There's news today that Amy Winehouse died as a result of drinking an extreme amount of alcohol.
A coroner found that Winehouse had four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system. That meant she downed two forty pounders and a little guy on her final alcoholic binge.
Across the pond, of course, the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray is examining the death of another superstar, Michael Jackson, who died from an overdose of a highly lethal amount of propofol, an anesthetic he used to induce sleep.
Both of these cases show the addict in the extreme.
Amy managed to kick hard drugs only to succumb to alcohol -- her gateway drug. She spent her final year on a roller coaster of sobriety and bingeing which is the most dangerous phase of severe booze addiction.
Jackson needed the propofol to counteract all his other crazy drug and booze taking. Another rollercoaster of end stage addiction.
These were people who had lots of resources, but they couldn't kick their habits. Imagine what's there for the rest of us.
A big nothing. That's for sure.
We can cure many diseases in our society -- transplant hearts, use innovative drug cocktails to take out severe medical conditions -- but as a society, we haven't been able to get a handle on addiction.
One addict described addiction as "baffling".
The case of Winehouse should be a cautionary tale.
Sometimes it's not the heroin at all.
Sometimes, it's the government-approved, society-sanctioned substances that get you in the end.
Who would have thought?