The idea for this article idea came from the recent death of Whitney Houston. And although she’s not a lesbian (even though she was rumored to be in the late 80’s early 90’s) I believe we can learn from her life and ultimately her tragic death.
Many of us know what addiction is, but there are a certain number of us who know how sometimes an addiction can start in a relationship, and spiral out of control. A lot of addicts don’t just start using on their own. There’s always someone else in the room – in the beginning.
I myself am a recovering addict. Alcohol and marijuana were my drugs of choice. I’ve been clean for almost 14 years, but even today I still have my urges. I’m still one bad moment, one bad choice, and one bad day away from relapsing. Whitney told Oprah in 2009 (YouTube Interview) that Bobby was her drug, and she didn’t do drugs without him. This is true for a lot of addicts. They do drugs/alcohol with their significant other. I started using heavily with my girlfriend. No matter what was going on – if we needed to pay rent, groceries, or bills, we always made sure that first and foremost our alcohol and marijuana was purchased before taking care of having a roof over our head or eating.
We loved getting high together, and that made us believe that we were meant to be. But we weren’t. We had nothing in common besides our addictions. It took me getting clean to realize how I sought out people who used like me. I sought them out because I didn’t want to be hounded about how much I was using. I believe that most addicts do this. They want to be around people who will make them feel like it’s okay to use so that no one in their circle will try to force them to quit.
Whitney Houston’s death tore me apart. But as a former addict, I wasn’t shocked. I posted this on my Facebook page the day after Whitney’s death, “As a former addict, when we lose someone to addiction, it really pains me. It pains me because I truly understand the type of pain - physical and mental, that they were in. Whitney's death is bothering me because of that pain. I understand. I understand. You have no idea how much I understand. Rest in peace Whitney. And my prayers for her daughter, her mother, her family, fans and even Bobby.”
Whitney’s death didn’t open our eyes to drug use but it should put a spotlight on the problem as a whole. Not only for the LGBT community, but for everyone. According to the PRIDE Institute, “Studies indicate that, when compared with the mainstream (heterosexual) population, LGBT people are more likely to use drugs, have higher rates of substance abuse, and are more likely to continue drug abuse into later life. Although LGBT people have been shown to use all types of drugs, certain drugs appear to be more popular in the LGBT community than in the mainstream community.”
It goes on to note that “marijuana, stimulants, sedatives, cocaine, and party drugs (ecstasy, ketamine, and GHB)” are drugs of choice for our community. Why are we using so much?
An addict becomes an addict because of some type of pain, whether it is emotional or physical. Sometimes, an addict becomes addicted by accident, but I believe more often than not, an addict becomes an addict by choice. It’s a choice to not deal with the realities of their world. The deep seated emotional, psychological pain, so instead of dealing, they use to cover up to feel a fake form of happiness. But just as quickly as the high subsides, the misery comes back, and it comes back with such a force that you have to use to feel okay. I believe that’s what happened to Whitney. And I also believe that miserable feeling is why she’s not here today.
We need to rally together. Whitney Houston puts a very famous face to drug addiction. She put a face on a very big problem in our community. We all need to take notice, and take action. Because sadly, every day, someone dies from their addiction. Seek help now by clicking on one of the links below.
Until next time,