Disclaimer: I work in the field of addictions in a county that has a significant problem with Heroin. People are dying and younger and younger kids are becoming addicted and having difficulty pulling themselves back out. In my work I have come across 21 year olds who have been doing heroin since they were 15, girls who are ODing at 22, girls who have an 18 year heroin habit and are trying to finally get clean and get their children back. The term War on Drugs pisses me off because I’m with the people who are the real victims and it’s sad that many of them are just written off and locked up without a real chance at affordable treatment.
This lens has led to much of my discomfort with the portrayal of Amy Winehouse in the gossip blogs around here. The blogging world likes their bad girls, the Lindsey Lohan’s and Paris Hilton’s DUIs and whispers of cocaine usage and Amy Winehouse started much in that frame. But things changed with her, see, her drugs are not the demon alcohol, they are drugs that ruin lives(alcohol ruins lives too, just not as quickly) and do it quickly and tragically. Seeing pictures of her on blogs with comments about her being a stupid crackwhore just break my heart. This mentality that all drug users have it coming and are completely at fault piss me off. I have talked to users who say that every day of not using is complete hell, they feel horrible, their thoughts are racing, they are usually trying to pick up the pieces of a life that has been rocked by drugs and they need to do all of this with whatever legal limits they have. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, drug addiction is drug addiction and there really is no difference between Amy Winehouse and some of the women in my group.
Through these blogs society has a change to really see the horrors of drug use, the scars, the weight loss, the utter spiral downward and instead of realizing the danger of these drugs and that something needs to be done they call her a crackwhore and disgusting and insult her sexuality.