The dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs

by Liz Lockhart

The dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs

This week I had the wretched experience of visiting a close and much loved family member in hospital.  After a life-time of alcohol abuse and smoking he was diagnosed with cancer just a few short weeks ago.  He hit the bottle even harder in a bid to deal with it.  Last weekend he had a massive brain haemorrhage.  He is a 54 year-old man trapped in a useless body.  He cannot talk, swallow or move the right-hand side of his body and is incontinent. 

I can forgive him as I understand all too well that he turned to alcohol and occasional drug use in a bid to mask his poor but denied mental health problems. He lived to drink and now he is dying from it and all too slowly.  We all think that we will be the lucky ones and that we can be the exception to the rules, all too often we are not.  If we play around with substances that are known to kill or maim the chances are we will get burnt.

It seemed untimely to jump on the band wagon when Whitney Houston died. Any death deserves to be treated with respect and consideration and, goodness only knows, the media was very quick to cash in on this tragedy.  We decided not to cover it on the news pages of  Mental Healthy.

Whitney Houston is reported to have died in her hotel bathtub and there has been much speculation as to the cause of her death. The number one suspicion is that she had slipped back into taking drugs and that caused this untimely loss.

Whitney was only 48 years old when she was discovered by a bodyguard in her Los Angeles hotel room. During her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown she admitted to being addicted to crack cocaine but after a couple of stays in a rehab centre she was thought to be free of the addiction.

Anyone who watched her sing as a guest on the X Factor a couple of years ago must have doubted this as she appeared to be a very different figure from the once vibrant, powerful and talented singer of her earlier years.

It is reported in OK magazine that prescription drugs were found in her hotel room but we are yet to find out what the exact cause of death was. It is a fact, however, that her career took a nosedive once she became addicted to drugs and, in my book, that is a tragedy. To watch such talent and beauty fade until it becomes uncomfortable to watch is so very sad.

My heart which is full of the love of my brother and his dreadful condition goes out to Whitney's only daughter who is so sadly left without her mother.


So so sad. Thinking of you and Uncle J, makes me appreciate every God given minute with family and not letting anything go unsaid or passed by xx

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