Open Amy Winehouse Thread

Grief is about all I got, but I know that a lot of people in the world are taking the opportunity of Amy Winehouse’s death to say all kinds of  things about addiction and rehab.

Maia Szalavitz has a thoughtful, introspective piece in her Healthand column, which ends with these thoughts:

Only if an alternative method of reaching that state can be achieved is recovery possible.  For me, that came in learning that my belief in my own unlovability was a delusion and that my pain could be reduced by sharing it. Unfortunately, you can’t forcibly teach this.  Even if Winehouse hadn’t said “no, no, no” to many rehabs, no therapy would be able to reach her if she couldn’t first come to believe that her intolerable pain could end without self-medication.

And that’s why rehabs that use coercive tactics are often so counter-productive and why trying to force abstinence can  backfire. We know that the British system of addiction care offers more access to “harm reduction” programs that don’t require abstinence — but we don’t know whether Winehouse was offered this approach, what the circumstances of her death were and whether anything could have prevented it.

And here’s and excerpt from Stanton Peele’s Winehouse post:

So, was Amy’s dislike for rehab the cause of her death?  Not only an addict, Ms. Winehouse was too stupid or too much in denial, in this view, to recognize rehab or a 12-step group would be her salvation.

Except Ms. Winehouse had been in rehab any number of times.  In fact, she had just gotten out.  According to the BBC: “She had recently finished a course of alcohol rehabilitation in London and at the time was under strict instructions not to drink.”

Which reminds us that overdose deaths are much more likely after individuals leave institutions such as prisons or hospitals. They then return to accustomed levels of consumption of a substance after having lost their tolerance for it.

Hyacinth requested a dedicated thread to discuss the subject and the public response to. So, here you go…


122 Responses to 'Open Amy Winehouse Thread'

  1. raysny says:

    She went to rehab. Found out she had a lifelong disease that she was powerless over and gave up trying.

  2. joedrywall says:

    Unfortunate indeed. I have noticed that the people who quit drinking/drugs long term seem to be the folks who are motivated to do that and who stay motivated to do that. If drugs/booze were the cause of her death it is unfortunate. It is sad however she died being so young.

    On another topic didn’t Betty Ford cash in her chips last week or something?

  3. speedy0314 says:


    my first thought after hearing the Winehouse story was, “Is anybody going to take notice of the irony in her just completing an extended jaunt in a London rehab?” apparently Peele reads NMR, too.

    great voice, fragile heart, tortured soul — a triple-play too often thrown at the gifted ones.

    no, no, no,


  4. AntiDenial says:

    OMG if I think I am going to be sick after hearing Dr.Drew’s take on this and the whole disease concept. He said it is worse than cancer! Good grief. I bet he is thrilled Amy was not in his Celebrity rehab when she died to put another notch in his belt of related deaths as a result of playing God as a know it all 12 stepper King.

    There really needs to be not just addiction therapy-but available quality mental health therapy for everyone. It is typically underlying emotions and problems that people dont deal with.

    Does anyone know why Amy was booed off the stage before she cancelled her concert?

  5. raysny says:

    She was obviously high, stumbling, mumbling at the last show.

  6. humanspirit says:

    I left a comment on the UK Guardian’s thread (I am yixing, posted at 10.30 pm).

    But now I feel a bit shitty, because I don’t want to exploit this girl’s death to make a point of my own, even though what I said was sincere.. She was brought up just a couple of miles from where I live, and somehow that makes me feel worse about the whole thing,

  7. humanspirit says:

    PS. Some stepper responded and described my comment as “hysterical” (among other things). Something I found quite hysterically funny, so maybe he has a point.

  8. Lucy says:

    She was a fragile person who could not handle fame and the problems that went with it. Her case has pointed out to me, again, that there are reasons people don’t want to get sober and they usually involve emotional pain.

    Speaking from personal experience, rehab is a horrible place to be in pain. It’s isn’t hard for me to imagine what it was like for her to come home afterward, and want to escape that pain.

    Rest in peace, child.

  9. Wanting Accountablity says:

    I feel 12 step approaches can create more pain. You think you are defective blah, blah. It is an awful place to be. I could just imagine how trapped she prob felt.

  10. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Humanspirit says
    But now I feel a bit shitty, because I don’t want to exploit this girl’s death to make a point of my own, even though what I said was sincere.. She was brought up just a couple of miles from where I live, and somehow that makes me feel worse about the whole thing,

    I know it feels weird but it is a good time to point out once again that the “conventional” approaches do not work. I love all you said about AA, I am just learning all of it. There are so many layers. Tomorrow I hope to read a little on Bill and the other women. I knew a little, but had no idea they had to actually monitor him. I mean that is really strange. He must have been doing some crazy stuff, just my opinion. And then I hope to tackle what Bill did prior to AA.

  11. Jonny Quest says:

    At least someone on SR is pissed off at the usual. Naturally, they chastised her for it…

  12. Jonny Quest says:

    BTW, for the record, kudos to Stanton Peele on this one.

  13. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I have been following the development of the very sad story of the death of Amy Winehouse on youtube (lower case deliberate) and I am shocked and saddened by the viciousness and evil vituperation on display there in the comments sections. I’ve never seen such hateful and vindictive comments, even there. The usual run -of-the-mill ravings of the NF,BP, English Defence Leaugue and other neo-Nazi groupings really pale into insignificance by comparison with the venom poured on the memory of this troubled and talented young woman. I have never in my life seen such an evil reaction to someone’s death, and, given the suddenness and simultaneity of the comments, I am of the opinion that they are organised and orchestrated. I smell the dark hand of the puppeteer here, although of course I have no way of proving it. We live in evil times and I believe we will soon all be faced with the question of just which side we are on.

  14. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I acted rashly earlier on this site in making some rash disclosures. I apologise unreservedly for any trouble that may have contributed to, but I am not sorry that I said what I did. I had to. That, to my mind, is precisely the need of the vulnerable which aa and its offshoots prey upon. Peace.

  15. AnnaZed says:

    @humanspirit, if you posted as yixing (which context from the stepper response seems that you did); you have been deleted.

  16. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Stanton Peele is spot on when he points out that addicts are at great risk when they relapse after a period of abstinence. In my opinion this is even more the case when such abstinence is, effectively, enforced. Even after a period of enforced abstinence an addict is yet more at risk when she is involved with the music industry and the corruption and criminality which it is steeped in, involved with manipulative people who do not wish her well, and are knowledgeable about how to use narcotics as a means of control, including how to regulate and monitor the relative strength and purity of any given batch of cocaine, heroin etc. In this context, the term “hot shot” comes to mind.

  17. Toby, that would help explain the deaths soon after rehab. Rehab is dangerous. I am just amazed how this tragedy proves how important (12 Step; most people in Britain have only heard of the Priory) is. India Knight, in yesterday’s times said: ‘I know enough about AA to know that (whoever) has to hit rock bottom’. Where does she get this from?

