Addiction Specialist on Amy Winehouse: Financial Resources Fueled Her Addiction

July 23, 2011 By:
Addiction Specialist on Amy Winehouse: Financial Resources Fueled Her Addiction

Amy Winehouse tragically lost her life this morning at just 27 years old, after years of drug and alcohol abuse.

Amy had several unsuccessful stints in rehab, the most recent being May of this year. She famously sang about not wanting to go to rehab, but sadly years of substance abuse caught up with her body.

Amy’s father Mitch tried to help her get clean numerous times throughout the years, but to no avail. On July 23, 2011 at 3:54pm two ambulances were called to Amy's London home in Camden, London. Shortly afterward, the Metropolitan Police confirmed her death. She was only 27 years old.

David Sack, MD, who currently serves as CEO at Promises Treatment Centers, tells Hollyscoop he wasn’t surprised Amy had so many unsuccessful rehab stints.

Amy Winehouse Found Dead, Other Stars Who Died at 27

“Many people who seek to overcome addiction to drugs fail repeatedly before they success. At Promises we maintain a thoughtful optimism anytime someone is willing to come into to treatment, and those efforts are more often than not successful,” Dr. Sacks tells HS.

Amy’s success and wealth may have contributed heavily towards her addiction. “Celebrities usually have the financial resources that allow their drug abuse to go unchecked. They live in a culture that glamorizes non-conformist behaviors that often includes excessive alcohol and drug use,” Dr. Sacks tells Hollyscoop.

He adds, “Like many people they incorrectly assume that prescription narcotics are less likely to lead to overdose than heroin and may think little of combining them with sedatives and alcohol.”

Amy Winehouse: A History of Drug Abuse

Amy’s last attempt at rehab only lasted one week. On her way to rehab she stopped by a liquor store to stock up on alcohol. She bought a bottle of vodka and drank straight from the bottle before admitting herself into rehab.

Addiction takes over the person’s life. But is there hope for addicts like Amy? “People change for many reasons, but it starts with hope,” says Dr. Sacks. “The person has to believe that change is possible and that their life will be happier and more fulfilled without drugs.”

In Photos Amy Winehouse Throughout the Years

What signs should you look out for when dealing with an addict? “As addictions progress, a person functioning suffers. The really scary part of overdoses is that they are unintentional. Recreational users, who are not dependent, get caught up in a partying moment and take drugs and/or alcohol to the limit. Fraternity deaths due to alcohol poisoning are a good example. At other times, depressed or anxious individuals, will escalate their doses of prescribed medications to 'get a night's sleep' without knowing when they are venturing into unsafe territory.”

For more on addiction and how to seek help for substance abuse visit