48. Early reports suggest that a deadly mix of prescription drugs and alcohol were the cause of Houston’s death, though toxicology results are still pending. It is well known that the six-time GRAMMY winner battled drug and alcohol addiction.

Michael Jackson…Amy Winehouse…and now Whitney Houston. Legendary singers who seemed to have it all—talent, charisma, fame, money, power, family support. And yet, they could not overcome their addiction to drugs. That’s because addiction doesn’t care if you’re famous or rich—once you’re in its grip, the experience is similar for many of the 20 million people in the United States today who struggle with this brain disease.

Why Do People Continue To Take Drugs?

Why do people continue to abuse drugs and, in some cases, combine them with alcohol, when so many others have fallen from doing so? Although Houston entered rehab three times, she is a perfect example of why addiction is defined as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

The initial decision to take drugs is mostly voluntary—but after that, a combination of genetics and environment will write the rest of the story. Some people will become addicted and will find it impossible to stop taking drugs without help. Addiction changes the brain’s structure and how it works. Brain imaging studies from people who are addicted to drugs show physical changes that not only affect feelings of pleasure but also judgment, decision-making, learning, memory, and self-control. That may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors that characterize addiction.

What Are the Dangers of Abusing Prescription Drugs?

One of the greatest myths about prescription drugs is that, because doctors prescribe them, they are safer to abuse than illegal drugs. But as prescription drugs have become more available, more people are literally dying from their abuse. In fact, every year in the United States, more people die from an accidental overdose of painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined.

The word “prescription” is not the same as the word “safe,” especially when alcohol is added, which can affect heart rhythm, slow respiration, and even lead to death.

Resources To Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Although we can be saddened by Houston’s passing, we can also take a thoughtful look at her experience and learn from it.

NIDA offers many resources so you can learn the science behind what prescription drug abuse does to your brain and body. Are you curious how the choice to abuse prescription drugs could play out? Check out NIDA’s Choose Your Path videos to put yourself in the shoes of a story’s main character.

We do not yet know exactly how Whitney Houston died. We can only guess that her drug abuse and addiction may have contributed to her death. We do know that addiction was a major blow to her life, career, family, friends, and fans, all of whom are experiencing the sad consequences.

Comments

R.I.P Whitney houston

R.I.P. Big Mama !

Drug addiction its really scary!

its really sad i loved her

its really sad i loved her

Poor Whitney, will miss your beautiful voice. Whitney was a grown lady, and wasn't forced into doing drugs, she solely made her own decision's and its not Bobby's fault.
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I deeply sorry with her gone..We all miss your golden voice

R.I.P. Whitney Houston :(

Drug addiction is too scary..

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poor whitney :(

I feel really bad for Whitney and if I were her and had a second chance I would not abuse drugs and alcohol. Whitney probaly felt alone and had no privacy so that is why she took drugs. Whitney did not have self control otherwise she would not have taken the drugs and alcohol. Even though Whitney is gone maybe other celebrities can learn from this.

Whitney was a beautiful singer and her addiction stopped her from that but i fell really bad for bobby Christina her loving mother always pulled though to help her no matter what. i mean it stinks, addiction it always gets the best of us and then they are like an empty shell of what they were. i am a big fan i looked up to her but i wont do drugs no matter what happens not one bit. the reason for my writing of this is to show what you lose when you drugs so i guess what I'm saying to everyone out there is

DON'T DO DRUGS

or that will happen to you to think about family and friends not the drugs.

R.I.P Whitney Houston. but i believe it was her own fault for getting in the drug business. Why do people take drugs ? She took drugs probably because she became addicted to well i know she did. If you take drugs causally you become addicted and cant function with out them. You start craving them and you begin to need them for everything you do. This is now 3 legendarily singers that we loss. Whitney most likely new how Michael Jackson and Amy Whinehouse passed away. so she have been careful. You don't want to get started with drugs. Look what happened shell be loved and missed, but i still believe it was her own fault for drugging herself. Drug addiction is scary. You get hooked on easily. Sadly we loss her but she will be missed.

Whitney was a beautiful singer and her addiction stopped her from that but i fell really bad for bobby Christina her loving mother always pulled though to help her no matter what. i mean it stinks, addiction it always gets the best of us and then they are like an empty shell of what they were. i am a big fan i looked up to her but i wont do drugs no matter what happens not one bit. the reason for my writing of this is to show what you lose when you do drugs so i guess what I’m saying to everyone out there is

DON’T DO DRUGS

or that will happen to you to think about family and friends not the drugs.

May this talented women find eternal peace and happiness. Let her soul rest in peace. Curse the devils powder, leaf and mineral. I wish I could hear this womens singing in heaven because on earth she was tortured by drugs. Maybe this is a sign from above the clouds to not touch drugs. Let us not feel the same pain that Whitney felt and stay strong and not do drugs and alcohol.

RIP WHITNEY

WE LOVE YOU

i hate how we have to leave such a beutiful golden voice all because of drugs. R.I.P. Whitney. Dont do drugs i know i dont want to end up like her.

RIP WE WILL MISS YHU MUWAHHH <3
RIP Whitney LLLLLUUUUUVVVVV UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
will be missed

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