    The responses to this tragedy depressed me and show what a mountain the exposeaa movement has to climb. It even made me doubt what we are doing. Are we just conspiracy theorist? Not on the evidence of my own eyes. The demographics in an AA meeting demonstrate that only a very few make it to oldtimer status. It not only doesn’t work, it kills. That idiot Sarah Graham was on BBC TV and Radio last night. Is no one at the BBC even aware that there is any controversy around this stuff?

  18. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    It’s also interesting that her death coincided closely with a very big terrorist atrocity and I find it really odd that people are blocked from posting anything about her on youtube. I wonder just how soon the really big clampdown on free speech will come. Thank God for Caxton.Thank God for the biro. It might be all we’re left with soon.

  19. Mona Lisa says:

    Dr. Drew’s blathering about this disgusts me! He would have been more than happy to expoit Amy Winehouse for his own evil purposes. Have you guys read what Steven Tyler has to say about Dr. Drew?

    And another report of Dr. Drew asking vulnerable addicts to use drugs for the camera, all to increase ratings:

    “Despite his own battle with drugs and alcohol, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is no fan of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab or the show’s host, Dr. Drew Pinsky. In his new book, “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?,” Tyler trashes the popular reality TV show and the doctor charged with treating celebrities with hardcore addictions.

    “It didn’t seem to me all that ethical using actual f—ed-up people like Steven Adler in a reality show, but who am I to say,” Tyler writes in the book, released yesterday (May 3). “Not to mention getting trashed celebrities to mime their own self-destructive nosedives which they then sensationalize on a melo-f—-ing-dramatic reality show, which so traumatizes them they end up in worse shape than ever.”

    Steven alleges that Celebrity Rehab producers asked Steven Adler, the former drummer for Guns ‘N Roses, to fake outlandish behavior for the benefit of the cameras. Tyler also takes issues with the money celeb cast members receive for the show, arguing most, if not all of it, goes straight to drugs.

    “They wanted him (Steven Adler) to act out his own messed-up state when he entered rehab. It was ghoulish and unreal. They gave him 30 grand for the episode, he snorted it all, crashed his car, and he ended up in jail detox,” Tyler writes.

    A spokesperson for Dr. Drew Pinsky declined to comment.”

  20. Rick says:

    One of the things that became intolerable for me to watch in AA was the way that people who were obviously suffering from deep emotional pain were treated. I admit I did not follow her career closely, but Amy Winehouse reminds me of those very fragile people. I see nothing about her that indicates that she would have benefited from embracing any of the nasty stereotypes created by Bill Wilson. She certainly didn’t seem like an egomaniac that insisted on “playing god”. I like to think that perhaps the treatment she received was more compassionate than what I witnessed in the rooms, but I automatically doubt that as soon as I learn that the twelve-steps were involved.

  21. Tallmike says:

    The idea that a person has to hit rock bottom is just one of the many myths perpetuated by AA and AA supporters. Realistically… would you wait until your roof is totally falling in due to water leakage and the rot induced or can you take action as soon as you notice your roof leaking? No one need hit rock bottom to be able to identify a need for a behavioral change and it’s disgusting that AA pushes this concept.

    It’s also saddening that so much of the AA myth is still seeming to hold sway with folk’s conceptions about Amy Winehouse. She was in Great Britain where the idea of harm reduction might hold more credence than here in the USA where harm reduction gets dismissed.

    In response to surviving straight: Old paradigms die a struggling death and you are witnessing this happening with the treatment of people who abuse alcohol. Conventional wisdom might be conventional but not all that wise. However, the Dr Drew types have latched onto it. Most of the addictions treatment industry holds it firmly within their grasp. I wouldn’t give up hope however. It’s a form of reeducating people, getting the word out that AA and all iterations of 12 stepping are not a truly valid form of treatment. The folks who use the double bind to perpetuate AA have to be confronted, that double bind being that AA can never lose. Some, that 3-5%, have gotten sober and have associated it with doing the program and anyone who has not obviously has failed to work the program. This is one of the most disgusting myths of them all.

  22. Disclosure says:

    You mean to tell me that because the AA program teaches it is your only hope while giving you the options of jails, institutions, and DEATH it may be dangerous? My core belief system has nothing to do with manifest destiny or the potential that I may change my behavior in a dangerous way. This notion that my drinking is a self inflicted problem that I can just stop is rediculous. Dr. Drew told me I have a disease and so did all the people at AA. I NEED A MEETING. Arggg…

  23. Disclosure says:

    The thing about AA is that so many people die there that you get used to it. It’s sort of like watching gruesome images on TV, after a while it looks normal.

    4 dead friends in AA and counting…

    Steve O- The nicest kindest most helpful person you could imagine.
    Terry S- Extremely funny and well liked.
    Richard S- So good looking he could pick up fantastic girls from the gutter.
    Jan B- A profoundly creative person who touched the lives of many.
    These are my anonymous deaths in AA. There are many more people who I did not personally know but heard about at the meetings.

    Anonymity- The spiritual foundation of our tradition, not the physical one…

  24. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I think the estimate of the rate of alcohol and other drug addiction amongst manic depressives. Estimates vary a bit on how high the suicide risk is for manic-depressives, but it seems to be generally agreed that about one in five actually kill themselves. I have had to educate myself on this since my own diagnosis. On average, it takes about ten years for a manic depressive to finally get an accurate diagnosis. That’s if they are fortunate enough to live that long.

  25. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Sorry, the first sentence was meant to end with tghe words “is about right”.

  26. jeffeff says:

    One of the recovery-ists affiliated with this place was on the Today Show this morning, upon the occasion of the demise of Ms. Winehouse, to scream about how “TREATMENT WORKS”. At no time was the nature of such described. I immediately thought about the legions of parents like mine — hardcore Today Show- and network news-aficionados — who would seize upon this woman’s pitch and subsequently cling to this idea of there being a mysterious “fix” for their drunk and/or druggie kids.

    To be fair, though, I checked out the website and jeez — if my “treatment” had been at that place I’d have never wanted to leave.

  27. SoberPJ says:

    Form their website ” The Lodge offers the ultimate in privacy for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction in a luxurious mountain retreat. Stunning views from each room help residents connect with their higher power.”

    Uh huh. “Treatment” can work if it is tailored to the unique needs of the individual. Three things are necessary –

    1. Recognition of a problem by the individual with the problem
    2. A strong desire to fix the problem through behavior change
    3. Real tools to help begin and maintain a change in behavior

    A nice location supposedly conducive to assist with one’s connection to a higher power is not necessary. However, it makes for great marketing to sell snake oil solutions to those with money. Keep comin back.

  28. Rick says:

    Wow, they even provide a helicopter ride for that vital spiritual experience.

    “One element of experiential therapy is a state-of-the-art EC130 Eurocopter, one of the finest helicopters available. Residents are flown to the far reaches of the Wasatch mountain range, bringing about the vital spiritual experience needed to overcome their drug or alcohol addiction. This is an opportunity found in no other drug treatment facility…”

  29. jeffeff says:

    I received one of my 30-day doses of “treatment” at a run-down old house literally two blocks from the bar I used to stagger out of every night. Had I been anywhere near the kind of means which gain access to these shangri-las they show on TV (I can’t imagine the room rates for the Cirque being under six figures) during the worst of my disaster . . . well, words fail me.

