Fans of the Golden Globe Award-winning comedy “Glee” were shocked to hear of star Cory Monteith’s sudden death on July 13, 2013. Best known as the charming, lovable Finn Hudson, quarterback of his high school football team, Monteith faced a lifelong struggle with drug addiction.
Although fans were aware of his history with drug abuse and addiction, only those closest to him recognized the extent of his drug problems in the months before his death at age 31.
Addiction is a Lifelong Disease
One of the foremost things learned from Cory Monteith’s death is that addiction is a disease that lasts for life. Monteith began experiencing personal troubles following the divorce of his parents when he was seven years old.
He had trouble at school and began skipping classes to get drunk and smoke marijuana by age 13. This substance use at an early age set the stage for his later troubles with addiction. By age 16, Monteith had attended 12 different schools because of his acting out and drug problems.
Monteith’s mom and family members were concerned for his health. When he was 19, they staged an intervention and convinced him to go to rehab. Although Monteith complied with the program, he told Parade magazine that he had yet to hit rock bottom.
He continued drinking and using drugs until one day, he stole a large amount of money from a family member. The person told him that he wouldn’t press charges against Monteith if he agreed to get clean. At that moment, Monteith made a commitment to his recovery.
Cory Monteith experienced several years of sobriety, but fame brought back his personal demons. Although it’s unclear when he began using drugs again, his Glee costars staged an emergency intervention in March 2013 to encourage Monteith to enter a drug treatment facility.
Monteith’s story illustrates that recovery is not something that can be achieved and then forgotten about. Rather, it is an ongoing journey that requires the affected individual to repeatedly make a commitment to a clean, sober lifestyle.
Reusing Drugs After Rehab Can Be Especially Dangerous
An autopsy following Monteith’s death revealed that he had a mixture of heroin, codeine, morphine, and alcohol in his system at the time of his death. The coroner’s report stated that Monteith had used drugs intermittently throughout his life, interspersed with periods of rehab.
After his most recent stint in rehab, Monteith’s tolerance for drugs had likely diminished. As a result, using an amount of heroin that was typical in his drug-using days may have resulted in an accidental overdose.
A Supportive Network of Family and Friends is Essential to Recovery
When reflecting on Cory Monteith’s life, one thing stands out: he had a robust network of friends, family members, and colleagues who cared deeply for him. Throughout his struggles with addiction, Monteith’s loved ones recognized the need for him to seek treatment.
It was his family members who encouraged him to get help at age 19 and his coworkers who encouraged him to go to rehab 11 years later.
Cory Monteith’s death serves as a reminder that friends and family members are often an essential part of the rehabilitation process. Entering treatment for substance abuse is a daunting step for many individuals struggling with addiction. Having supportive loved ones increases the likelihood of entering a strong, lifelong recovery.