Club 27

On 23rd July, 2011, all the fans of music in the world heard another tragedy. One of the talented singer-songwriters was found dead in her apartment. She was just 27. Yes, I’m talking about Amy Winehouse. Although police refused to confirm, many people including her fans have linked her death with her constant battle with drug and alcohol addiction. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Ms. Winehouse. I always thought she would be a bad influence on teenagers since she had an amazing voice and well her music was somewhere similar to being mind-blowing. I admit that she had this powerful voice that would leave you intoxicated, wishing to get lost in her songs. Her songs were always “brutally honest” (I think that’s what I read somewhere which I found to be totally true), talking about life, love and her addictions. And her music was something different from what we had been hearing. But at the same time, her life was gripped by constant scandals, drugs and alcohol. Thus one could say that her life was falling apart in a certain way and breaking down.

Even though her death is her tragedy (deaths are somehow always a tragedy), it was not shocking for many of us. We had seen her life getting jeopardized, her numerous trips to and fro in rehab(s) and she losing control. We knew this was coming, we saw it coming. It was just that we wanted it arrive as late as possible. After all, we have already lost several of our favorite stars to drugs like Heath Ledger (who died from overdose of prescribed medical drugs) and Ana Nicole Smith (similar reasons). And then there is Club 27 whose members are those who died when they are 27 like Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix  to name a few. And now, Amy has also become the member of the group.

It is very devastating to hear and see all those great talents to lose their life because of addiction. Just think, if there are so many well-known personalities who die because of addiction, then how many normal-unknown people die every year. How many lives get destroyed? Substance abuse is widely talked about issue in the world from developed countries to developing and underdeveloped ones. There have been numerous steps taken to address the problem and raise awareness about it. Yet, nothing’s been helping. People are, I guess aware but still in ignorance.

This was what I shared with my friends after the news of Ms. Winehouse. They expressed the same ideas. One of them said that people usually try drugs, cigarettes or alcohol to try to look cool or strong and brave. It is completely true. Using or doing something that is banned, illegal or is associated with being an adult is associated with being brave, cool and others for the teenagers and adolescents. Slowly, their body gets habituated to the substances they are using and it finally leads to addictions. No matter how much people, children and adults alike know about the harmfulness of these substances, they chose to ignore it. Like I mentioned above, people are aware but are ignored in the fact that they are not wholly conscious about it.

Once you get hooked, it is very hard to come out of it. Believe me, I have seen people trying to do that and I myself fall in that category (not that I’ve ever done substance that one take, I’m talking about materialistic goods like TV and facebook). I know what it feels once you stop having those stuffs around you, especially when you’re alone. I know that being addicted to drugs or alcohol and being addicted to TV and facebook are very much different. But I also know that since it is addiction, something remains the same. Like the feeling of emptiness once you do not have it and the feeling of desperation.

Similarly, your mind refuses to listen to you and you end up becoming restless, not knowing what to do.  These are the similarities that I have found between these sky-land different addictions. But addiction of substances is far more dangerous, especially to health of the person. Substances have chemicals that not only harm the body as they tend to create various false emotions by obstructing the normal function of hormones and enzymes and so on, but they also makes you dependent on them. Thus, you are left weaker and prone to various illnesses and sicknesses.

Yet, despite knowing all of these, people refuse to use their god-gifted minds. They act foolish and idiotic trying to prove their coolness and heroism. Yes, I also admit that peer pressure is something that is very hard to resist, rebel or ignore. And I also admit that it is human instinct to do what we are not supposed to do. But it is high time for us to realize and make others realize that destroying one’s life for some reasons no matter how much appealing it sounds to be is kind of simple stupidity. It is simply idiocy to think one is invincible and it will not happen to me. Because you can never predict anything about life and because nothing is more important than life itself.

As mentioned above, so many celebrities have wasted their talent on addiction. It is high time to learn from their lives and their mistakes. So, let us think properly and wisely before wasting our time and life on something that will eventually destroy us. And only thinking and committing is not enough. We need to say no, know where we should stand and fight for ourselves. It is said that life is not about victories but about battles, so no matter what we need to keep on fighting against the addictions. In the end, I pray and hope that Ms. Winehouse has finally found her peace and her place, wherever she is right now.

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