  30. humanspirit says:

    • July 24, 2011, 8:55 pm
    • AnnaZed says:

    @humanspirit, if you posted as yixing (which context from the stepper response seems that you did); you have been deleted.

    Wow Anna, you’re right. I had no idea (different time zone from you guys and I’ve only just got back from work). This is a first for me on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site, even though I’ve been registered there and have been commenting practically since its inception, way before I was ever interested in this issue. I don’t know what it was that prompted this. Could it have been my saying that I thought the 12-step rehab industry is a fraud? Or my saying that any doctor who refers people to AA without telling them what the 12-step programme is actually about, and without offering them some proper medical care and counseling first. should be struck off? Don’t know.

    Appreciated your comment on there, AllyB. It might seem that no-one is taking much notice (except for those that want to argue with you) but I think in these cases there are people interested in this issue, who are reading but not commenting, who might well be taking notice of posts like yours.

  31. Rick says:

    “At no time was the nature of such described…”

    I think I saw the same interview, if it was the one that also featured the commentary of Pat Obrien (who probably could afford this place). I’ve noticed that none of the step-vultures taking advantage of this promotional opportunity ever actually talk about the program itself. They just keep repeating the mantra that “recovery is possible”.

  32. DeConstructor says:

    I cannot think of words to explain how horrific the exploitation of this vulnerable persons death to promote and profit the 12 step industry.

    I think the only thing that may be close would be Nazis pulling gold teeth out of dead Jews.

  33. Sally says:


    I too had looked for your comment but couldn’t find it. I personally like what you said and would have bolded it with a bigger font.

    Tsk tsk guess you can’t post an opinion unless it’s public opinion.

  34. HS, me too. I guess our comments were reported.

  35. mcgowdog says:

    Humanspirit; “But now I feel a bit shitty, because I don’t want to exploit this girl’s death to make a point of my own, even though what I said was sincere..”

    If you’re saying that it would be in bad taste to use her death as a means to bash the recovery programs that failed her would be in bad taste, I agree. Thank you for not doing that.

    Now, I believe that alcoholics and addicts suffer from a mental illness of sorts. I also believe that other disorders, such as Manic Depression are mental illnesses as well.

    Perhaps some that suffer addiciton and or alcoholism are suffering another such illness that 12 Step is not well equiped to deal with.

    The book talks about this on page xxviii; “There is the manic-depressive type, who is, perhaps, the least understood by his friends, and about whom a whole chapter could be written.”

    For the A.A. program, that chapter was never written.

  36. Sally says:

    Part of me is glad that the chapter was never written because depressive types might be sitting on our heads, swallowing nickles trying to get better.

    On the other hand, if it was maybe the world would have clearly seen how batshit crazy Bill W. was from the start, and dismissed his lunacy a long time ago.

  37. Sue says:

    mcgowdog, I think that allot of addicts have suffered abusive childhoods, disfunctional family environments, and emotional traumas throughout there lives. Do you consider that a mental illness. For me personally, the 12 steps seemed useless and a waste of my time. Of course, then I never gave it a chance.

  38. Wanting Accountablity says:

    DeConstructor says
    I cannot think of words to explain how horrific the exploitation of this vulnerable persons death to promote and profit the 12 step industry.

    I think the only thing that may be close would be Nazis pulling gold teeth out of dead Jews.

    Great way of putting it.

  39. mfc66 says:

    It is a great shaw that Amy has died and that she did not manage to change her ways. I agree that the type of rehab she was attending would not have suited her and done much good. The Priory is more like a hotel than a serious rehab and the inmates are often taken out to gentle AA meetings in Fulham etc.
    I met Amy many times in the early part of her career and she was great fun to be around. She used to turn up at the Jazz cafe with a couple of little girlfriends and was a pleasure to be around although she could be a bit lippy. The last time I spoke to her was just before the second album came out in a small venue in brighton where she was getting ready for a big tour. By this time she had met her future husband and had changed in a truly shocking way. it was obvious she was in trouble and things got worse.

    I believe the environment she lived in has to take a lot of the blame and those who have let Camden deterioate in to a center for drug taking over the years. I used to live in a house a couple of doors away from where she was found in camden square and i know what the pubs and clubs are like. it is possible to buy crack pipes etc in the high street and drugs are openly for sale on street corners about a mile from where she lived. there are also many late night drinking clubs. it attracts those that want an alternative lifestyle and the police and council seem to turn a blind eye. I felt is was great at the time but at the same time realised that i needed to move away. the press was always hounding her and any attempt at privacy when she was struggling was denied her.

    I doubt whether Amy would have been attracted to AA in any way, especially the celeb type meetings in central london and there is not a decent well funded professionally run alternative at the moment. i sadly believe she did not want recovery and the places that allow and promote drug taking and serious drinking have to take their share of the blame for what happened to her and many other less famous victims of addiction.

    the culture of the uk needs to be changed dramatically before any form of treatment is going to be successful for those that need it. AA is suitable for a few but so many leave after hearing the crazy shares about miracles and God never to return and seek an alternative way. A few recover and many leave and live more normal lives but there is so little good advice available for theses who are struggling in the early days. i hope her somewhat inevitable death will promote some rational discussion in the UK but I suspect it will be overrun by sensationalism and revelations in the gutter press once the celebs have shed their public tear.

  40. mfc66 says:

    meant shame not shaw!

  41. Wanting Accountablity says:

    So I am confused. The tx center she went to was 12 step based, right? Imo, even if it luxurious, if it is still faith healing at its core, for some you will just become worse. But I know there are many aspects to addiction. However, first we (as a ppl) need to quit practicing and recommending a tx that has a 5% success rate, (if even that.) Until that happens some will die that may have been helped.

    I wonder it seems there is a certain type that AA is just like poison. I think the more sensitive you are the more self-defeating AA is. At least that was what I saw, the ppl that have been successful in AA usually are emotionally shut down. Then AA teaches you to be emotionally shut down. Some of us CANNOT live that way.

  42. Sue says:

    WA Interesting, I think I agree. If your sensitive and you go there on a regular basis you live in a constant state of confusion and frustration followed many times by depression. At least that was the case with me.

  43. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Remember anger/resentment is the luxury of normal men? How sick, it is a feeling and it is normal. In AA unless you are in a state of serenity (btw I don’t remember my sponsors being TRULY serene) you aren’t working the program. I know for me the best way of functioning is to feel, not let it rule me but it is ok to feel many emotions. Feelings aren’t the enemy, numbing and shutting them down is, for me at least.
    i love dbt. It teaches about wise mind. That is healthy. AA teaches about detachment, and shaming, blaming crap. Ewww, just the thought of it.

  44. humanspirit says:


    Interesting info, I too know one particular sleb (my best mate at school’s little brother, who was a huge teeny-bop idol in the 80s/90s) who ended up in the Priory. His problem wasn’t drugs or booze, though, but serious depression. Fortunately the tabloids never caught onto it, which would have been so distressing for the whole family. He’s doing fine now, but I wonder if the whole Priory experience was ever worth it.

