You’ve probably heard by now but, this past Saturday, Cory Monteith was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room.  An autopsy has shown that the popular Glee star had heroin and alcohol in his system when he died.

Naturally, everyone was shocked by the tragic news.  In fact, many were surprised when it was first revealed that Monteith was dealing with substance abuse issues.  Apparently, he was so “professional” on set that even his coworkers had no idea.

Then he checked in to rehab.

His co-star and real-life love, Lea Michele, stood by him and it seemed like their relationship was reaching new depths when everything came to an untimely end.  They even went on a great beach vacation when he completed his substance abuse program.

What can we learn from this terrible example?

Someone can be experiencing an intense struggle while keeping a smile on their face.  In fact, the people who manage to maintain the semblance of a somewhat normal life while they are using or abusing drugs are often the ones most at risk.  It’s hard to convince someone that they have a problem when they haven’t lost anything but the dialogue still needs to happen.

Also, there’s a tendency for non-addicts to assume that someone who has gone through rehab is “cured” and that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Recovering from addiction is a life-long commitment and takes a lot of hard work.

Conversely, people also think that they need to never bring up drugs or alcohol around an addict because they think it’s going to upset them or make them have a relapse. While it’s not a good idea to suggest hanging out in areas that present unnecessary temptations, making an overly big deal about it just makes things uncomfortable. Be normal , loving and supportive.

Finally, while we don’t know the exact details surrounding Cory Monteith’s death we do know that he was home in Vancouver at the time. Many times, hanging out with old friends can bring out old habits which may or may not be a good thing.  For that reason, it’s so important for recovering addicts to distance themselves from any people they associate with destructive patterns and activities.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

We often look at the lives of celebrities with envy but we must always remember that, underneath all of the glitz and glamour, they are susceptible to the same problems as we are.

photo credit: istolethetv via photopin cc