How Did Tolerance Kill Cory Monteith?

News this morning carried a piece about the rise in alcohol related deaths in UK. Concerns about these matters are heard – much wider than UK. I am re-posting this because we hear about consequences, and social emotional speculations, but we so seldom hear about the effects in the brain, especially those of use in adolescence while brains are still developing. Socio-emotional science anyone?

Corey M

I was saddened this week to read of the coroner’s verdict on the death of Cory Monteith.  The 31-year-old talented actor and performer had been plagued by substance abuse problems long before his Hollywood days and had voluntarily checked himself into rehab in March where he completed a 30-day program.

Heroin and alcohol – a potentially lethal mix

Over the past two decades I have visited high schools and colleges to talk on how addictive drugs including heroin and alcohol affect the brain and it still amazes me how little the general public understand how these potentially lethal drugs work.

The post mortem showed the Cory’s death was due to a combination of heroin and alcohol intake. Both heroin and alcohol have similar effects on the brain. They both elevate mood, lower heart rate and put your brain into a sleepy inattentive state.  Heroin and alcohol are what’s called narcotics…

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4 thoughts on “How Did Tolerance Kill Cory Monteith?

  1. Socio-emotional science anyone? – so that is what you call it.

    Upon hearing of Corey Monteith’s death in the news and then about his life, it struck me in two ways. First the obvious; just plain tragic, young and a Canadian as well -yes, in the UK, Canada , in any country. Second, it instantly reminded me of my nephew who die at 17 with a hard drug and alcohol addiction, his death a direct result of his addiction

    You have to wonder, substance abuse at such an early age, does one ever really recover. It must almost be next to impossible.

    In my early twenties I had two close friends Lydia and Tom. Lydia was beautiful, had an intoxicating smile and probably one of kindest person I have ever met. Lydia’s story before we met, was difficult to believe. By age twelve she was shooting water in her veins for the rush. By thirteen she had ran away from home an a abusive father (she never did return home) by 14 she was an addict living on the streets and doing what street kids did. Thanks to a social worker and her will to live, she found herself in the home of two strangers, whom nurtured her, cared for her till she was 18. She had dodged the bullet, somehow.

    Tom’s story, at 14 spent six months in coma as the result of heroin overdose. He was an addict. By the time we met, he had lived an hard life. Some of it criminal. He was married, had three kids. Kinda teetered on the line of drugs and alcohol but not to the point where his mind eye shut down. Tom was a creative and talented person and it was art that seemed to keep him focused and passionate about life. I called him Seedy Tom. Though we were from different backgrounds, we both had a passion at that time for sculpture, we actually got along quite well, with great respect for the other.

    I mentioned Tom and Lydia , as they taught me much. People have struggles and experiences beyond our scope. Yet there are some whom manage, for reasons I don’t understand, to fight back. Lydia I think was ‘fixed’. Tom I suspect is in all likelihood a work in progress sum thirty years later- in constant flux, but still resolving and evolving. Corey or my nephew never got that far, sadly.

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    1. thinking in response to this – the puzzle puzzles me too – so much is the chance of meeting someone at the time one can be met – for some it never comes. I think your earlier comment matters too “Live first, write later. Post whenever”. Living is something about noticing what is there … and respect. Not for words really.

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  2. Peer pressure seems to be the main cause of getting into the spiral. Maybe one should work, from an early age, at getting the idea across of how stupid and generally inferior anyone who goes the substance route actually is. If only it became ‘cool’ and ‘with it’ or whatever the latest terms are, NOT to try these things.

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    1. That is why I would like to see the science knowledge spreading – if it was known that “system activity is depressed” is what is happening and that the wow/ high experience is not a real fix for the stress of living or growing up, the trying out “things” might be seen as cowardly rather than adventurous? Ha Ha see me ever hopeful

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