    Thanks for your memories of Amy Winehouse too. Can anyone really imagine that a person like her could ever have become a stepper or that such “treatment” could ever have been appropriate?

    Also seems like the culture of downtown Camden is very different from the home life of our own dear London N8 ; ) . Or maybe I’m just getting old and don’t notice these things any more.

    I still feel very sad about Amy Winehouse. A huge talent, and a great loss to music. Which obviously pales into insignificance alongside the human tragedy involved.

  45. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    A manic depressive is not a type of alcoholic. I know that because I eventually found out that I am one. It was a steep learning curve. I didn’t find aa helpful in climbing that learning curve.

  46. causeandeffect says:

    Just a few days ago, I really didn’t know anything about Amy Winehouse, had only heard the name. I’d heard “Rehab”, catchy tune, didn’t know the artist. I hardly ever keep up with music anymore. It seems talent simply isn’t necessary to make it big anymore, most music is severely lacking. Still this young girl’s death has been troubling me more than usual. So I watched her on youtube and couldn’t believe her talent. Beautiful voice, soulful, haunting, classic. Hair and makeup bigger than she was. Dynamite comes in small packages, i guess. I saw an interview of her when she was younger, pretty, glowing, seemed to have a pretty good head on her shoulders. Also saw a lot of what drugs and alcohol had done to her. It really strikes me that a power house like her could never do well with the powerlessness, that telling her that would only do more harm than good. I really wish she could have gotten it together, she will be terribly missed. Why is it that so many exceptionally talented artists die so young? I just hope she will be at peace now, and not so tortured.

  47. AnnaZed says:

    The thing that I am not seeing (even from the so called doctors and experts) in the hue and cry over the death of Amy Winehouse is the central fact of her extreme body dysmorphia, anorexia, and bulimia. As she grew more and more famous she got more and more dangerously emaciated. It would be excusable maybe for laymen to mistake this for a drug abuse side-effect but I think that in her case it has been so extensively documented to have been from her perspective a desirable and necessary end in itself that the silence on this aspect of her severe problems is shocking.

    By 2007 and the soaring apex of her popularity her own response to her disappearing body was (a.) delight and (b.) a boob job. Enter Kart Langerfeld and his necrophilic nonsense calling her his muse in 2007 she has the stick legs of a child in her favorite child-like no-heeled ballet shoes and the pneumatic breasts of a porn actress. Millions of teenaged girls found her gorgeous beyond measure and sought to reproduce her look. This is, of course, physically impossible for any but the very very few who are both genetically predisposed to being very, very thin and who are also cosmetically enhanced. This includes Amy herself who could only maintain the fashionable emaciation that she considered beautiful (and the world was telling her was beautiful) by ingesting massive amounts of drugs. Look at these side-by-side pictures of a drug abusing and a briefly sober Amy. I can tell you that when I was 27 years old and weighed about 110 pounds (and considered myself too fat) I would have rejected any lifestyle change that involved gaining even an ounce, and I was not in the public eye and constantly photographed like Amy Winehouse was. I would have (literally) rather have died. Heroin has long been known to be a very effective drug for keeping young women thin and the ranks of fashion professionals who abuse that drug are legion. This phenomenon has nothing to do with Bill Wilson’s portrait of the angry alcoholic who thinks that they are God. Body dysmorphia has it’s origin in sexual and cultural problems faced by young women. Thousands upon thousands of young women pursue this to a greater or lesser degree every day. Most don’t have the vast wealth that Amy Winehouse’s success dumped into her lap to bring the hangers-on into her life and keep the money and drugs flowing. Many die anyway. I think that Ms. Winehouse deserved treatment for her anorexia and bulimia and I’ll wager that she didn’t get it.

  48. Sally says:

    Scientific American Magazine

    Does Rehab Work as a Treatment for Alcoholism and Other Addictions?
    By Katherine Harmon | July 25, 2011

  49. Here’s a comment from Pax Prentiss, another jackass with an overnight Ph.D. in reading Amy Winehouse’s mind (thank you for the link, J!):

    The co-founder of Passages Malibu treatment center thinks that Amy Winehouse’s membership in the 27 Club may have been by design, not just an eerie coincidence.

    Since the 27-year old British singer’s body was found on Saturday, much has been made of the fact that she was the same age as Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix when she died. It’s a group that’s been dubbed the 27 Club or the Forever 27 Club.

    “I think Amy Winehouse may have secretly wanted to be part of the 27 Club,” Pax Prentiss, the co-founder of the California rehabilitation center, told TheWrap. “Amy was on a dark path and she may have glamorized the idea of being part of that group.”

  50. We know exactly what Amy thought about rehab. Her father has been trying to get her to go for years. I think she went for a look, sensibly decided it wasn’t for her. See the ‘ten weeks’ line. I think she thought it would stifle her creativity. I am not speaking for her, just reading her lyrics:

    They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
    Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know
    I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
    He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go

    I’d rather be at home with Ray
    I ain’t got seventy days
    ‘Cause there’s nothing, there’s nothing you can teach me
    That I can’t learn from Mr. Hathaway

    Didn’t get a lot in class
    But I know it don’t come in a shot glass

    They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
    Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know know know
    I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
    He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go

    The man said, “Why do you think you here?”
    I said, “I got no idea
    I’m gonna, I’m gonna lose my baby
    So I always keep a bottle near”

    He said, “I just think you’re depressed”
    This me, “Yeah baby, and the rest”
    They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
    Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know

    I don’t ever wanna drink again
    I just, ooh, I just need a friend
    I’m not gonna spend ten weeks
    Have everyone think I’m on the mend

    And it’s not just my pride
    It’s just ’til these tears have dried

    They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no”
    Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know
    I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
    He’s tried to make me go to rehab, I won’t go, go, go

  51. Anna, agree about her weight. She was minute. She also smoked very heavily. And has been hounded by the tabloids for years. And been the butt of cheap jokes.

  52. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I don’t think that woman has any business speculating about what Ms Winehouse “secretly wanted”. She certainly gives no indication that she actually said anything at all about the matter. The coincidence of so many rock stars dying at 27 is indeed striking. There are to my knowledge others who could be added to the list.
    Rather than expecting to find an explanation for these young people’s deaths in terms of a morbid fixation on their own part on dying ar this particular age, in my opinion it would be more fruitful to look for a motive on the part of malicious people in the music industry and elsewhere to deliberately engineer the deaths of greatly gifted, charismatic and prominent young people. There are certainly corrupt, dishonest and sometimes downright sociopathic people involved in that industry. This is common knowledge. It is also becoming increasingly well known that some of them have for a long time become very seriously involved in occultism. Ms Winehouse is “worth” considerably more dead than alive, as we shall probably shortly see when her sales break all previous records.
    To practising occultists the number 27 is of great significance, symbolising, amongst other things, spiritual perfection. To the twisted minds and spirits of some this is the perfect number for a sacrificial victim to attract yet more wealth and power.

