What Parents Can Learn From the Death of Glee Star Cory Monteith
We now know Cory Monteith, the actor who appeared in Glee for 4 seasons, died from an accidental toxic drug mix, including heroin and alcohol. Many years ago, I would have thought to myself, "Horrible. But what was the guy thinking? I mean, who does heroin?! That's crazy."
But now I just think, "That was somebody's son. A mother now lives the rest of her life without her baby boy. Yes, he was 31. But I promise you. He is still her baby boy."
That's how parenthood changes you. Not only do I grieve for his mom but also the other people who loved him like his girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele. And this kid Cory (and how old am I that I now consider 31 a kid?!) had so much ahead of him.
Monteith had admitted that he started using drugs when he was 13. He went to rehab when he was 19 after an intervention by his mother and friends. And he went again to rehab just this past March. He sounds like a guy who was trying to get well but obviously drugs had a fierce grip over him.
I have watched several people around me conquer their addictions one day at a time and I wonder why they succeeded when Monteith did not. Did his celebrity status mean he had too many enablers? But he was plagued by these demons long before he became a TV star.
I wonder if there is anything we can take away from this tragedy to help our own children? Are we teaching kids enough about the dangers of drugs and alcohol? Maybe our attention has focused so much on new dangers like texting and driving that we have forgotten about the just as real threat of drug addiction.
I can't imagine any of my kids growing up to be heroin addicts. But what mother can? Maybe it's time we start talking about the dangers of drugs again. Talking about it early and often with our children. Before we think we need to. Before our kids go down a path that they just can't seem to get off.