  53. Wanting Accountablity says:

    I have been watching vids of her on YT. She was so freakin’ sweet. The paparazzi would harass her and she would make them tea, buy them burgers, just be kind. Such a sweetheart.

  54. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Before they die they are all comprehensively trashed and pilloried as bad role models for the young. This is easy to do if you have control of the supply of inducements like sex and drugs.

  55. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    So, in short, I regard the members of the “27 club” as victims sacrificed on the altar of Mammon.

  56. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Mr. T
    The press paints a certain picture. Doesn’t mean it is accurate.

  57. Wanting Accountablity says:

    This is on a yt vid. I don’t know how to include links. It is by alexetchart on YT. It is a memorial, and beautifully done. This info kind of tripped me out. What do you guys think? Greed has a lot of power is this possible?

    Some of these locals were asking questions and discussing possible alternative causes and reasons for the timing of her death. I think it is not too soon to put these questions out there, especially since Amy was undoubtedly a victim of the music and press industries during her career. Please comment your views whether you agree or disagree with the ideas shared here, respectfully.

    Natasha Downs, a local who had known Amy asked about the timing of her death. She noted that Amy had finished recording her third album only a couple of weeks before and it thought that she was not capable of performing the songs live in her recent physical and emotional state, after some recent performances dissapointing fans and being booed of stage in Serbia.

    Natasha asked if this meant that the record labels would benefit more from making her a martyr in the 27 club (amongst famous dead such as Kurt Cobain, Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, Bryan Jones to name a few) so they could make sales on post-humous “Gold” album collections now, rather than wait a few more years and risk her fanbase and image dwindling due to repeat unsatisfactory performances and possibly uninspired albums resulting from the pressure of recording contracts.

    Natasha’s sister, Brigit went further to speculate that, having known Amy a little, it was very unlikely that she would take drugs whilst alone since she was a social user, and that it was suspicious that she was meant to have been alone when she overdosed. She added that it reminded her of Michael Jackson’s death before his tour and that maybe the companies didn’t want to make a loss on ticket sales if she was unable to perform any shows that had been organised.

    Most importantly people were enjoying some Carling Special Brew or cheap Tesco’s wine and fags at the scene, with mobile phones blasting out Amy’s lyrics and others singing over guitar telling the cops to shut up about it being a residential area, today we’re gonna sing as loudly as we want so go back to hiding behind your “police line do not cross”. It seems that beautifully, tragically and inevitably, Amy’s spirit lives on!

    About the video: the two songs overlapping and the bright lighting making some writing illegible was a mistake only iMovie can make – note to self, boycott that useless software in future. The shaky camera is my own doing, need to quit smoking! Anyway, the chances are some major label won’t like what I’ve written here and disable the audio on copyright grounds so why not listen to your favourite Amy songs while you’re taking the time to watch

  58. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    You right click the bar with the web address then left click copy then you come back here right click then left click paste. I think that’s right anyway.

  59. AnnaZed says:

    @Mr. Tobytwirl et all ~ I hate to bust anybodies conspiracy theory bubble, but I worked in the music business for decades as an executive and a producer, and I know many of the people involved in this situation. I hate to be a spoil-sport, but there exists no monolithic entity composed of money grubbing psychopaths like the one that public imagination has created and the teenagers in this video imagine and you (are you an adult?) are speculating about.

    In the year before her death Amy Winehouse was recording with the legendary Tony Bennet and worked with the super nova producer and artist of her dreams Quincy Jones. The many people involved in the selling and promotion of her music had absolutely no motivation to wish her harm. All I can say is that it is extremely difficult to even attempt to control the behavior of a wealthy artist with substance abuse problems. Amy was a free person and constantly surrounded herself by drug using hangers-on (what English music business people call “liggers”) and various leeches. She was not in fact alone that night given that she was seen in the company of Big Brother participant Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace drinking and getting high. Can you imagine a more useless sack of skin than that “reality star”? She did go home alone and go to bed when she should have gone to a hospital, something that might not have happened if her husband was still with her ~ though it might have given that he is a drug abuser too.

    Rich entitled people do pretty much whatever they want to do. If your conspiracy existed, the list of conveniently offed artists would be so long that the fabled “good career move” of dying young would probably lose it sting from being deployed so often. You just don’t know what you are talking about.

  60. Lucy says:

    AnnaZed _ With respect to your insight into how the media ignored her obvious problems with how she saw her body, I believe that journalism today has more to do with thinly veiled plagiarism than actual reporting. I think most journalists restate the same stories all the other newspapers and television stations report, sometimes with very little change in language or context. I think the reason has to do with the cost of using traditional “stringers” and the indebtedness of the individual media companies to management and shareholder

    The John Edwards love triangle story was broken by the National Enquirer and TMZ was first at the death of Micheal Jackson. When an NYT columnist mentioned that both of these media had incredible investigative reporters, he was laughed at by his colleagues.

    This is an era of psuedo-celebrities and psuedo-news. Dr. Drew and the many AA members in the entertainment business saw her death as from addiction, and that became the reason she died in the headlines (way before an autopsy was done).

    Only the Washington Post noted that she had been a manic-depressive, and only you seemed to have looked at her body. Everyone else was going along with the crown lamenting another death of an addict.

  61. AllyB says:

    +1 AnnaZed. There is no conspiracy here. In fact her cause of death has yet to be established, nobody is officially stating she OD’d. For all we know she may have died from a heart attack, an aneurysm, she may have choked on food, she could have fallen over and hit her head, she could have vomited while lying on her back and suffocated, she could have taken numerous sleeping pills as a planned suicide, we haven’t a clue.

  62. Lucy says:

    Mr. TobyTwirl- My husband is bipolar. His psychiatrist believes that as much as half of the members of AA are undiagnosed bipolars. She believes, and I totally concur, that they self-medicate the mania with alcohol, and end up in AA because of the dominance of the AA model for addiction. She also believes that they are not addicted, and that what they need is medication.

    After decades of being in AA, I would totally concur with her. I would also say that the mistreatment of the mentally ill and stigma of mental illness in AA are the two reasons why I believe it is one of the most harmful groups in the world. I don’t think, I KNOW, it kills people by discouraging medication and outside help. I am glad you are out.

  63. Loads more guff in today’s Times with extensive authorative quotes from Chip Somers (who Russell Brand credits for saving him) and the ‘addictions expert’, Sarah Graham.

  64. flannigan says:

    Your husband’s shrink is very perceptive about the high % of mentail illness in AA, including, by not limited to, bi-polar. Amd people will always self-medicate to “feel well”. Even people without mental illness. AA, due to its structure and dogma, can be very harmful for people who are sick and vulnerable to the indoctrination of the religious cult. Faith-healing is not an appropriate or effective method of healing any disorder. I wish the medical community would stand up and take responsibility for treatment of mental illness as well as addiction. Good luck to you and your husband.

  65. Sally says:

    I emphatically agree. I’ve had problems with depression for many years, sometimes more severe than others. I’ve known for some time that this is why I abused substances and it is also why I was miserable when abstinant – not “dry drunk” and in need of negative meetings, steps, and exploring my spirituality. I never had to find myself spiritually until AA made it a problem for me. And, of course, my depression got worse from AA. This is just one example of my many grudges against AA 12 step crapola. They lump and label everyone as in the same diseased group, disregarding the indivual claims and individual experiences adding “denial” to their problem…So glad to be on the right path.

  66. Wanting Accountablity says:

    I don’t think it was planned, however what I don’t understand and Anna maybe you can answer this, is I have struggled with being self-destructive and out of control. My family with their limited resources became involved. They did all they could, whether that was talking to tx centers, calling therapists etc. I found a great therapist that way. We all know I hate AA. What I don’t get is how the music industry just let her self-destruct. She had the money to not need to rely on anybody, but you would think somebody would have gotten through to her. It seems as though perhaps the music industry got what they wanted out of her and moved on. The music industry is a corporation. We know what corps are capable of.

  67. I think that her family and record company tried many times to get her to go to the Priory. They thought that rehab would help. Rehab only seems to help a very small % of people. And I think that once you have become a national butt of jokes and target of the paparazzi, it gets out of control?

  68. Sue says:

    Sally, I think the we categorizing was one of the things that pissed me off the most. Everyone has the same disease and defective personality. Just one more thing to keep you in a constant state of confusion. Someone I know that has been sober for years, goes to meetings excessively (knows I use to go) was describing a situation at a meeting recently;
    an old timer went into a rage and disrupted the entire meeting. This person said to me; “just like an alcoholic; always angry, never satisfied, always wants more, you know how we are”. Is that sad or what. Is it any wonder a sane person get’s depressed when surrounded by such insanity.

  69. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Watch-Yeah I understand, but she didn’t want rehab. Hell she even sang/wrote a song about it. I didn’t want rehab yet again, (considering what I went through at the hands of it) therefore my family looked elsewhere and I got my life under control. Rehab can be more damaging, you know? I don’t know, I have never had that kind of money, maybe the hanger ons and her youth were just the recipe for what happened. And thinking she was powerless prob played a part in it as well.

  70. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Sue, right?! I mean to say every person that has abused or is addicted is the same I mean that in itself is so invalidating. And then if you say, hey I don’t think that applies to me you are in denial. Crazy, isn’t it?

  71. FKABB says:

    “just like an alcoholic; always angry, never satisfied, always wants more, you know how we are”
    More nonsense spouted in keeping with Bill’s description of the alcoholic (him in reality). Speakers (circuit) seemed to favor this tactic, and usually got a good laugh as people would roar and vigorously nodding their heads. The words “you know how us alcoholics are” is such a sham. But what can one expect from the many Bobbleheads that foul the rooms?

  72. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Yep, just Bills projection. And now it is considered treatment. My family even to this day will say, well don’t they say take what you want and leave the rest? Their like, yeah some of that is ridiculous (bb, mtgs, slogans) , but take what you want and leave the rest. Little do they know in AA that is not working the program. There are how many musts in the BB? From what I experienced if you say, hey that is crazy or illogical, you are shunned and in denial. Some even say, go drink more.

  73. Sue says:

    WA – So we did take what we wanted and left the rest.

    By the way, “What did we get???”

  74. Wanting Accountablity says:

    Sue-I know, I know. Dammit, I am getting obsessed about this AA crap again. I just want it exposed so badly. Ppl are dying and take it from me some can be very hurt at the hands of so called tx. Tx centers, the shit that can go down at those places is scary. They are usually ran (the staff, not the owners) by AA/NA members. That is scary.

  75. Sue says:

    WA We both know that “take what you want and leave the rest is LIE.” People that have not been in our shoes dont understand that you will be pressured to accept all of the program.

    Every time I hear about a famous person going in and out of rehab or tragically dieing, the first thing that always comes to my mind (since being in AA) is: they probably could not tolerate the foolishness of the AA 12 step BS. In Many ways I think its much more difficult for them. “A fate worse than death”. If I am repeating something already said, I apologize.
    I wish more would express their opinion like Charlie Sheen. If anyone else has, I have not heard about it. Can’t say anything derogatory about AA.

  76. Jonny Quest says:

    Looks like Russel Brand was a koolaid-drinking 12-Stepper. Too many slogans to count here.

    “For Amy”

  77. christopher says:

    I am a little confused about Russell Brand’s recent posture. His live stand-up comedy a few years ago contained some cutting edge observations about his own addiction – nothing “Steppy” about it. But I guess still being a media darling after two horrible movies has empowered him into turning into a caricature of himself. I smell dollar signs beneath the posturing.

  78. Wanting Accountablity says:

    I have been listening to her music more. She really was a gifted artist. I won’t even give Russell Brand the satisfaction of anything. I can’t believe that in our society he is considered talented. He is a such an 12-step cliche it is sad. I wouldn’t want to be him.

  79. causeandeffect says:

    Jeez, Brand makes a perfect “friend of Bill’s.” His every word is oozing superiority and arrogance. Right down to his projection of himself in the words “impotent charisma,” something I recognized in him the first time I saw him but didn’t have the words at the time to express. I couldn’t read past that comment, it’s so sickening. No wonder the steppers are loving him.

  80. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I take your point, but I would point out that only a short time ago similar responses to yours would have been elicited from the majority of the innocent and well intentioned Catholic congregation and clergy by accusations of organised institutional predation within the Catholic church.

  81. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I know the analogy isn’t an exact fit, but then it wouldn’t be an analogy if it were. As for conspiracy theories and bubbles, I’m personally not bothered at all by the sly ad hominem “conspiracy theorist”. If people want to add me to the growing list of enquiring minds who are used to being calumnied in this way, so be it. I’d consider myself honoured to be in such company.
    Personally, I’m more concerned about the possibility of being accused of being a conspirator than I am about being called a conspiracy theorist because the stakes are a good bit higher than being laughed at in the latter, as opposed to the former, case.
    But it doesn’t keep me awake at nights. I’ve developed techniques to lower my awareness to a more comfortable level without recourse to antipsychotic medication or lithium, with their associated cognitive blunting and serious long-term adverse health consequences.
    You can overdose on more awareness of reality than you can handle at any given time. At least, that’s been my experience.
    Which is why I’m off to the pub now for a pint and to watch cricket on TV. Then I’m off to Batty’s Garden Centre to see if they’ve got any runner beans. You can’t be to careful. They’re tampering with our vegetables……no, they really are. And the fish . More on that later.

  82. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I rarely blow bubbles these days. I’m getting a bit old for it frankly. But I may get a bubble-blowing kit from the poundsavers store just for old time’s sake. It might amuse me next time I get given a medicinal cigarette.

  83. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Yes I am an adult. Your point being?

  84. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Since you don’t know me, you obviously cant know that I don’t kow what I,m talking about.

  85. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Know, not kow. Genuine slip. I leave you to judge whether it’s freudian or not.

  86. christopher says:


    A perfect description of the brain-dead nodding in agreement seen at meetings…

    …and don’t forget that AA smirk.

    • MA says:


      A perfect description of the brain-dead nodding in agreement seen at meetings…

      …and don’t forget that AA smirk.

      Christopher –

      We have a term “Dr Bobblehead” in the Addictionary.

  87. JCounselorM says:

    Interesting piece up on The Fix. Amy’s family is suggesting that acute withdrawal symptoms may have contributed to her death, and that a contributing factor MAY HAVE been a push toward abstinence before she was through acute withdrawal, without medical attention.

  88. humanspirit says:

    JCM – Yes, this story was in a couple of the British tabloids today, with the usual ignorant twisted tabloid take on it (“Amy Died by Quitting Booze!” etc.).

    If it’s true – poor girl. I’ve witnessed someone going through acute withdrawal – DTs, fits, etc. – and was too ignorant at the time to know how dangerous it could be. The tragic irony is that this happens when a person is trying desperately hard to do the right thing for himself/herself, and it must take a massive amount of will power and determination not to drink when your whole body is screaming out for some alcohol to relieve the symptoms.

  89. AnnaZed says:

    I’m confused, how did Tobytwirl’s twitter account get linked to the Stinkin Thinkin comments feed?

  90. Mona Lisa says:

    Is it just me, or does Russell Brand look a little like Charles Manson? I get the shivers every time I see a picture of him.

  91. causeandeffect says:

    OH MY DOOR KNOB Mona Lisa! Maybe that’s what creeps me out about him. Or it could just be the arrogance……

  92. AllyB says:

    From an article quoting someone repeating Amy’s father’s opinion; “He said doctors had told Amy to gradually reduce her intake of alcohol and to avoid binging at all costs. Amy told him she couldn’t do that.”

    “It was all or nothing and she gave up completely,” says the source.”

    I have to say I think it is infuriatingly stupid when doctors tell someone who has come to them asking for help with an active addiction to wean themselves off. Slowly weaning yourself off a substance you have developed a physical dependency of is going to be close to impossible.

    There are a number of medications which will help someone withdraw safely, chiefly chlordiazepoxide (librium), or also quite commonly diazepam (valium) and, less commonly but growing in popularity, baclofen. Yet ime, especially NHS doctors, seem to just tell their patient to go away and wean themselves off.

    We had a rotten experience of being in Ireland for a long weekend when my husband stopped drinking and went into a terrifying withdrawal. We got him to a clinic who did some basic tests and prescribed him 2 days worth of chlordiazepoxide. Under normal circumstances they would have asked to see him for 20 minutes daily and give him a prescription for the next 24 hours based on their tests. But as we were returning to the UK the following day they gave him 2 days worth and told him to straight the our GP once we arrived in London. Our GP there was beyond nasty, she refused to prescribe any more librium and instead applied for him to access a programme which would take him 9 months to get on and told him to wean himself down on neat vodka or else he’d possibly die. She also called him a liar for saying a doctor had given him librium and advising him to continue that treatment as it was against their policy. I nearly lost it with her at that point and very sarcastically asked her why she thought her employer’s policy would be followed in another country run by a completely different health service. The whole experience nearly undid my husband. Having to continue drinking in order to wean himself down did not work.

  93. causeandeffect says:

    Oh MA, that reminds me I have one

    Alfientitis=the gigantic impenetrable head an AA member gets from becoming a Certified Drug Counselor.

  94. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Don’t get me started….

  95. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    I may be aborderline aspergers maniac depressive but I ain’t stoooopid.

  96. Mr Tobytwirl says:

    Russel Brand has mad staring eyes. It takes one to know one. Also he’s not quite as bright as he thinks IMHO.

  97. humanspirit says:


    Your post brought back so many nightmares of frustrations and complete brick walls. But I don’t think it was even down to the individual NHS people involved. My family member’s GP really tried her best – in fact she tried to get him into a psych ward because she (rightly) saw that there were underlying issues that he was self-medicating for. The admission was refused, although no-one bothered to inform us of this. We spent a whole bank holiday weekend assuring him that he would be in a safe place soon and that they would help him . . . just didn’t happen.

    Meanwhile his GP refused to give him any more chlordiazepoxide, because she said if he carried on drinking while taking it, it could lead to severe complications that she could be liable for. Other than that, the only advice was to cut down until he could get some proper treatment. (I mean, duh! If he had been capable of cutting down, he wouldn’t have had a problem!)

    I thought she was good, but she dismissed the people at A&E who sent him back to her saying he should have quadruple the dose of chlordiazepoxide than she was prescribing while he was trying to quit. She said these were junior doctors who knew nothing. Lots of politics and one-upmanship going on among these medical people, I think.

    Your husband was told: “to wean himself down on neat vodka or else he’d possibly die.”

    Wow. My partner’s GP‘s advice was to sip some wine if the shakes got too much, and to try to keep it within a bottle and a half a day (which was obviously not going to happen). To recommend neat spirits seems just bizarre.

    Anyway, looks like it’s all turned out well for both of us, Ally. You’ve got your man back and are thinking of having a baby; my partner has been alcohol and AA free for two years now and has just started a new job after being unemployed for a long time. (Not any crappy old job, but one commensurate with his qualifications and experience, etc.) This is just such a huge source of fantasticness for both of us.

    I’m very happy to live with him sober, but I’m convinced I could never have lived with him ever again if he’d become a stepper. And I am just so grateful to whatever higher power it was of mine that steered me well away from the lunacy of Al-anon, otherwise I might be escalating any minor occasion on which he pisses me off (like his tendency to leave wet towels on the bathroom floor) on his “disease”.

    (Come to think, that might be a good one to use in order to take the piss ;) )

  98. Sally says:

    Amy Winehouse’s addictions were no joke
    By Liz Stonard, Calgary Herald July 29, 2011 2:57 AM

    Re: “Back to black,” Editorial, July 26.

    The death of Amy Winehouse is a tremendously sad loss.

    At least she’s at peace now after being relentlessly hounded by gossip-mongering media/ paparazzi and bullied by so-called comics who think making fun of a person struggling with a life-threatening medical condition such as addiction is OK.

    I trust now, as with so many celebs who’ve gone before, the jokes will have died with her.

    All this begs the question: Where do wellknown people who suffer from drug (including alcohol) addiction go for support to overcome it?

    Do they have to be so severely ill they require admission to a treatment facility to achieve the anonymity Joe Public enjoys with groups like Alcoholics Anonymous?

    My wish is that an increasingly judgmental and voyeuristic public give their heads a collective shake and that we make the bullying of those suffering from addiction as unacceptable as schoolyard bullying or referring to the mentally challenged as “retarded.”

  99. Sally says:

    The following is actually a little bit humorous.

    Florida Inmates Accused of Making Money By Scamming Jail Phone System
    ABC World News – By CHRISTINA NG July 28, 2011

    Some clever inmates at the Lake County Jail in Florida figured out a money-making scheme by allegedly scamming the jail’s phone system. One inmate even made enough to post bond and get out of jail.

    Stone, 32, allegedly spent the next three hours making 77 incomplete phone calls to local, long-distance and international numbers and raked in over $1,250, according to a report by the Lake County Sheriff’s office. The amount was enough for him to post bond and leave the jail with a check for $50.69 from leftover money.

    Soon after, other inmates started making a blizzard of incomplete calls. During the day, 256 inmate accounts were affected, according to the sheriff’s report.

    One of the numbers Stone was dialing was a distribution center for Narcotics Anonymous in Ontario, Canada. Stone allegedly made $47.36 each time he called this number.

  100. Sally says:

    Oops. Wrong thread. Sorry

  101. AnnaZed says:

    Sally, I don’t understand how that works.

  102. Sally says:

    Anna, I think what happened was the inmates used an account (privy to them, probably the funds deposited by a loved one) to make phone calls. Normally they would get reimbursed for the actual amount that was deducted for their account if the call didn’t go through. Kind of like a pay phone, put in your dime and when no one answers get the dime back. But in this case, there was a functioning error. Instead of just a dime coming back, a quarter was coming back. Of course in those cases it was bunches of dollars instead of dimes and quarters.

  103. Sally says:

    “‘Some die so many can live.’ That’s an inside kind of philosophy,” said McLaughlin. “We have to make sense of their dying. We have to learn the lessons we can.”

    McLaughlin, who is in recovery for alcoholism, coaches others dealing with substance abuse addictions at Pine Rest and through his own business. He also is involved in planning Recovery Palooza, an event Sept. 17 in Grand Rapids that aims to raise awareness about substance abuse disorders.

    Amy Winehouse’s death seen as teachable moment to raise awareness about drugs, alcohol addiction

  104. Sue says:


    I just read this piece. “Just Revolting”

  105. Sally says:

    It is revolting!

    Of course AA’s will say that we’re stretching what they really mean, which is that they learn from the death of others. It may be what they really mean. So why word it that way. Or is it for some fanatics, they beleive or want to beleive that it was part of a god’s plan to have someone die so that others live? It’s too closely worded to a biblical teaching, that Jesus died for us.

    It’s like the definitions of powerlessness, insanity, spirituality, and religion that AA’s for a purpose of their own change the meaning of to confuse people. They get you to bait on their own dictionary teachings of the word, then change and rotate the words to fuck with your head as they please. All to keep you in the program. That’s why no one knows what the hell they are talking about.

  106. Sue says:

    How do you stop this kind of cruel madness?? Talk about powerless!!!

  107. causeandeffect says:

    Exactly how many deaths do they require in order to live? Especially when the blood is on their hands from forcing people to follow their ineffective superstitious faith healing bill shit.

  108. Sally says:

    It’s the worst kind of selfishishness. Contrary to the teachings of the Big Boogie Book. Guru steppers would rather have someone relapse and DIE, in order to prove themselves right.

    It’s like sponsorship, they do it to help keep themselves sober, regardless to how insanely negative and controlling their “suggestions” are.

    BTW Cause, I love the “bill” shit comment.

  109. WastedSpacer says:

    “being in Ireland for a long weekend when my husband stopped drinking and went into a terrifying withdrawal”

    Wow. The first time I had serious DTs I was in Ireland. I picked a GP at random (I didn’t want my regular GP to know I was an alcoholic) and got an emergency prescription for Xanax. It was a tapering-down dose good for about three or four days. I had no idea things were different and worse in the UK – I never really understood or trusted the Irish system and assumed the British system was better.

    I don’t know what things are like here in Canada, but they’re probably like the UK. A few years ago, my wife (a non-drinker) had a grand-mal seizure while walking in town and ended up in ER. Her epilepsy is well-controlled with Dilantin and I think she’s only had maybe two seizures in the past ten years. Anyway, she was having trouble sleeping for some reason, which led to her being on edge and having the seizure. I asked the ER doctor for some Valium or Xanax or something to help her sleep, and the doctor immediately flew up her high horse and gave me a lecture on how they don’t just hand out those things to anybody who walks in off the street. I was like – huh? – you brought her here in an AMBULANCE!! She was acting like this was some sort of elaborate scam to score tranquilizers. I couldn’t believe it, and fortunately she did respond to reason, but it was a weird experience.

    Meanwhile, they’re regularly getting people with pain issues addicted to OxyContin, which I understand can be an easily fatal addiction.

  110. AllyB says:

    @ Wasted Spacer

    Public GPs in the UK are employees of the NHS and have quite strict guidelines to follow. Those guidelines are decided within the NHS rather than by medical ability. The idea when it comes to addictions and mental health is that medications aren’t initially prescribed by GPs and instead the patient is referred to a specialist clinic. Which would be fantastic if you got a fast (1-4 days) transfer to the specialist and didn’t have to wait for the best part of a year.

    In Ireland most GPs are self employed so while they are regulated by the HSE, they have almost complete autonomy within the bounds of medicine and Irish licensed medications. So while you can get a GP who is reluctant to prescribe certain meds it’s also easy enough to find one who is willing to. Additionally our HSE addiction services can be accessed very quickly if you want to use them and without referral. If there is someone out there right now who wants help with an addiction they can call up their local addictions clinic and be seen within a day or two. You’ll see a doctor, have a physical check-up and blood work, be prescribed meds for withdrawal, be seen daily during the withdrawal, have access to regular personal sessions with a counsellor and counsellor facilitated group sessions. And your immediate family will also have access to counselling and group sessions if they choose. They aren’t at all perfect, afaik, they recommend AA (and Lifering in cities with LifeRing meetings) and Al-Anon as resources. But at least there is fast access to actual medical help when it’s looked for.

    In just about every other single way NHS service is superior. Our Accident and Emergency wards are a total joke. I wouldn’t have liked my husband’s chances if his liver and kidneys had failed in Ireland rather than England, though then again maybe if he hadn’t had such awful treatment from our NHS GP he’d never have gotten so sick in the first place.

  111. WastedSpacer says:

    @AllyB – Thanks for clarifying the situation. I was happy enough with the GPs, but could never get my head around the public vs private aspects of the hospitals. When I used VHI vs going straight public, it seemed like everything was identical except the social status of the other patients in the room. But I was never sure, since every situation is a one-off. And getting follow-up appointments with specialists was unbelievably ridiculous. A couple of years after I left the country, my ex-landlord called to say there was a message that I finally had an appointment with a specialist that I’d thought I was supposed to see within a week of leaving the hospital. (!!)

  112. AllyB says:

    Having health insurance in Irish public hospitals is almost a scam. If your insurance will cover you in a private hospital it can be worth bypassing the public system entirely, but using private insurance in a regular hospital is only about paying for your stay rather than your treatment as treatment charges in Ireland are mostly nominal.

    And then there is the really fucked up way consultants work, which genuinely is a scam. They can be public 3 days a week and private 2 days a week. If you get a referral to them you can either go on a waiting list for an indefinite period or pay about €70 to jump the queue and see him/her within a week. Then usually once you have been seen once you will be seen regularly as a public patient without having to pay! It’s a way for the consultant to receive a very generous salary as a HSE doctor (our doctors receive some of the highest pay in the world from the state) but still supplement it by a grand or two a week by charging privately.

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